Year of the Goat: The perfect time to get creative by slowing down
Gong Xi Fa Cai. Happy year of the Goat
It’s the year of the Goat in Chinese Culture. And this means it’s good news for anyone trying to be creative
Gong Xi Fa Cai! It’s Chinese New Year, and this year is the year of the goat (or sheep, depending on who you’re talking to).
Having grown up in Singapore, I appreciate the cultural spectacle of the festival. But it’s also interesting to think about the significant differences between annual symbols (not that I believe they actually shape what will happen, but it’s interesting).
So what does this coming year have in store for all of us? Well, apparently it features two things I think everyone can appreciate:
So what can you do this year of the goat to improve your creativity? Here are some simple tips I advise to my clients:
Try to avoid caffeine first thing in the morning. Give yourself at least half an hour right at the start of the workday when you think about your toughest challenges (instead of doing email, internet, or worst of all: meetings!). You’ll be surprised how after a couple of hours you might get a great idea out of the blue.
Take 15 minutes every day of “anti-focus time”. This means giving yourself permission to let your mind wander, and requires you to not be engaging with someone else directly (talking, email, on the phone, meetings) or focusing on something speicifc (work on your screen, reading, watching TV, listening to something specific, texting, basically anything with a screen). A good time to do this is when walking to get lunch, and you’ll be impressed how this will bring your mind into a state when it’s forming random new connections.
Make sure you do one thing every week you’ve never done before. Easy things to try:
Go to a new place to eat (a different type of food, not a different McDonalds location)
Watch a new type of film in the cinema
Go to an exhibition
Take a new route through town
Go to a new part of town and just start walking in any direction