If you’re in the video production industry, then you’ll appreciate the importance of creativity when it comes to producing good work. But how do you become a creative genius?
Let’s start off with this: Nothing is worse then predictable, boring, dull work for your clients.
Not only will your clients get bored of you, you will also probably get bored of your own work as time goes on. There’s nothing worse than losing interest in an edit halfway through, or losing passion for an ongoing client’s industry.
Make no mistake about it: It’s the creative edge you can create that can separate your work from the rest of the crowd.
Taking Creativity to 11
Like Spinal Tap jokingly showed us when the movie came out in 1984, it’s possible to take it up to the 11 notch. Just like volume, your creativity can go up to 11!
So let’s look at how we can become even more creative than we already are, and thus, take our work to the next level.
First, let’s understand what creativity is:
Relating or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.
That definition is open to interpretation depending on how you want that to affect your own business and the type of work you create.
So, our brains have two simple ways of working:
This is where most spend their time.
This is for analytical thinking tasks where we are consciously thinking, looking and spending active time on a particular project or situation.
This is when we are not thinking about anything. This is whilst we sleep, when we meditate, when we are exercising. Basically any time you are spending not doing anything.
Science shows us that we have two different areas of the brain that light up based on the situation we are in with the above two styles of being.
But if you understand what creativity is, it’s not something which is analytical. As there are no facts to be logically pieced together.
You are, in fact, coming up with a totally new idea and inspiration. Which means that analytical thinking probably isn’t the best approach when it comes to achieving creative thoughts.
It therefore cannot be summoned upon. You can’t ask your brain to just, “come up with a new idea.” You need your subconscious to piece the words and ideas together, until they begin to make sense.
And sometimes those ‘states’ are best achieved with a stimulus, or when the subconscious is most present (falling asleep, for example).
Why do you think that you seem to come up with your best ideas either in the shower or when you are half asleep, for instance?
Remember Newton under the tree…that was quite a game changing creative idea!
What we do know is that our environment will influence the creative areas of our brain. The things we are doing and the things we’re around will largely increase our creative edge.
So, let’s have a look at what these are and give you some ideas of what you can incorporate into your life to help.
1. Positive Mood
When you’re in a bad mood or a stressed out state, it’s just not going to be useful when trying to come up with new ideas.
Remember, you are your own environment, as you spend the most time with yourself than anything else on this planet.
You can improve your mood by considering the people you hang around. That’s a start.
Also, look at the way you start your day. One really effective and important approach would be to ensure that each morning you set yourself up for a good day. In practical language, this means:
- starting the day with a healthy meal.
- beginning your day with self-reflection (meditation, journaling, etc).
- knocking off your biggest tasks at the start of the day. It gets easier from there!
Check out this article on morning routines and try to incorporate some into your life.
2. Large Spaces
So, let’s talk a little about psychology and our subconscious here.
When you are in a cramped environment, your body has to squeeze itself into a tight space/desk to be able to work. Obviously, this isn’t an ideal situation.
Not only that, but when our perceptual focus is small (tiny desk for instance) our conceptual attention becomes effected.
In other words, the more open your working environment/space the more open our mind is to thinking and creativity.
So, some tips:
- Dress your desk up and make it look attractive.
- Don’t work facing a wall if possible.
- Maybe consider working is a coffee shop, library or some other communal workspace. Even if it’s just for a couple of days a week. It’ll help to break up your work days.
3. Regular Breaks
Remember, we aren’t trying to perform any analytical thinking when we’re coming up with creative ideas or working on a creative piece of work (like an edit).
We aren’t trying to solve 2 + 2. We’re working on questions that often have multiple answers.
By going outside for a break, a walk, a nap and turning our conscious thinking part of our minds down, we increase the other side of the brain which is responsible for creativity.
Naps are more productive than they may sound at first glance. Learn more about taking breaks and all the benefits they can bring with this excellent article from Buffer.
4. Avoiding Sharp Objects
Again lets talk about our subconscious. What do we naturally associate sharp objects as? Knives, forks, pointy and painful objects, right?
Therefore, if we are working on the kitchen counter, or in a room with lots of sharp edges, our subconscious is on alert mode. This is a form of stress.
Eliminate this small stressor and go somewhere that’s a bit calmer and more relaxing. This enables the automatic protection system in your subconscious to calm down with the warning signals and relax.
5. Don’t Work
I know. Sounds strange, right?
This ties into regular breaks. We must make a distinction between work-work and creative/idea forming work.
The truth is, the less time you spend consciously working on a project, the less time you are creating new ideas.
That is why the hustle mentality, the work-work-work mindset isn’t necessarily productive. Not if you’re doing it all the time, anyway.
Maybe you see friends and colleagues always seem to be in the office. That doesn’t mean they are being productively creative. Avoid busy work and turn your attention to what you can create.
By this, I mean:
- Creative ways to grow your video business.
- Problem solving with regards to an upcoming project or current edit. Maybe you need to work on a creative solution to a scheduling or logistics issue.
- Raw creativity. This is the creativity we all know and love as filmmakers: literally coming up with creative angles and decisions during shoots, editing, etc.
In short: Don’t be scared to wind down and relax for a bit.
6. The Great Outdoors
In an ideal world, working outdoors, with nature around you is perfect. Yes, sometimes you are going to absolute need that WiFi connection, however much like like to not admit it.
Finding WiFi outside isn’t as hard as you think. You can probably pick it up in your own garden (ever tried that?) and most cafes and workspaces have WiFi connections that are active outdoors.
The outdoors not only provides calm colours (greens!), but getting in touch with mother nature activates often dormant evolutionary processes. These are beneficial for our bodies and minds.
Even if you don’t believe that, I don’t think many people can argue that being in the outdoors is therapeutic and relaxing.
You can read 5 more reasons why nature boosts creativity by reading this article from Author Unlimited.
7. The Right Food
Yes, the food we eat ultimately dictates the happiness of our body.
This links up with point #1. Every single thing that we do is a stressor and it’s the degree to which we surround ourselves with it which dictates how stressful it is.
If we are constantly eating sugary foods, that is a stressor on our body. Doing that will make our body gain weight, we will have less energy, our bodies won’t function as efficiently. As a result, our mood, productivity and creativity are affected.
Everyone knows how bad they feel after a terrible night’s sleep. But how does that effect our creativity?
Well, remember about not thinking analytically: we don’t think consciously when we are asleep. So the longer we spend asleep, we not only allow our bodies to recover and feel refreshed when we wake, but we also allow the subconscious time to heal and grow.
We give our minds a chance to rejig thoughts and ideas and come up with new perspectives on projects and things we might be struggling with.
Does this sound interesting to you? Then ensure you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Closer to 8 hours is even better.
9. Shower Or Visit The Ocean
When we shower, we switch off from the outside world. The temperature of the water dissociates our perception of the outside air and we feel as one. This is why floatation tanks help too.
As our normal reality is temporarily stopped, our minds can turn inwards to just ‘be’.
Here’s Joe Rogan on floatation/sensory deprivation tanks:
The ocean and sound of the shower also provide a form of white noise, which helps increase different brain waves in our minds.
Confused about the science? Check out this article for more information on this topic, if it sounds interesting to you.
10. Write, Write, And then write some more
I left this one till last. And it’s a bonus point on this list.
Writing can help unlock your imagination, stimulate your subconscious and help you generate ideas. And, most of all, bring your creative genius to the forefront.
If you don’t write regularly as part of your career, then it might seem strange at first. We’re not talking about writing the Great American Novel here (although that’s cool, too!)
How does one start writing to unlock creativity?
First, get used to doing it every day. Whether you take out pen and paper, or write on your computer using a Word document (or similar), it’s about doing it every day. Every single day.
Even if it’s gibberish, you shouldn’t miss a day. Building the habit is the important part of this.
Say you’re doing to write for 10 minutes every day. Take out your pen/paper, or boot up a Word doc, and just get writing.
For creativity, I find journaling at the end (or beginning) of the day to be fantastic for boosting my creativity and getting my juices flowing. The great thing is you can just write about how your day went.
Skeptical? Try it and let me know how you get on!
Becoming a Creative Genius — Conclusion
The above ideas don’t seem that difficult to implement, hey!?
These are very simple ideas to start implementing into your day-to-day life right now. But you’ll find they can have an incredibly powerful effect.
Remember, being more creative isn’t something that can be forced upon you. It takes time and will spring up on you when you least expect it. Just like our ideas do.
So start today to create the ideal environment which will help you become your own creative genius!
How do you help your creativity come to the forefront? Let us know in the comments below.