My Best Tip for Boosting Creativity
I live in clouds. Not figuratively speaking. But not in the sense of the white things in the sky, either. My life literally exists in internet clouds. I take notes in meetings most frequently in Evernote or Bear. I have a daily centering and focusing ritual that revolves around a template on my computer. The music and videos I consume most often come from streaming sources.
My life literally is in internet clouds. I say that to emphasize the importance of this next sentence because it's my best tip for boosting creativity.
Sometimes you need to turn off the computer.
The main reason I suggest you turn off the computer is to limit yourself. This is an age-old, time-tested path to creativity. Less options make you more productive. Less options make you more creative. Less options expedite your creative flow. If you've ever spent more than 2 minutes auditioning kick drums, you know what I mean. Sometimes we're better off without so many choices.
I love building melodies on a piano roll in Ableton Live. But when I turn off the computer and put my hands on an acoustic guitar, it's a totally different thing. Or an electric guitar. Or a kalimba. Each one evokes a different side of my musicality and the melodies and chords are going to be something I wouldn't have come up with on the computer.
Filter It Out
The internet is a magical place full of wonder, information, nostalgia and distraction. I need to be much more intentional about focusing on work when my laptop is open versus when my Moleskine is open. But when you turn off the computer, you are filtering out a lot of potential distraction and mindfully saying, "I'm doing this one thing right now."
And couldn't we all stand to be a little more focused?
I spent the whole month of January making beats on a hardware sequencer rig with the computer off and I found myself making some music that I never would have otherwise created. I called this piece Filter It Out.