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As entrepreneurs, our minds are usually on the hunt for creative ideas. Here are some life hacks I’ve found that have boosted my creativity and helped me with burnout.
1. Jedi Council
I don’t know which is better — superficial, surface-level contacts with a bunch of random people versus a few deep connections with the ones that interest you the most. But I know that you need to communicate with different, diverse individuals and step out of the bubble which we all create for ourselves.
This is where the idea of a “Jedi Council” comes in. Once a week or two, call those who are interesting to you. Maybe you saw the person at a gathering in Moscow, or at a conference in Miami. But even if you’ve only met them once, they helped you to gather some new thoughts. Fortunately, you can just call and chat. You lose nothing because you call on your free time, but be open to gaining valuable insights and a different perspective.
Here are a couple of questions that help to get a constructive discussion going:
• Tell me the last project idea that came to your mind.
• If what you do for a living ceased to exist — what would you do then?
• What is the main issue in your work, which often infuriates you, but you have to do it.
2. A planned accident
My brain, like the brain of any person, loves to invent habits for itself. Therefore, if you don’t give yourself new challenges, your brain will turn your whole life into a habit and rot.
Therefore, sometimes I arrange weeks without habits for it — when I do not repeat anything that I did. I don’t eat the same food, I don’t buy the same beer but the funniest and most useful thing turned out to be changing my transportation habits. Instead of using the car, take the metro, go by bus, the next day call an Uber, then steal an electric scooter from a colleague and ride it. My brain has been revitalized through this experience shift.
3. Do nothing.
If you don’t know what to do, do nothing. But really, nothing — do not deceive yourself. Don’t scroll the Instagram feed, don’t watch popcorn serials on Netflix, do absolutely nothing at all. Lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling.
Don’t try to think about something or go through dialogues in your head. You are only allowed to look at different objects in the room (without thinking about them) and change the position to make yourself more comfortable.
Congratulations, you are meditating.
The secret is that in the end, you won’t succeed. But your brain will be allowed to take a moment and breathe. And so many new thoughts will run into your head just to fill it up with something, anything. You will just have to get the most useful ones and write them down. That’s what this time is for.