How 'creativity sprints' can get your creative brain going
Need to kick-start your creativity? This technique can really help.
Ryder Carroll: So I think that curiosity is a highly undervalued phenomenon if you will because you can't really always explain it. Sure there are some base things that we're curious about. We're curious about eating. We're curious around other people. But sometimes we're curious about things that we just can't explain to ourselves. And that's something that we shouldn't underestimate because that is a force that draws us into the world unlike any other. You can't fake curiosity. If you're curious about something you're curious about it and that's it and it doesn't require any more explanation. But I do think that it requires significantly more investigation. So if you're curious about a subject matter or a project or a problem in the world or something like that I think it's our responsibility to figure out how we can cultivate that curiosity, right.
In an all or nothing world I feel like a lot of times we immediately set this expectation that we have to become an expert in everything, right. And I think that that sets us up for failure. We have to have a lot of knowledge or no knowledge at all. But our curiosity is simply the needle in our inner compass pointing towards something. And compasses aren't, don't point true north, right. So essentially it's up to us to figure out what that curiosity actually is.
So how do we cultivate our curiosity practically? The best way that I found is through sprints. And sprints are essentially self-contained micro goals. And they're structured to be less than 30 days long, so ideally a week or two. They have no barrier to entry so you don't have to wait for anybody or anything. You can get started today and they have to have a clearly defined set of tasks or actions so you can get started.
These sprints will allow you to cultivate your curiosity because you'll focus on one small aspect of something that could be significantly larger. And then once you're done with that sprint you can take a step back and see what did that spring teach you. What exactly were you curious about. Are you still curious about this or did all of a sudden your curiosity shift. So essentially through sprints you're able to learn very specific goals. A, which is great if you are curious about cooking, for example. Maybe you learn knife skills and in that process you start learning more about cooking. But you still have the knife skills even if you walk away from that project all together.
Sprints are really great because they allow us to try things on for size without wasting a lot of time and energy. And they allow us to build over time on these curiosities. You can take one sprint and then follow it with another sprint and another sprint and those sprints will change depending on what you learn along the way. So that way you can take something very big and seemingly overwhelming and break it down into very actionable steps.
- The best way to become more creative? Exercise your creativity like you would your body.
- Set realistic expectations. Nobody is going to become the best immediately and write an amazing novel, or what have you, in a week.
- Curiosity is the fuel that drives creativity. Pick a big goal and find out every small aspect about it to break it down.
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