Today, I’d like to share a few tips that might come handy if you need to get ideas flowing as you’re working on a piece of work that requires you to think creatively.
Doing the deep work
Let’s say you’re working on something like an email, a memo, a report, a case study, a presentation, or even a book.
For instance, in the process I use with my clients, I require that we always create a piece of high-stakes communication. Typically, it is a sales deck or an investor’s deck. Sometimes, it can be a keynote presentation, either for internal or external purposes. Creating such a piece is the ideal way to test our new strategic narrative because everybody will have their eyes on it. This way, you can quickly get relevant feedback and adapt your strategy.
I never start creating a presentation on slides.We always write the copy in a Google doc, in form of a memo. It should look like standalone content that anyone could read.
However, as we want to write the narrative, sometimes it’s easy to get stuck. Ideas just don’t flow well.
Getting stuck too?
You have this great idea for your work, and you’re starting to feel inspired about it.But when you sit in front of your keyboard, you feel like you’re in a rut.
You’re trying to write and edit at the same time. The delete button is too close. Words show up and disappear almost instantly. The cursor goes back and forth.
In the same case, what do I do?
- I draw. Using pen and paper to start my creative process helps me relax and gives me the chance to break linear thinking. I start in the middle of a white page with no lines and I wander in any direction.
- I pretend that I am at a bar with a friend. This works particularly well if I am working with a client who needs to process things verbally. We get on a video call, we grab a drink, and we just start chatting about our topic. We record the conversation and I have it transcribed later, using a service like rev.com.
- I go on a walk. I get my body moving and the mind hopefully follows. Sometimes, I talk to somebody else while walking, either on the phone or in-person. If somebody else can come along, that’s great.
- I give myself a time constraint. For example, I try to say what I have in mind in less than 3 minutes. This works if I either write or talk.
- I change the setting. Some of my most productive writing sessions happen… in my car. I am lucky enough to live by the sea, so I go somewhere I feel inspired by the scenery.
I’m sure you have your own tricks too. If you do, I would love it if you could share them.
It’s Friday. Grab a drink, pretend we’re at a bar. Just tell me about that.