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5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity This Weekend

by Hanna Brooks Olsen
creativity, featured

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We all have such grandiose plans on Friday afternoon, don’t we? We’re going to get crafty, we’re going to go take photos of something cool and edit them all before the sun goes down on Sunday. We’re going to finally design that new logo for our own personal brand.

But then, when we do finally find ourselves with free time, we find that a Saturday morning filled with promise suddenly becomes a Monday morning with nothing to show but a lot of time spent zoning out in front of Netflix.

This weekend (or week, or month, or lifetime), commit to your creative endeavors by setting yourself up to succeed by performing small acts that boost health and creative thinking. Here’s a good way to start:

Take/make time to write:

And really just go for it. Even if you’re not a writer, per se, just allowing yourself to form your thoughts — with your hand, on paper, preferably — can help you make a more concrete plan, or at least help to get you in a mode for making things.

Change up your music:

Fast Company featured a fascinating article about how music can help or hinder productivity and even offered some ambient suggestions, which may help you immerse yourself in less-than-interesting tasks (like batch-editing a thousand wedding photos…). Plus, listening to something new can help keep your brain on task better than listening to something familiar which can be a potential pitfall when listening to your very-favorite album.


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Sleep on it:

Numerous studies have shown that sleeping gives your brain a chance to work through things that it can’t process during your waking hours. Rather than trying to power through a warm, sunny afternoon when you’re just not feeling it, take 20 minutes to let your mind and body get some rest. When you wake up, you’ll feel more alert and might even have a breakthrough.

Color your world:

In her CreativeLive class, Using Color in Home Design, color theory expert Tobi Fairley explained how color has the power to change your mood and demeanor.

“One of the reasons it’s really important to be careful in the colors we choose is that we spend more time in our homes than we ever did before, and inside, period,” says Tobi. “We’re not out in nature and having the ability to experience Mother Nature’s color palette.”

Which means you have several choices to remedy your creative rut: One option is to literally play with colors. Bust out those old crayons, markers, or paints you have lying around and just start making different shapes and shades — the hands-on aspect of working with colors can help you feel more kinetically inspired. Surround yourself with colors which spur innovative thinking (green is a pretty popular one) by redecorating your workspace, or going outside and take in the many colors that are available outdoors. The fresh air will probably do you good, too.

Change your scenery:

If you’re not a work-in-the-park kind of person (or you don’t have a park nearby), heading somewhere else is still a good idea. Blogger and consultant April Bowles Olin suggests heading to a coffee shop.

“One of the things that you can do is change locations,” she says. Plus, you can have the added benefit of getting some caffeine in you, which has been shown to bolster creativity.


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Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.