I can’t go on Twitter for more than a few minutes without coming across a ‘must see’ video or an ‘every Coach should read this’ article. Most aren’t worth the time taken however this video of John Cleese on creativity has had a tremendous impact on me particularly on how I plan my sessions.
I cannot remember where I got the link but I do know I had it saved for about 18 months before I looked at it. Why because the clip is 36 minutes long and so I saved it to look at ‘later’. I don’t think I am the only Coach in the world who parks good info somewhere on their devices but never seems to get around to reviewing it all.
In fact the only reason I looked at it was because the season was over and I was just messing about really. I thought it will be funny because it is John Cleese so I’ll watch it. This is important because I was in a playful mood. I never watched it during the season because I couldn’t find the time.
Basically the video says you need to create the right conditions to be creative rather than you have to try to be creative.
Here are the 5 Steps to create the conditions
Step 1 – Seal yourself off from all distractions i.e emails, phone calls etc
Step 2 – Give yourself a specific period of time. Allowing for the fact that as soon as you remove all distractions you will begin to think of lots of other things you should be doing instead of what you intend to do.
Steps 1 & 2 he called creating the ‘Oasis of Quiet’ setting up boundaries of space & time.
It certainly works for me to allow the time for my mind to go through the million and one other things I need to do and make a note of them but still continue with my planning.
Step 3 – Allowing yourself time to play with your ideas. Not coming up with a solution and settling for the first thing that will work. Keep working with an idea to see if you can make it better.
This step has affected me the most and when I reflected I saw that I got into the habit of going with the first thing that worked. However considering before I went full time coaching I used to write my session plans on the train to work in the mornings this can be forgiven somewhat. Nothing like only having three stations to go with a half-finished plan to make you go for the first thing you think of.
Step 4 – Be confident. Don’t worry about making a mistake and possibly going down a train of thought that might be wrong. Nothing can be wrong when you are being playful.
Step 5 – Humour makes us playful so humour helps creativity.
I think I have watched it maybe 3 or 4 times now over the past 3 years and some of the phrases still jump out at me such as
‘It is easier to do trivial things that are urgent than important things that are urgent’
For me this is answering emails. I often find myself answering emails that really don’t need to replied to straight away instead of doing what I need to do first. I have to be mindful of this constantly.
I am not going to tell you that you have to watch this video but it has certainly helped me.
Look forward to hearing your feedback.
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Till next time