Who doesn’t love the space to be creative, to ideate, to picture what could be? If only we give ourselves the freedom to break limits and move past social norms, we might finally dream up an idea that could change our lives, our business, or even the world.
All the things
Life is crazy, good, busy, hectic, fun, challenging, and everything in between. As our to-do lists continue to grow, we evaluate our priorities and often move those “important but not urgent” items further down the list. Unfortunately, this many times includes some of the most important items like dreaming, creating, thinking, and reflecting.
But what if we saw this particular list of to-dos as both important and urgent? If we started to prioritize dreaming, we might find ourselves taking action to bring a life-changing, impactful idea to life. So, how do we get started?
Finding the time and space is the first step. It comes down to treating the process of dreaming the same as any other important, urgent task:
Put it on the calendar
Take the time to create a calendar invite for yourself, giving it a title and setting the specific date and time.
Protect your time
If you had the pleasure of meeting with your all-time favorite leader or celebrity, you wouldn’t let much come between that opportunity. Treat creative time with yourself the same way, refusing to let last minute requests or distractions stand in the way.
Sometimes the best ideas come from impromptu brainstorming sessions with coworkers or unexpected rabbit trails with friends. That’s quite alright! But when it comes to your scheduled time for dreaming, thinking, creating, and ideating, come prepared. Make sure you have a physical space with no distractions and bring the utensils needed to capture your thoughts.
Take your personal preferences into consideration when choosing a space. Think through specifics like:
- Do you think best in complete silence or do you prefer music in the background?
- Are you most creative when you’re surrounded by something specific like nature, color, or artwork?
- Do your best ideas come when you’re moving around or sitting still?
- Do you like to draw on a whiteboard, write down your ideas, or talk through them out loud?
Whatever your preference, be sure to have a space (and utensils) ready to make the most of your creative thinking time.
Now that you’ve created the time and space to dream, let’s talk about the next roadblock that often prevents the what could be’s from coming to life.
Social norms, self-doubt, fear, and limitations often get in the way of our greatest ideas before we even have time to fully form these thoughts. Rather than allowing this to prevent you from following your dreams, let’s see how to say no to the negative and move forward with confidence.
When you enter into your dedicated time for dreaming, be sure to use a “yes and…” approach. The “yes and…” approach means to:
- Welcome all ideas (whether or not they seem like a reality)
- Stay positive when brainstorming
- Avoid thinking about what’s normal, possible, or even good. Simply write down and accept all ideas, knowing you’ll filter through these at a later time.
Picture what could be before thinking what should be
Many times when we see our ideas squashed, it’s because we jump to logistics, realistic thinking, and insecurities before allowing ourselves to fully dream. Give yourself the freedom to brainstorm an idea and picture the absolute best outcome you can possibly dream up. Don’t let social norms or realities stand in the way.
Next week, we’ll get to what it looks like to filter through your ideas, deciding how to move forward. For now, enjoy the freedom of simply dreaming without limitations.
As you come up with ideas, passions, thoughts, and dreams, write them down and keep them handy. You’ll need them for next week’s exercise.
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Enjoy your creative thinking time and happy dreaming!