In my experience the biggest killer of creativity, effectiveness and productivity is not your lack of time, aptitude or knowledge. The biggest killer is mind power...the power of your own mind.  It’s how much you worry about what you’re doing or not doing, and how often you feel like you should just carry on or push through. The inevitable consequence of this type of thinking is not stopping or taking a break, resulting in fatigue - emotional, mental and physical tiredness.

How often do you get to the end of the day and realise you’ve not achieved very much?

How often do you wonder where your time goes?

When was the last time you tapped into your creativity?  Your enthusiasm for solving problems?

Deep down you know that working longer and harder is counter-productive.  It makes you less effective because it’s harder to think clearly, you make more mistakes, and things take longer.  

Yet many people distrust this knowledge, worrying instead about the things that aren’t getting done, about whether you’re doing the right thing, about whether what you’re actually doing is good enough.  Or worrying that you’ll be letting people down if you don’t keep going.

What if we trusted in ourselves at these times?  What if we allowed ourselves to stop and connect with what’s right for us...connect to our gut and to our heart?

I know myself and from working with my clients that when you start to trust yourself.  When you stop doing for the sake of doing, to keep up appearances, or because you feel you should.  When instead you do what feels right, and you feel good and have fun whilst doing it, then magic can happen – things get done effortlessly, people who can help appear almost miraculously, you feel on top of the world and everything ‘flows.’

However, when you’re not in the right space, intellectually and emotionally, when your negative mind power has taken over, everything is more difficult.  It takes longer or doesn’t happen at all, and you feel worse.

So what can you do to get into the right space and stay there?

Well lots of things actually.....

  • Recognise your mind power.  Become aware of your inner critic and change your thoughts to expand your internal support mechanisms.
  • Maintain regular contact with people who recognise the importance of fun and feeling good and the benefits it brings.
  • Mastermind with a group of like-minded individuals – your own external support team.
  • Make physical changes as appropriate to the situation e.g. if you’re working at your desk or in the office - stand up, walk around, take a break, or run up and down stairs.  Alternatively - smile, breathe deeply, hum/sing a favourite tune or remember a recent positive experience. Dance is my favourite physical activity and I’m increasingly becoming known as the coach who plays music, dances and persuades others to do the same!
  • Do something fun or make a game of your work.

When you understand how the power of your mind can lead to negative consequences, consequences such as killing your creativity and effectiveness...through worry, not stopping or taking a break, and fatigue.  This presents you with a great opportunity to flip the negative switch in your head to positive. To turn your mind power to your advantage.

You do this by creating the space to do what makes you feel good, by focusing on how you’re ‘being’ when you’re actually ‘doing’,  by intentionally having more fun…..even by working fewer hours and trusting that you’ll get the important things done. This automatically enables more creativity and effectiveness for you as a business leader, manager, or parent...in fact in any role as a human being.  

So I’d like to leave you with four questions to help you flip the switch from negative to positive, and use your mind power to your advantage:

  1. What will you do to get into the ‘right space’ more often?
     
  2. How will you build fun into your working life?
     
  3. How will you develop trust in yourself and your work?
     
  4. What help do you need with this?

Trust that you know what is best for you, that you know what to do, or that you’re capable of finding the right people to help you.  Your mind, your creativity and your physical body will thank you for it!