Below is a set of rules/guidelines that I’ve configured to help myself stay creative and ultimately keep on top of life. I’m not saying these will work for you, but, presently, I abide by this list. The list is as follows:
1 – Carry a Notebook, Everywhere.
This is the most essential item on the list. Whenever you get in idea, write it down. Especially when you first wake up in the mornings and all those wild dreams come spilling out. It’s surprising how fast you’ll fill it up.
2 – Make Lists (in your notebook).
People commonly refer to writing ‘to do’ lists. Although, I like to write all kinds of lists, including this list I’m writing now. Lists force you to come up with new ideas. When ticked off, the pathway is opened to the aspired feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
An obvious one? Perhaps not. The greatest task of reading, for many, is to find the time. It could be seen as an unproductive way to spend time, for example. However, reading will soon open up your mind to new narratives and paths of life (fiction readers) or undiscovered and hidden depths of knowledge (academia). Reading is the prior body of our endless citation and reference in life, which I guarantee you will end up using to gratification somewhere in yours.
4 – Listen to Music.
By this, I don’t mean ‘chart toppers’ but something more inspirational and uplifting, perhaps experimental. I find it helps to ‘open your mind’, but many disagree. Take a film that’s really affected or inspired you on a personal note and download the soundtrack. This would be a good place to start.
5 – Be Observant.
Open your conscience up to various situations. Listen out. Exaggerate your everyday surroundings. Basically, observe what’s going on (try not to be too nosey though!) and you never know what you may discover.
6 – Design Something.
This could be on a piece of computer software, for example, graphics design in Photoshop or motion design in After Effects. Or rather, you could design something architectural, draw something or even pick up a paintbrush. Create something that stretches your skillset and ability. Ultimately, something you can be proud of.
7 – Creative Writing.
This comes in many forms, of course. It could mean attempting that screenplay you’ve wanted to write for years, or perhaps a play, short story, poem or novel. Either is as creative as the other (arguable) and a great way to dive in at the deep end and discover your true capabilities.
8 – See New Places.
Similar to being observant. Travel whenever you can, discover new places, their cultures, the nature, landscapes, oceans etc. Don’t forget your notebook and camera if you have one!
9 – Take a Photo Everyday.
If you don’t have a camera…well, this just isn’t much of an excuse anymore. Use your phone or the cheap 2nd hand compact digital at the local store. Finding something new and interesting to photograph each day will keep your senses alive and your observant mindset on cue. Write about this photo or maybe even blog it to the world. Alternatively, feel free to film something each day!
10 – Watch a Film Everyday.
Quite possibly my favourite on the list. Again, this may concur with time constraints. But, even if it’s just watching a short film on your lunch break, it may leave you with a fresh view on a differential aspect of life – a leap always worth taking. Films can open your eyes (not just literally!). Get watching!