This post is part of Edition #1 – Primer.
Even before the chaos in the world we live in became even more chaotic, getting into the zone might have always been an issue, at least at different times. I personally can attest to that. Creativity has a sense of mystery and elusiveness attached to our definition of it, and at times, we can feel like, if it doesn’t flow out like a whisper in the wind or in our dreams, or just all at once, through our fingertips, then, of course, it’s not really IT.
But that’s not how it is, not always anyway. We have the magical surreal moments when it feels like the gods and goddesses themselves drop bits and pieces of ideas into our souls. Other times, we have to try a little harder to get into it, especially when we can’t wait for the “right” moment to flow.
So, let’s get into it. How do we help ourselves access this state of flow, at the times when it doesn’t come directly to us? Here are some tips.Do Breathing Exercises or Meditate for 10 mins: A lot of times, the pressure of trying to get it right traps us in our head and blocks our creative flow. I like to meditate before I get into deep work, it calms my nerves and helps me get more into myself. Breathing exercises are a great way to ease into the zone, trust me, they are tried and tested. If you don’t have the time at that moment, a simple step is to take 3 deep breathes before you get into your work.
Do something else
A lot of times we must step away from something to be able to find it. We may be trying too hard and that may be the problem. Try doing something else that is easy, simple and fun for you, before you get into work. Or even when you are stuck.
It might be as simple as doodling, reading a page from a book, or even a 5 minutes dance break. Take yourself out of the space and then come back into it, you’ll feel the difference. This is why it is necessary to get into hobbies that aren’t tied to your earnings, which brings us to the next point.
Wait for it, ADULT COLOURING BOOKS
Yes, you heard me right. Colouring books aren’t just for children. Find your inner child and enjoy playtime, playtime, after all, is a fertile space for creativity. In fact, adult colouring books are a thing right now and a simple google search would show you so many options along with places to get them. But in my opinion, any bookstore, or even grocery store would have colouring books for kids and those are just as valid… and less expensive.
Take it slow, allow yourself to get into it
Set a timer and start working. Most of the time, it helps to go slow and gradually build on that initial foundation. Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a productivity/focus technique that allows you to dedicate little chunks of time to a project. It helps you break down the time you spend on a task into small time slots of 25 mins with breaks in between.
I can say I personally, tend to get overwhelmed when I think about how big a task is, then the postponing and procrastinating begins. Since I started this technique, it has become easier to get into things, especially when I know that after 25 minutes, I can take a breather and refocus. Heck, I’m using it right now. At times when I’m hesitant, I start with 15 minutes so I can give myself space to gradually get into it.
Decide to focus and believe you can
After you’ve done all the things and you’re prepared to get into it, give it your full attention. Distractions are always around, dragging for pieces of your attention, simply decide to ignore them.
They are everywhere- getting distracted by that twitter notification when you pick up your phone to use the dictionary, the tabs on your browser that you’re using for research, random birds chirping, and of course, the greatest distraction there is YOUR MIND. It is very normal for your mind to wander, especially when you are deliberately trying to concentrate. But when that happens, notice is and gently stir it back to the task at hand. Obviously, it is way easier said than done but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Trust in your skills and your abilities to focus and treat yourself with compassion as you dive deeper.
In conclusion, creativity flows through relaxation. And the work gets done when you are relaxed enough to focus your attention on it. Don’t be worried, you have all the tools you need and the intention, allow yourself flow.
This post is part of Edition #1 – Primer.