Sunday, May 05, 2013

John Cleese on Being Creative

We've all enjoyed the creativity of John Cleese. He created and acted in both Monty Python and Faulty Towers and has been in more than 60 movies! The man knows what he's doing! And what he is doing is being creative as a lifestyle.

He's been doing it for 50 years, so - clearly - he knows how to generate creative material. Here he is teaching how to create the environment for effectively creativity.

In a nutshell, here are his five points:

1. Space: Have a place you go where you are both comfortable and uninterrupted.
2. Time: Book it in your diary. Know that it is coming. Defer creative decisions to this time.
3. Time: 90 minutes is perfect. It takes 30 minutes to quiet down. After an hour of creative thinking you need a break. More than 90 minutes leads to time wasting and tired thinking.
4. Confidence: There are no "wrong" answers. No negativity allowed! 
5. Humour: Laughter brings relaxation. Humour makes us playful. Use them to open creative thought.

I really like this idea! For me, two 90 minute blocks a week would be perfect. One Tuesday morning and one Thursday afternoon. It will give me time to work on the creative concepts that pop up and get filed in the "later" folder in my brain. Once the creative direction of a project, article, or story are established that project can be finished on it's own time. This 90 minute time is just for hashing out the creative details. Projects can be brought back here for more creative thought whenever they need it.

To remember these fives steps, use the acronym "STiTCH" because "A stitch in time saves nine" and creative thinking leads to better decisions, better material and therefore a more successful life. The "i" in the middle of it all is you - coming up with great creative material. 

What would your life look like in a year if you set aside 90 minutes each week to do your creative thinking? 

Let's find out!

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