If You Want to Be a More Creative Marketer, Make Your "Nothing Time"
In some way, shape, or form, I've studied "productivity" since reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in middle school.
A couple years ago, I was drinking no less than 12 shots of espresso every day. It helped me get more work done. Faster. I could stay up later and I could get working immediately after waking up.
Get more done. Faster. The key to productivity. The key to success. The key to great accomplishments. The key to a great life...
However, as I began to pursue more creative endeavors (writing, programming, etc), I realized that "do more, faster" wasn't working.
I'd sit down to force myself to write, and it wouldn't work. When I couldn't think of anything to write, I'd get discouraged. Then I'd get frustrated. Then I'd give up on it.
Around the same time, I was spending a ton of time with people as I began getting more into women's coaching. It was the same thing...talk with as many people as I can, as much as I can. I met tons of folks and, soon, I was spending 80 hours a week with people.
It wasn't sustainable.
And I noticed my creativity declining. Hard.
What I soon found, accidentally at first, was that I needed "nothing time."
With nothing time, I did just that...nothing. I didn't watch TV. I didn't watch movies. I didn't zone out. I just layed there on my couch or in bed. Doing nothing. Thinking about nothing.
Sometimes, my mind would race. And I'd let it race, so long as I wasn't putting effort into keeping it going or into stopping it. Eventually, my mind would stop and it would be clear.
Sometimes, my mind would be completely clear right off the bat.
But what I noticed was that if I went into my "nothing time" knowing I wanted to write or solve some sort of program...if I let my mind get to nothingness, after a bit, a writing topic or a programming solution would arise.
And what arose were solutions and topics that I simply couldn't have forced. By letting myself get to that nothingness, it allowed another part of myself, a more creative part, show up.
It was as though "doing" anything got in the way of my creativity. Once I stopped "doing," I could create wonderful things from that space.
If you're getting stuck on creativity - that "soft" side of marketing that makes all the difference between successful marketers and amazing marketers, I suggest scheduling your "nothing time."
Let your nothing time be just that, nothing.
If you're a writer, schedule three hours of nothing time. Let your mind go blank and, from that blank space, let it create a wonderful piece of writing.
If you're a marketer, schedule three hours of nothing time. Let your mind go blank and, from that blank space, let it create a wonderful marketing strategy or tactic for you or a client.
However you spend it, at the end of that three hours, I bet you end up with something much more wonderful than if you tried to force it.