I have a great little set of cards called 52 Ways to Nurture Your Creativity (by Lynn Gordon) that I bought to help me, and my co-workers, be more creative in our work. I was working in the financial services industry which is highly regulated and leaves very little wiggle room for original thinking. It has helped me many times and I continue to use it as I pursue my attempts at a life of permanent creative pursuits.
I have learned that creativity has a place in even the most structured work environments and provides a way of turning a problem upside down and sideways in search of solutions. Solutions often come from a sideways view. But creativity isn’t all about free association and pondering….it takes discipline as well.
Lynn Gordon’s card ‘Be Disciplined!’ says, “Nothing like a rigid schedule to get those creative juices flowing freely. Okay, it may seem a bit counter-intuitive to sit down on a regular schedule to work on that Great American Novel instead of waiting for inspiration to strike. Actually, though, developing a routine schedule is good Pavlovian training for getting work done. Also, others (your dog, chatty friends, and your children) will become accustomed to your consistently scheduled absences.”
I am learning this from my self-imposed activity of doing a sketch a day. By setting time aside, less than an hour each day, to do one small sketch I am disciplining myself and also honing a basic skill.