Charge your day with creative daily routine (creativity exercise)


There are those days, especially in winter (when most of the days are short and dark) that you think “I just don’t feel like doing anything creatively today – there’s too much other stuff I need to do”. And what happens is that you don’t feel like doing anything at all! Hence, if we set the right intention for the day and start our morning routine in meaningful way, which can influence the tone even for the weak ahead, it’s a worth of try to do something in the morning that can boost your creativity and get your productive flow running.

For me is to have a fruit bowl in the morning, followed by a half an hour yoga session. I never skip breakfast, but sometimes I’m just too lazy (I admit! 🙂 ) to get on my yoga mat and start stretching, but even in those mornings I try to convince myself how good I will feel afterwords – energetic and motivated.

Because, if we don’t do what helps us to start our day right, then whole day can be a waste of time and energy.

This exercise I’m suggesting will help you figure out what’s important to you and how to incorporate that in your productive day:

  1. Describe how looks like your typical morning: what you do, how you do it; estimate the time between getting up and starting your work day (half an hour, hour, two hours?). Write everything: how you feel, what you do, what you like about it, what you don’t like about it. Write it in a form of free writing or you can write a poem – it doesn’t matter: just get it out what’s on your mind.
  2. Now, turn the page and try to remember how looked like the morning of your exquisitely productive day: what did you do, how did you feel, what was essential for that productive day – write everything down.
  3. Compare: is there anything missing in your typical morning routine comparing to one of the extremely productive day? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you need extra help around the house errands? Do you skip your workout? Notice that one key element and think of ways to incorporate more of that in your typical mornings. Don’t try to change everything, just one thing – start small and see how that affects your productivity.

By being mindful about your morning routine and applying small changes can help us get those small increments in our productivity that can turn our day from boring to fabulous – give it a try.

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In between rhyme (creativity exercise)

mridhaThe Greek philosopher Aristotle, was originator of  advanced human thinking in ancient Greek and in his book ‘On Interpretation’ he describes how words were powerful tools for his thinking – especially when words were connected to a thought he wanted to materialize, execute or one that conveys a meaning of creativity. He believed that in such way we are encouraging creativity and paving the road for possibilities to come.

In many already suggested exercises (see section ‘Write, create, innovate: exercises’) certain experiences, and the way how our senses react to environment have served as a given trigger for an emotional response that can be translated into a creative outlet.

Today, and in the exercises to come, let our focus be more on language, rhythm and melody of the words that can also train our creative thinking and especially be useful for other forms of writing.

I suggest we start with an internal rhyme like:

I try to write, remembering your kiss as you held me tight.

‘Type, type!’ I say to myself; ‘Don’t get fooled by a sentimental hype!’

So, you see the first and the last word in the stanza rhyme, giving the verses completely new feel and meaning to the written sentence.

For your exercise, you can call to mind an issue you have and pick one word of your own interest (it might be connected to a topic you are writing on, project you are working on or any other word that ‘bugs’ you somehow 🙂 Write in flow, without too much thinking – just try to follow this one simple rule; don’t pay attention to the logic or the meaning behind your verses; use simple facts about the situation, what you think, what others might think, what you could try or what you already did, what could be holding you back and other thoughts related to the issue..

This is more leisure and fun approach to brainstorming, which can be also beneficial: relaxed manner of thinking decreases tension and helps us become more open to the hidden treasures that language holds for us.

Have you already tried this exercise or something similar before? Please share in the comments below.

Catch new ideas while redefining the obvious


Through out the day we encounter many words – some we like,  some we dislike; some we even avoid to use, or we overuse. Why is that?

To every word we attach our meaning, definition and somehow just one word can influence our way of thinking and how we form opinion.

The next exercise I’m going to propose belongs to type of writing that some experts and psychologists call free writing. As in this article, author Joel Friedlander sees that  free writing:

  • is a practice that helps to liberate your writer’s voice and connects you to the vibrant stream of creativity that lies just under the surface of our ordinary thinking.
  • can be used to launch you over a writer’s block, to explore painful emotional memories, and to work out problems in a longer work. It can be used for making contact with one’s own unconscious.
  • is a simple, structured practice that is flexible and forgiving. It can be used as the base of a writing practice, or spontaneously whenever you want to go deeper into a subject.

You pick one word – it can be a word related to your current project you are working on or just some random word you find interesting, attractive or annoying. The purpose of the exercise, is in your own words to write down general definition, widely accepted meaning of the word.

Then ask yourself do you agree with given definition and give your reasons why you agree or disagree.

Afterwards continue writing what’s your own meaning, what emotions it triggers and ext.

For example, the word danger. One of the generally accepted definitions is life-threatening situation. For me, first impression is the  feeling of unease, uncertainty, fear, unpleasant surprise and losing control over situation.

You can write as long as you like. One, two paragraphs.  It’s possible that at one point you will feel stuck and think “This is stupid, it doesn’t take me anywhere!” , which is the critical point -by continuing to write, you are unlocking a new stream of ideas that otherwise you might have stopped before they had chance to get out.This type of playing with your insights, examining thinking patterns – opening the word can help you further tap into your creativity potentials. I personally find this exercise very useful – especially when it comes to writing/creating something new, from  personal perspective. It can be helpful in terms of crafting a story, poems and blog post and all you need is just one word to start.

Give it try and share your experience in the comments below.

Experiencing a creative block? Dare to compare!


Every one once in a while we face a challenging situation to solve some problem, find an answer to a question; brainstorm an innovative idea. And that got me thinking: what if we challenge ourselves even more? What would happen with our creative flow? Now, I’m not thinking about putting pressure on ourselves, yet we all know we can ‘move’ ourselves towards productive creativity through certain exercises, but creativity is still kinda unpredictable.

What I mean by challenge, I mean challenging us by comparing the problem to something else.

In poetry is very well known technique called similes. Its purpose is to compare two things, so examples of simile poems include any poem that makes comparisons using the words “like” or “as.” Two things compared don’t have to be alike (in poetry usually they are not), and they create different images in our mind, making correlations and connections that doesn’t actually exist. If we apply this to our creative thinking, we are training our creative muscle; it gives us an opportunity to conceptualize different solutions and approaches in problem solving.

Examples of similes in poetry might include something like:

Your eyes were dark as a night without moonlight.

Blank page is like an empty canvas where I paint with my words.

So next time you have trouble getting in your creative mood, try this exercise:

You write down your question/problem and try to find a simile….”My problem is like I…..and finish the sentence. The idea is here for you to challenge yourself to find a similar problem in a completely different life area.

If you have a trouble finding inspiration to start writing, for example, try to remember how it felt when you were trying something else new: a sport, travel, diet, even reading a new book, or developing a new habit? How did you manage to start a new activity? What made you want to stick to your new routine?

Write down your similes and try to analyze them. What of the written ideas you can translate in a given problem? As you brainstorm and think of your answers, probably this will trigger even some emotional response that can act like a drive for generating a flow of new ideas.

You might not get the desired outcome all at once, but using this effective brainstorming tool can distract your attention from a problem. In this way, making distance in your view, will help you get more objective and consider some approaches that might actually work.

“Collage” your way to creativity: let the rebel out!


You know those days when you have, like a hundred ideas what you would like to do, to write, but somehow you are having hard time to convey and articulate your idea? It’s there, you almost have a breakthrough but your thoughts are fast racing and nothing is coming out. Maybe we should try another way of expressing it?

In the post Organize your own creativity workshop! I propose having an inspiration box, with collected items that we like, that are inspirational to us. We can go step further and by selecting different items that appeal to us, we can try to express our idea or come up with a new one, by rearranging items in a collage.

The idea here is that we challenge ourselves, as much as a situation, a question, a problem that we have.

In this essay I came across interesting fact.The author, Marjorie Perloff states:

In the spring of 1912, Picasso pasted a piece of oilcloth printed with a trompe l’oeil chair-caning pattern to the surface of a small, oval canvas representing a still life on a café table, and then “framed” the composition with a piece of coarse rope, he was challenging the fundamental principle of Western painting from the early Renaissance to the late nineteenth century–namely, that a picture is a window on reality, an imaginary transparency through which an illusion is discerned.   For collage typically juxtaposes “real” items–pages torn from newspapers, color illustrations taken from picture books, letters of the alphabet, numbers, nails–with painted or drawn images so as to create a curiously contradictory pictorial surface.  For each element in the collage has a kind of double function: it refers to an external reality even as its compositional thrust is to undercut the very referentiality it seems to assert.  And further: collage subverts all conventional figure-ground relationships, it generally being unclear whether item A is on top of item B or behind it or whether the two coexist in the shallow space which is the “picture.”

A collage as an art form was especially popular in dada movement. Many artists used this technique to provoke their unconscious  thinking and explore metaphysical origins of reality. For example Hans Arp was famous for making a series of collages based on chance; he would stand above a sheet of paper, let squares of contrasting colored paper fall on the larger sheet’s surface, and then he would glue the squares – in any position they took by falling. Arp was interested in I-Ching fortune telling (where coins fallen by chance we interpreted for future forecasting) and he was curios what kind of visceral reaction would his art produce.

1916-dada                        Arp-gold-squares-p

Raoul Hausmann                                                     Hans Arp

So how can you use technique of collaging to exercise your creativity?

The basic idea is for you to find small items, pictures, texts and letters from newspaper –anything that moves you and that you can rearrange into your own collage poem. By collaging your items, a new reality will start to form. Prune anything you find excess and look at new relations, surprises, metaphors, combinations. Your mind will try to justify any item by its origin, position, dimension. This is an excellent exercise for your creative rebel, to shout, to say, to sing, to whisper anything in particular you can’t. Let this collage poem be the messenger of your creativity. This exercise is a fun to do in groups also, as a team building game, an exercise in leadership skills, perhaps. Possibilities are endless – don’t restrain yourself – it’s good to rebel from time to time 🙂

After Experience Taught Me by Martin Buber

Take the first two fingers of this hand;
Fork them out—kind of a “V for Victory”—

Whether there might be something whose discovery
Would grant me supreme, unending happiness.

And jam them into the eyes of your enemy.
You have to do this hard. Very hard. Then press

No virtue can be thought to have priority
Over this endeavor to preserves one’s being.


Excercise your creativity through poetry, part III


Extensive research in area of cognitive science and intellectual skills suggests that intuitive understanding of seeing problems in new ways, analytical ability and effective communication of ideas to others are strong precursors of innovative thinking. Sternberg, R. J. (1986). in “Intelligence applied: Understanding and increasing your intellectual skills” in detail covered this topic.

In other words, sometimes is easy to come up with a good idea, but how we formulate idea, how it “goes into the world” and becomes persevered by the environment, strongly influence the possibility of the idea to become viable.

In the part I and part II of these series, I offered some suggestions on generating new ideas. Hence, writing poetry makes use of all three previously mentioned intellectual skills. Poetry can help us not only with writing and coming up with new ideas but also how to present our idea, make it more attractive to our audience or clients. That’s one of the reasons why I love poetry so much: it really help us work on our confidence, on our belief that we can contribute to something greater than ourselves, that we can provide value by sharing our knowledge and passion.

So for boosting your creative flow I have a little exercise to propose:

Next time you work on new idea, project, script – write like a small presentation of your idea in the form of a poem. Then read it out loud and imagine you have to present (“sell”) your idea to someone (agent, customers, managers ext). How does it feel? Is it empowering or you sense your idea lacks something? Pay attention to your posture: does you body naturally straights up while you read and present? Or you are quailed, with shrugged shoulders, impatient to finish your reading? Are you satisfied with the outcome or you are uncomfortable and insecure? Is your idea understandable? What else you could include in your poem? What kind of reaction you would like to provoke?

Your intuitive guidance, that inner knowing will tell you are you on the right track with your idea. If it doesn’t work try again. Between the verses is your hidden treasure to perfecting your idea.

You can go step further and organize a real audience for pitching your idea-poem. Listen and watch them. Did you capture their attention, how did they react? Your idea, transmuted through poem has to provide experience, to be uplifting, different from already seen and heard.

Note down your observation and work on the refinement of your idea. It will get you closer to your desired result – where both you and your clients enjoy the fruits of your work.

Take back this virgin page

by Thomas Moore

Take back the virgin page,
White and unwritten still,
Some hand more calm and sage
The leaf must fill.
Thoughts come as pure as light,
Pure as even you require:
But oh! each word I write
Love turns to fire.

Yet let me keep the book;
Oft shall my heart renew,
When on its leaves I look,
Dear thoughts of you.
Like you, ’tis fair and bright;
Like you, too bright and fair,
To let wild passion write
One wrong wish there!

Haply, when from those eyes
Far, far away I roam,
Should calmer thoughts arise
Tow’rds you and home;
Fancy may trace some line
Worthy those eyes to meet,
Thoughts that not burn, but shine,
Pure, calm, and sweet.

And as, o’er ocean far,
Seamen their records keep,
Led by some hidden star
Through the cold deep;
So may the words I write
Tell thro’ what storms I stray,
You still the unseen light
Guiding my way.

Let your senses guide your creative spirit

That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.

                ~ Wassily Kandinsky

The idea for this creativity prompt was inspired by Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) a Russian painter. He is one of the founders of Expressionism movement and he became famous for his abstract art. Most of his paintings were influenced by the music he was listening to. Kandinsky was on quest to break the barriers between different arts and actually tried to connect them in his work. “Concerning the spiritual art” is the most influential piece that left its mark on the abstract art of the 20th century.

So, as Kandinsky was painting his music, you can go step further and write a poem influenced by the kand45music you hear. The idea is not to describe the music, but rather let yourself feel the music -take you to different place, different time. In this post, I in length elaborate the importance of finding time and place for your creative activities. Secure that peaceful moment when you are not disturbed and with calm and ease pursue your activity. Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and imagine what you hear, absorbs you like sponge and you are like water: liquid, flexible, traveling through different sounds, shapes, colors and words. Let music guide you and write without censoring, without limitation. Along the way you can sketch, you can develop your visual story…what ever feels right at that moment. There is no goal to achieve, except to escape the rational and let your inner creativity shine.

For this exercise I propose three classical pieces:

  1. Four seasons by A. Vivaldi
  2. Adagio by T. Albinoni
  3. Bolero by M. Ravel

Each piece will evoke different emotion. Don’t fight it, just let it be and surrender to it. Your creative spirit will find its way for most appropriate expression. I chose classical music with purpose, because it is believed that classical music makes you more honest with yourself, improves communication, memory and in general improves our stress levels, which is crucial for creative thinking.

You can choose other musical pieces according to your taste, as well. And please, share your experience in the comments below.

A Violin at Dusk by Lizette Woodworth Reese

Stumble to silence, all you uneasy things,
That pack the day with bluster and with fret.
For here is music at each window set;
Here is a cup which drips with all the springs
That ever bud a cowslip flower; a roof
To shelter till the argent weathers break;
A candle with enough of light to make
My courage bright against each dark reproof.
A hand’s width of clear gold, unraveled out
The rosy sky, the little moon appears;
As they were splashed upon the paling red,
Vast, blurred, the village poplars lift about.
I think of young, lost things: of lilacs; tears;
I think of an old neighbor, long since dead.

Exercise your creativity through poetry, part II

When you invite people to share in your miracle, you create future allies during rough weather.”
― Shannon L. Alder

In this post I intent to recommend some interesting writing exercises, but they are supposed to be done in groups. So grab some of your “pen-friends”, painted-cartoon-of-two-people-talking-for-kiki-by-katy-973x1024play together and see how can you inspire and help each other become more creative.

These exercises can be also performed in the business setting, they’re fun and can be a great way to break out of the ordinary working routine.

Inspired by discovered

Each of you, players, has to write down a rare fact about yourself that most people don’t know about (it can be a secret 😉 ) on a piece of paper, fold it and exchange it with others randomly. Caught by surprise about unknown facts you may find your own fountain of creativity! Write a poem about it and see where it takes you.


Let one of your friends or coworkers gesture with hands: your task is to describe what you see, what you experience and jot it down in words in the form of poem. This can be quite intriguing way of stimulating our creative capabilities, as is discussed in this article, using two hands to explain something prompts the brain to consider issues from multiple perspectives. To spice up a bit, try everything that you write to put in rhyme (in my previous post I explained the benefits of putting boundaries during our brainstorming sessions and how that can stimulate creativity further).

What’s wrong with this picture?

Visual stimulation can unleash your imagination in the most exciting ways. You can pick some random picture and each of players has to make a story in the form of poem, inspired by the picture. Afterwards, you can all debate and see whose story is the most interesting or you can take it step further and compile all stories into one: it has to be believable and follow some logical structure. It’s best suited for groups of two, three people.

With certain moderation you can use these ideas for your own creativity exercises. If you by any chance try them, share your thoughts in the comments below.

It couldn’t be done by Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
    That “couldn’t be done,” and you’ll do it.


Increase your creative potential in 3 easy steps

The unfed mind devours itself.

              ~ Gore Vidal

Is it creativity something we are innately born with or we can improve our creative skills? I would say that some people are maybe more prone to imaginative thinking and open to new ideas, but we all are creative beings. There are key creativity dimensions like knowledge, divergent thinking (cognitive style), personality, autonomy and intrinsic motivation as authors suggest in “Creative Potential and Practised Creativity: Identifying Untapped Creativity in Organizations”. In particular, research findings suggest that domain of specific knowledge is a necessary prerequisite for effective creative functioning.

In my opinion, the difference is maybe in style and tools we use to express our creativity. One of the worst things that can happen is a creativity block that we all encounter from time to time, but there are certain tricks we can apply in order to move forward with our creative thinking.

  1. Dive in the absurd

In the paper “Connections From Kafka: Exposure to Meaning Threats Improves Implicit Learning of an Artificial Grammar” authors argue that experiencing (reading, hearing or seeing) something absurd like surreal art or literature can increase pattern


recognition of association unrelated to the original meaning threat. In other words, mind always tries to justify, explain what it experiences and “nonsense” art forces mind in faster mode of thinking to recognize what body senses.

So next time you feel uninspired, give your attention to something abstract, surreal (painting, poem, novel) and let you mind drift, loosen up from everything you were trying to accomplish. Let your mind “recharge” this way.

  1. Limit your self on purpose

This might sound strange at first but when you think about it- it might be true. Often we try to find the solutions to new problems by exploring already familiar models and build our new denouement on old foundations. Furthermore, when we have to many options or resources, we try to incorporate everything and unnecessarily over-complicate solution we are seeking. When we put restrictions on what we can use and what path we should follow, it can actually boost our creative thinking. Here I suggest you improvise a bit with your solution, tackle it from different perspective and simplify your approach. It can be that final “click” you need in your mind to move thinking in right direction.

3. Play with “what if” clause

Then, return to your problem and try to look at it from  “What would happen if…. ?” point of view. According to the research, presented in paper Implications of Counterfactual Structure for Creative Generation and Analytical Problem Solving: 

additive counterfactual thinking mind-sets, activated by adding new antecedent elements to reconstruct reality, promote an expansive processing style that broadens conceptual attention and facilitates performance on creative generation tasks”

It’s a great way for creativity “spikes” that we all need when we feel stuck and lack ideas.

These were 3 easy steps that can help us ignite our creative imagination. What do you do when you feel uninspired? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Mobius Strip by Robert Desnos

The track I’m running on
Won’t be the same when I turn back
It’s useless to follow it straight
I’ll return to another place
I circle around but the sky changes
Yesterday I was a child
I’m a man now
The world’s a strange thing
And the rose among the roses
Doesn’t resemble another rose.






Excercise your creativity through poetry, part I

Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found.”

— James Russell Lowell

This post will not be reflective as the previous one, but rather fun and entertaining (I hope 😉 )

I ‘ve always been fascinated by the facts how mind works and its crcreateeative processes. Words and language are the tools we mostly use to express ourselves and it comes so naturally to us. In the same fashion, I believe that words and language can be our igniting spark to initiate creative thinking. And what about using words and language in different, innovative way? It can be beneficial for us in any case of creative process and problem solving. So here today I will share some of my ideas and little exercises I practice to start creative juices flowing.

React to given act

Remember Newton’s Third Law in physics? Every action has a reaction. That’s simply how Universe works. Thus, use the following statements to imagine a dramatic situation – express emotions, describe scenery, what each of your senses feel and try to write your story or poem. It’s a refreshing activity and your untamed imagination and power of visualization will move your creativity in positive direction.

Example statements:

You woke up alone, hurt and wet on the sand beach. What happend to you?

You heard a noise on the stairs, behind the closed door. What made that noise?

A smiling child runs into you. How do you react?

A crowd has gathered below your window. What do they want?

You are in the unknown country: nobody speaks your language, nobody understands you. How do you communicate?

The moment

Whenever you feel lack of inspiration, go back to some pleasant moment in life – something nice that you experienced for first time like first bike ride, first swim, first love, hanging out with friends, moments from your travel: those special events in your life can be an inexhaustible source of emotions for a touching poem. Re-living the moments again reconnects you with your true nature and helps you get that intensity you need to move forward with your thinking and creativity.

Acrostic alphabet

Write a poem, where the first letter of the verse in the poem spells out a word you choose, subject, message. You can go even further: write a poem where each starting letter of the line is a consecutive letter of the alphabet, from a to z.

In poetry it is called acrostic technique and poets frequetly use it while experimenting with their own writing.

Below is an example I did using acrostic technique:

Acrostic allowed animated alignment:

Bright blue bird borrows beatiful barn

“C’mere!” – Coherently cried crow, crawling cowardly!

Windy waves widely warned

X-rated xylophone:

“Yuck”- yawned yak

Zoological zodiac zen.

It’s funny what can really come out – no matter how quirky it might look and sound. Fun and humor are those additional spices that make the process of creativity even more enjoyable!

And when questions like what…? and how..? begin to bother you, remember the answer below:

O Me ! O Life! by Walt Whitman

O ME! O life!… of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I,
        and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light—of the objects mean—of the
        struggle ever renew’d;
Of the poor results of all—of the plodding and sordid crowds I see
        around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest—with the rest me
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O


  That you are here—that life exists, and identity;
  That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.