Tag Archives: habits

5 Ways to Spark Your Creativity

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Feeling stuck or mentally blocked? I find that there are a number of ways that help me get the creative juices flowing.

Here are my top 5 tips to stimulating the creativity muscle:

1) Spend time in silence

I meditate most days and even spend time driving around in my car in silence. Stopping for a few moments and taking a break from absorbing information or concentrating on a project really helps me open up to new ideas and methods for tackling a project.

2) Writing

I use Julia Cameron’s technique of writing morning pages each day to clear out the mental junk in my head and open up space for creativity. Check out the “Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron for more information.

3) Having Great Conversations

This is a really helpful practice to getting you inspired and energized. I find that if I’m feeling blocked, and I have a great conversation with somebody, I immediately benefit from the inspiration and ideas that come to me. My 30 day challenge idea came from a great conversation.

4) Cross functional activities

If you focus too much on one area, you’ll find that your creativity is limited. Try exposing yourself to new books, activities and people. I got really into rock climbing last year, and it was a fantastic way for me to learn about myself and also think about things differently.

5) Read good books

I usually read a lot of non-fiction but recently I started reading more literature. I finished “Pride and Prejudice” and now i’m working on “The Great Gatsby”. Good books are awesome at stimulating the brain in different ways.

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Start a 30 Day Challenge

I had lunch with my good friend Alicia yesterday who was telling me about her recent commitment to 30 day challenges. I was immediately intrigued by the idea. I’d heard about lot’s of 30 day challenges for a wide variety of things including yoga, weight loss, reading and goal setting.

Alicia’s commitment was to implement a beneficial habit, ritual or project every 30 days to make sure she kept up the momentum with her goals.

Check out Alicia’s blog at the Goldsmith Project.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to adopt the same commitment to 30 day challenges. Starting this Saturday, I am going to post new content on The Pinstriped Suit every day for 30 days. This will be a great way for me to kickstart my creative juices and get my ideas out there.

I’ll be writing about a number of different topics over the 30 day challenge including: books, marketing tips, digital marketing, goals, personal development, fashion, and inspiration.

Another brilliant idea that Alicia challenged me to do was to post my goals on the website. That way, it will keep me accountable for sticking with my intentions and moving my goals forward.

In order to put these two challenges in action, I’ve set up new pages where you can see and comment on my goals and 30 day challenges. I’m looking forward to updating all of you on how it goes and you’ll be able to watch my progress starting on Saturday.

Wish me luck!

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10 Things to Consider if You Complain About Your Job

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1) You’re getting paid.

2) If your boss is horrible to work with then it’s very unlikely that you can force them to change. Either deal with it or find a new job.

3) If you’re a professional, then it could be worse. Imagine 8 hours a day of retail instead.

4) Unless you’re a doctor, chances are that your problems and complaints aren’t about saving lives. So take a deep breath and let it go.

5) Don’t define yourself by you career. There is so much more to live for. Focus on building an amazing life in which your career is just one part of it.

6) Your friends are tired of hearing you complain about your job.

7) Although you may be at your job for money, security…etc. no one is keeping you there. You can make a decision today and walk out the door if it’s really that bad.

8) If you are overwhelmed with your work load, try getting to work really early and getting a jump on the day. Chances are, you’ll get more done before 8:00am than the whole rest of the day.

9) Get work done at work. If you have to work a lot of overtime and your complaining about it, consider what your doing during the day that isn’t giving you the time to get your stuff done. If it’s meetings, try to cut down on them. If it’s socializing, definitely eliminate the distractions. Keep track of how you’re spending your days and you might be surprised at how much time is being wasted.

10) Attitude is everything. Approach your job, career and work as if it’s the most important thing you could be doing. If you work a 9-5 job, then make that time count.  I spend time on Sundays preparing for my week. This generally includes preparing my Task lists, figuring out my schedule and also planning fun social activities during the week.

As with everything, all of these ideas are easier said than done. But definitely worth thinking about. What would you add to the list?

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Tackle your Habits with the Habit Master App

Have you ever wanted to pick up a positive habit but kept forgetting to do it? Or have you started a new diet/exercise routine and want to keep track of how many days you stick to your plan? Or how many times have you wanted to start reading a book a week but it never happens?

Well, there is a great app that does the work for you. Habit Master keeps track of your daily, weekly and monthly habits in an easy to use interface. It also keeps a record of how many days in a row you complete your habits so you can watch your progress. You can also customize your habits so that it skips certain days. For example, if you wanted to do situps every week day but skip weekends, you can customize the settings to only count the days that you want to keep the habit.

At the bargain price of $2.99, Habit Master is an incredibly inexpensive and effective way to keep you accountable and start adopting positive habits.

I started using Habit Master recently to start keeping track of all the different habits I’ve been trying to incorporate into my daily routine. This app keeps me focused on the highest priorities of my day, week and month so I spend less time on random activities . It’s also a great way to track how many days in a row you’ve been completing your habits.

 

If you forget to check off having completed a task, you can also go back and mark them off in the calendar.

 

Habit Master has been around for quite awhile but has recently increased in popularity. Habit Master is available for Iphone/Ipad and Android Devices.

The Benefits of Getting Up Early

Yesterday, I read this great article on Business Insider about the 23 Business Leaders who wake up early. I found this piece to be especially intriguing because a lot of the biographies and business books I’ve read over the years have emphasized the importance of getting up at the crack of dawn. The reason being that you end up getting ahead if you have more time to sort yourself out before you hit the ground running.

I personally like getting up early (usually 6-6:30am) because it allows me to meditate and have some time to think about the day ahead. That extra hour in the morning allows me the time to think and reflect before I get on with my day. Although I don’t get to the office super early, I do manage to check e-mails, read the news and a chapter of a business book before I head out the door.

One of the most common habits that came up in the article about early rising business leaders was exercise. Almost every business leader mentioned in the list got their exercise for the day finished up before they arrived at the office. This makes complete sense because it removes that dreaded feeling when 5:00pm rolls around when you know you should go to the gym but would rather go for a beer instead. I’m definitely going to start going to the gym in the morning to get it out of the way before my day begins.

So for all you early birds out there, good job! You’ll catch more than a worm in the long run if you keep the habit up. And for you night owls, maybe start with waking up just one hour earlier. ;)