To be more creative, mix up your work


If you want to be creative in your craft, try changing one element of it from time-to-time.

Take juggling for example. Juggling is believed to have started hundreds of centuries ago in agent Egypt (or China). A picture on one Egyptian tomb depicts several people tossing balls up into the air. For jugglers, balls or small, bean-filled bags are the common prop to juggle and have been for thousands of years.

Yet jugglers can change what they use as a prop in order to improve their form or the experience for watchers.

It’s not uncommon today to see jugglers throwing knives, toys, soccer balls, plates, or martini glasses around in the air. The result is a spectacular show for everyone watching, but it’s also a major victory for the juggler who can know better understand how to juggle. When the times comes to switch back to bean sacks, the juggler who has mastered throwing chainsaws will be able to do it effortlessly.

The same is true of any creative talent as well.

You can stick with the same activity and the same props, but if you want to really grow creatively you have to take your talents into other areas and utilize other approaches.

Because our brains produce creative results when we connect previously unconnected concepts – through signals sent between neurons – the best way to connect more ideas is to place yourself in unique circumstances.

Consider the novelist who stops working on his novel in order to write short-form poetry once a week. Or the musician that makes TV show jingles in her spare time. The painter who takes up graffiti, the tech blogger who writes obituaries for the local paper, or the dancer who masters Jiu-jitsu.

All are examples of taking your talents and abilities and adapting them to something else, something new and different. It’s in those moments of adaptation that we not only learn something new, but we gain insights into our practice and master it all the more.

Today try taking your craft — whatever it is — I and find a way to adapt it to something new. Utilize a new tool or practice a relative craft, see what comes as a result.

Photo via Flickr.