Time of day?
Type of work?
Use of your hands?
What you eat?
What you drink?
Religion or faith?
Warm up routines?
Smells or scents?
Furniture or equipment?
For each of us our creative muse is different, and the flow of our creative energy comes from different places. What we do know is nutrition, rest and positive reinforcement are useful. Sometimes panic stimulates chemicals in your body that actually may be related to creativity and innovation. These same steps work in research, study and simpler tasks like homework.
So where do you find your creative flow? How do you tap into it? To be sure that it is there when you need, you may wish to try a few dry-runs and observer your own comfort and creative bubble.
1. Set yourself up with a meaningful challenge. When can you commit 100% to something you find important, meaningful or interesting?
2. Make the task difficult but not impossible. Push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone. Be able to break a task into parts instead of taking on the entire mountain in one bite.
3. Minimize distractions. There are arguments that we live in a distracting world. They are true. Texting, cell phone, Internet, phone, dorm life, big families, friends, other tasks all take away from your ability to focus on the task ahead, and often are welcome distractions from things you find easier, more pleasurable or you tell yourself will only take a moment. For me it is blogging, e-mail and TV shows i enjoy. When it is time to work turn off the phones and automatic alerts on your computer. Make sure people know not to interrupt you. Nevada have things you do not need that you will use or find distracting in the area where you are doing the work. Anything you can do to minimize distractions, do it! (within the law of course).
4. Use triggers to alter your state of mind. Make a use of the triggers you identified earlier on in this self-assignment to stimulate creativity and focus.
5. Reward yourself when you complete your task, or the self-assignment segment of the task. Make sure your work justifies a reward.
Partially drawn from Lateral Action: The Creative Pathfinder web site.