We’ve been talking a bit about the power of whole-brain thinking these past few weeks, and how it’s the combination of the structured left-side of the brain, with the artistic right-side, that enables you to reach your greatest heights, creatively. Of course, there are many different elements potentially involved with each side (and for a quick reminder, you can check out the original entry here). However, for a quick jump-start into the whole-brain experience, there is one fundamental element for each side of the brain that will really get things moving in that hemisphere if you’re stuck, or if you’re just looking to jack up your overall mo-jo. Here they are:
Digits; For the Left
Most of us think about the expansive, free-flowing right-brain when we think of a highly productive, creative output. This part of the mind is steeped in the inspired, intuitive aspect of the process, and it’s generally the aspect of the brain we most associate with our creativity. And yet, even when the right-brain is fully intact and productive, we can still hit a wall and either not feel especially inspired with a project, or not be able to finish one. When this happens, there’s one left-brain trick we can do to get us back into our whole-brain; add digits (numbers) to the process.
Example: if you’re working on a book or screenplay, create a deadline for when it has to be finished; challenge yourself with a certain daily quota of words or pages to complete each day; agree to working on the project for x-number of hours per day and record your progress with a stopwatch; solidify the structure of the piece by deciding on number of chapters, page count, or any other “numerical” element of the work.
All of these ideas involve some kind of numbers, and this will automatically provide additional structure to the process and create some forward motion, guaranteed. In fact, anytime I’ve made my most serious strides with practicing drums – or actually finished a manuscript of some sort – it was because there were some real numbers attached to the process.
Visions; For the Right
On the other side of the fence, there could be times when our work ethic is high and we’re on a diligent, regimented schedule of engaging our respective creative activity. And yet, maybe we’re not inspired, so we’re not doing our best work. In these cases – since our left-brain is working well – it’s time to get back in touch with some inspiring visuals surrounding the process. To use our original example of a book, you might visualize what it might look like in its finished form (including size, cover and interior layout); how it will feel in your hands upon completion; what it will be like to promote the work publicly though any of a number of different mediums; how people might (favorably) react and personally benefit from the book, etc. All of these things involve the creative, visual, right-side of the brain…the heart of your inspiration, which is where most creative things emanate to begin with.
So…add digits, and/or create a few visuals, and watch your projects expand, progress and get finished!