Hacking the Creative Brain

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>> Work Better Create More , /* Denise Jacobs Web Directions | Sydney, Australia 30 October 2015 */

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Who: @denisejacobs Where: @webdirections #wd15 What: #hackcreativity

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Want the Slides? Creativedo.se/wd15-htcb

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SXSW 2006! h ps://www.flickr.com/photos/robweychert/113351226/

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After writing this…

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I had an epiphany http://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055814772/

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Creativity: powerful and empowering http://www.flickr.com/photos/assbach/267598910/

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Shifted my focus to what I love Photo by Derek Kearney

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Why I do what I do http://TheCreativeDose.com/

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Intro The State of the Union

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What’s our most important tool for creating? http://www.flickr.com/photos/drachmann/327122302/

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This one! http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APSM_V14_D495_Side_view_of_the_brain_and_spinal_cord.jpg

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Bureaucracy http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4749431435/

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Clients http://www.flickr.com/photos/clairity/154640125/

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Time pressures http://www.flickr.com/photos/indraw/4857101224/

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Mentally overwhelmed http://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/__62375#img9

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Oppressed http://www.flickr.com/photos/johannahobbs/2412291551/

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“Houston, we have a problem…” http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:S70-34902.jpg

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When we are in the creative flow http://www.flickr.com/photos/myfear/289257055/

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We are alchemists http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Faust_image_19thcentury.jpg

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“Creativity is newness produced.” Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds

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It feels like http://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/2761300969/

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“Creativity is magical, but it is not magic.” Dr. Charles Limb, Your Brain on Improvisation TED talk

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“Creativity is all about making connections and seeing patterns.” Bruce Nussbaum,Creativity Intelligence http://www.flickr.com/photos/kosmotesto/3794445313/

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1 Emancipate 2 Our Goals Adjust 3 Practice Discipline 4 Generate & Execute

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1 Emancipate

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Mass hypnosis https://www.flickr.com/photos/yxelle/5806302053

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Habits and thinking to quit http://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/4170136164/sizes/l/

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Distractions http://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksherman/529178002/

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Multitasking is multi-taxing http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/3041235238/

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Zeigarnik Effect http://www.psychwiki.com/wiki/Zeigarnik_Effect

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Communication addiction http://www.flickr.com/photos/andersdenken/2082816707/

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Intermittent reinforcement http://www.flickr.com/photos/jepoirrier/422469526/ | http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristoferbjorkman/6910216819/ | http://www.flickr.com/photos/foreignoffice/2671039488/

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Internalized the critical voices http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeapalooza/553545517/

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Become monsters in your head http://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/4887528060/

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Instead of Creativity Source: Flickr

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Destructivity http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevygee/3265941065/

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All due to Your Inner Critic https://www.flickr.com/photos/acerriteno/3484093813/

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( p.s. *Everyone* has these thoughts) Photo: Denise Jacobs

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“If your demons are such that they fill the room the instant you contemplate creating, your studio will be too dangerous a place to enter.” Eric Maisel, author of Fearless Creating

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How to ID your Inner Critic http://www.flickr.com/photos/lambdachialpha/203904103/

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“I should have done more by now…” http://www.flickr.com/photos/automania/126698126/

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“They’ll find out I’m a fraud”

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vs. “NAILED IT!” https://www.flickr.com/photos/paul-drummond/3946893897

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“It needs to be FLAWLESS” http://www.flickr.com/photos/diepuppenstubensammlerin/7648792510/

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“I’ll do it tomorrow…” http://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/

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Fears! https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom_lin/3193080175/

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Fear of failure http://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717325940/

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F.E.A.R. = http://cdnpix.com/show/imgs/7a361666e107cd36656d5a66ea2e4e80.jpg

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Or… https://twitter.com/Phishtitz/status/474661495935365120

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“Fear is not real. It is a product of the thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.” - character of Cypher Raige, After Earth http://culturecatch.com/files/images/after-earth.jpg

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Hack >> Become a Fear Alchemist http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joseph_Wright_of_Derby_The_Alchemist.jpg

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“The goal is to manage anxiety so that our energies are used for the productive and satisfying (act) of creating, rather than the destructive and debilitating art of self-torture.” Clare Warmke, Idea Revolution

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Banish Your Inner Critic! https://www.flickr.com/photos/31505964@N08/4691019168/

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“The parts of your brain that are responsible for self-monitoring are literally turned off during creative endeavors….Creative people have mastered the art of turning off [the inhibitive] part of their brains to let their ideas flow more smoothly, unleashing their imagination.” Tina Seelig, InGenius

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Hack >> Say NO to Comparisons http://www.flickr.com/photos/suvodeb/2559017400/

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“You cannot compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.”

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(Btw, this your new mantra…) http://www.spunkysapphire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/photo-1-e1406074730116.jpg

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Hack >> Know the Impostor Syndrome Paradox http://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/2279939232/

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You will only experience impostor syndrome when you are competent and skilled. (re-read this as many times as necessary.)

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Breaking the loop

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Hack >> Reassign duty http://www.flickr.com/photos/shavawnmarie/1326123397/

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Hack >> Amp up empathy http://www.flickr.com/photos/wrote/2646295354/

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Hack >> Maintain perspective http://www.flickr.com/photos/daikrieg/1294053038/

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Hack >> Reframe #FAIL & mistakez https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/4498817330/

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“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Henry Ford

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Change your body language, change your mind http://www.flickr.com/photos/thirteenthnile/4546397775/

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“Our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior, and our behavior changes our outcomes.” Amy Cuddy, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are TED talk

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Hack >> Cop a Power Pose

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#Exercise: Power Pose Stand up. Assume a pose that embodies a sense of defeat, can’t do it, it will never work, “I suck/I’m no good/an impostor”, etc. Make yourself as small and powerless feeling as possible. Then, strike a power pose. Imagine yourself as a superhero looking off into the distance seeing your destiny of major creative butt-kicking. Alternate several times. Hold the power pose for as long as you can so that you can feel the change.

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2 Adjust

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Adjust: Train Your Brain http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarescott/3211540197/

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Left v. Right brain? http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=left%20brain%20right%20brain&order=9&offset=48#/d10qlpq

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Right hemisphere h p://www.flickr.com/photos/lorelei-ranveig/2294885580/

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Left hemisphere h p://www.flickr.com/photos/smi enki enoriginals/4451172538/

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Instead: Left + Right brain = Creativity http://www.flickr.com/photos/47691521@N07/4639590640/

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What are our brains constantly producing? http://www.flickr.com/photos/cblue98/7254347346/

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Know your Brainwaves

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Beta 13-30 cps/Hz Waking alert conscious thinking, external sensory focus, concentration. Computing, arranging, organizing, make sense of external world. Prolongation of beta can lead to exhaustion, anxiety and tension.

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Alpha 8-12 cps/Hz Alert and lucid but relaxed thought, daydreaming, light meditation, internal focus, receptive state, visualization, creativity, accelerated or superlearning, increased serotonin levels.

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Theta 4-7.5 cps/Hz High states of creativity, subconscious creativity, deep relaxation/ meditation, intuition, long-term memory, vivid visual imagery, creative inspiration, free idea flow, REM dream and deep sleep.

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Delta 0.1-4 cps/Hz Intuition and insight, transcendental meditation, physical rejuvenation and healing, expansive awareness. Most often found in deep dreamless sleep and unconscious states.

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Gamma 31-120 cps/Hz Hyper brain activity and alertness, aha moment, super clarity, above average integration of sensory information, euphoria, sometimes anxiety.

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Alpha: the gateway to creativity

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#Exercise: Enter Alpha Close your eyes and relax. Breathe through your nose. Now place your tongue at the roof of your mouth, turn your eyes towards the ceiling underneath your eyelids. Take several deep, long breaths. As you relax, you are changing your brainwaves from Beta to Alpha.

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Explains everything

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Hack >> Breathe to refocus http://www.flickr.com/photos/guiniveretoo/1573049301/

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Hack >> Be prone https://www.flickr.com/photos/travalicando/125934143/

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Hack >> Showers http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3761878381/

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Hack >> Space out/Daydream h p://www.flickr.com/photos/frinthy/4680321558/

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Hack >> Get physical http://www.flickr.com/photos/miguel77/2728104156/

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Makes a HUGE difference

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“When your brain is supposedly doing nothing, it’s really doing a tremendous amount.” Marcus Raichle, Neurologist

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Intend Alpha http://uniteunderfreedom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Brain-waves.jpg

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3 Practice Discipline

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Exercise Discipline http://www.flickr.com/photos/bizz0k0/3432638748/

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Focus on meaningful tasks http://www.43folders.com/2008/09/01/what-are-you-doing

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Show up everyday http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8064533288/

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And really commit to it http://www.flickr.com/photos/deathtogutenberg/2976274920/

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Hack >> Delegate http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/3645313261/

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Freed me up

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Delegation works

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Clean-up habit fields http://www.flickr.com/photos/risager/3452272176/

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Habit what? http://alistapart.com/article/habit-fields

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Hack >> Habit field reboot Clean up your work habit field by following the suggestions in the article “Habit Fields” by Jack Cheng. Create your equivalent of a “distraction chair” and move to it when you feel like you are inclined to surf the web, email, Tweet, Facebook, or engage in any other computer-related distraction. When you are ready to work again, come back to your desk. Rinse and repeat until your work habit field is clear again and no longer fuzzy.

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Manage time http://www.flickr.com/photos/paolocampioni/2168286027/

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Single-task http://www.flickr.com/photos/33498942@N04/6009639079/

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Say NO to Distractions http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideon/6582069/

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Added bonus

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Aids for digital blocking Tools RescueTime.com HeyFocus.com Browser Extensions Google Chrome: Strict Workflow StayFocusd Firefox: LeechBlock Idderall

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Hack >> Pomodoro Technique http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucamascaro/4975166968/

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Hack >> Airplane/Do Not Disturb mode http://www.flickr.com/photos/pieterouwerkerk/699475144/

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4 Generate & Execute

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Generate: Start the flow of ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/international-festival/3018718331/

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Start with what’s there

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Everything is a Remix “Mona Lisa” by Paul Giovanopoulos, http://www.giovanopoulos.com/

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Hack>>Get your Remix on! http://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4812026355/

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Hack >> Create constaints http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielsilliman/4489863368/

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Generate ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/kathb/3933087930/

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Capture ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosengrant/3637839874/

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Embrace disruption Photo: Denise Jacobs

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Write them down http://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinator/2826079915/

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Sketch them out http://www.flickr.com/photos/eoze04/4890376021/

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Talk them out (& record it) http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/3641402489/

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Gather and curate your ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/gmanviz/3181410714/

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Tools to do so Evernote Pinterest.com Delicious.com Flickr.com Gimmebar.com Dropr.com Trello.com Diigo Tumblr Vi.sualize.us

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“Creativity is more than a great idea, it’s the determination to see the idea through to fruition.” Clare Warmke, Idea Revolution

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Prototype http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindmob/292609444/

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Iterate http://www.flickr.com/photos/deliciousblur/4165405018/

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The d.school production-iteration process •  •  •  •  •  •  Observe Suggest Tinker Review Apply feedback Reiterate

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The stage is set for Flow http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgeithner/5290115839/

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How do you get there?

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All of the previous steps lead you here: •  Concept in mind: know what you want to achieve and what it looks like •  Practice in place •  Cleared space •  Time carved out and distractions eliminated •  Necessary materials on hand

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The Flow “Afterglow” http://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzylittlemanpeach/4633972431/

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Epilogue Liberation

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Previously http://www.flickr.com/photos/generated/2084287794/

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Moving forward http://www.flickr.com/photos/pulpolux/3317141795/

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(Re)Gain Creative Confidence http://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055807492/

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“…the confidence that, when given a difficult problem, we have a methodology that enables us to come up with a solution that nobody has before.” David Kelley of Ideo

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What you produce is unique

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Hack your habits >> Different Results http://starchild07.deviantart.com/art/Brainwaves-44238823

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Practicing different habits >> Transform your life

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“Creativity makes day to day experiences more vivid, more enjoyable, more rewarding. When we live creatively, boredom is banished and every moment holds the promise of a fresh discovery.” Mihali Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity

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Let out all of your great ideas http://www.flickr.com/photos/anieto2k/8156999698/

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Get your creativity hack on! http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibi/5448158773/

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The End…? (or is just the beginning?) http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/232100469/

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My upcoming book! Banish Your Inner Critic 26 Effective Techniques for Unleashing Productive Creativity DeniseJacobs.com/InnerCritic

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THE CREATIVE DOSE A Creativity + Innovation Collective Work Better. Create More. Create Betterness. Creative Thinking & Problem-solving Creative Collaboration & Innovation Mindset Team Communication & Cohesion Speaking Skills & Executive Coaching TheCreativeDose.com @thecreativedose

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Connect, Chat, and Collaborate! DeniseJacobs.com à Sign up on my mailing list here! denise@denisejacobs.com twitter.com/denisejacobs facebook.com/denisejacobsdotcom slideshare.net/denisejacobs Photo used with permission: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aarronwalter/4629078087/

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GET the Slides! Creativedo.se/wd15-htcb

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Thank you! http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/4759535970/

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