Why do children have such good imaginations and why does that fade as we get older? How can we become more creative and think clearly?
The answer?
We need to clear our minds from stress. Clarity of mind leads to creativity of thought.

James Dyson came up with the idea of the cyclone vacuum when he happened to see a cyclone wood chopper.
Famously Archimedes had his eureka moment in a bath!

Essentially solutions to problems occur when our minds are open enough to see them.

Creativity comes when you are relaxed: either walking, in the shower, in the bath or any other activity which involves you being relaxed and not concentrating on anything specific.

So how do we do this more often? How can we be creative all the time?

We could be like the absent minded professor with his head in the clouds who misses appointments and generally forgets how to get through life; he is very creative, however this is unlikely to be something that fits into most people’s lifestyles.

So how do we be creative yet still function in a stressful world?
You need to offload the stress from your brain. This needs to be somewhere safe yet easily accessible and able to store, edit and organise data. The ideal tool for this is a smart phone and some apps.

It starts with collection:
We need to gather all our thoughts, plans and ideas so that we do not lose them. We need to have ideas save them and then move on. We can write them down on paper or, more easily, into an app. The app I like is Drafts, it opens straight into a note and a couple of clicks and you send it to your inbox.

Then comes the database:
The inbox/database I use is Evernote. You can pay for loads of space or just use the free version. The search is great and you can keep multiple notebooks and data in the form of anything from simple notes to HD videos. You can access these on multiple devises such as your Mac and iPhone so you always have access to all of your data. This can be your ideas palace where you can store and build on all of your ideas.

Finally the planner:
The way to then turn your ideas into actions is to use a task manager. The ideas in the inbox often create projects with tasks to do. My task manager is OmniFocus. I can create projects with individual tasks and due dates for each. Each day it shows me what tasks are needed for that particular day. It also asks you to regularly review your plans and projects.

Using these tools you can become clear minded, removing the daily stresses and capturing your creativity. You will achieve more while increasing your free time.

Steve Young
@steveyoungmedic

References:
Emcrit Podcast – Getting Shit Done
Getting things done – David Allen
The Organized Mind – Daniel Levitin
Drafts
Evernote
OmniFocus
gettingthingsdone.com

Links:
The Science of Happiness
“I’ll be happy when” is the reason we are all unhappy