30 Ways To Create When Life Simply Isn’t Inspiring

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Who doesn’t want to see a bigger number when they open their bank statement? If you’re thinking pretty much no one, we’re on the same page. Anyone who opens a bank account starts with an amount they hope to grow at some point, right?

In order to create anything, you need two things: inspiration and time. Unfortunately, the two rarely coincide.

Life gets busy. Routines set in. But, inspiration won’t ever live on a schedule. It strikes when it feels like it. It’s like a goat on a milk stand: independent and stubborn.

In 2002 Rolling Stone interviewed Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer for Weezer. (Awesome name for a front man. Awesome band.) After years of songwriting, Cuomo discovered inspiration isn’t predictable. You don’t know when, but inevitably it shows up. Eventually he decided to wait for moments of inspiration and then pounce on them.

What Cuomo realized is that inspiration usually gives birth to ideas but rarely to execution. Execution takes time. But inspiration is momentary. It usually takes as much time to jot it down as it does for the idea to come to us.

WRITE IT DOWN.

You may not have time to fully develop your idea, but you have time to write it down.

Make a list of those things you think you might want to do. Might want to write a book? Put it on the list. Dreaming about starting that business? Add it to the list. Maybe you’re the next Rivers Cuomo, but you’ll never know if you don’t start writing.

But like a healthy diet your wife subtly yet repeatedly suggests you should be on, a list means nothing if you do nothing about it. So here’s one of my favorite tips.

TWO SONGS.

You read it right. Two songs.

Unless you’re a Marine Corps Scout Sniper doing reconnaissance, everyone has time to listen to two songs. Not everyone thinks to use that time to cultivate an idea. Grab your computer. Or your phone. Or a napkin. And just start writing.

No interruptions. No distractions.

The best place for me to find that is my car. If I get somewhere early I take out my computer and spend two songs working with focus on a goal I picked from my list. It’s hands down the most effective way I’ve learned to use my time.

You may get started and find that you have more than two songs worth of content. Congratulations, you’ve created movement, which is exactly what creativity is. Start with two and see where it goes.

TIME OUT.

Not convinced yet? Let’s break this down…

2 songs a day for 1 week = 1 whole album

1 album a week for 1 year = 52 albums

52 albums = About 2600 minutes of work on that goal

When you think of it that way, two songs could get you a long way.

It’s the same as your bank account. The only way to grow it is to make small deposits over a long period of time. Every now and then you might get a big check and it jumps a little higher than normal. That’s a great day. But for the most part, steady growth leads to solid results.

What if you started making time deposits toward that goal thats sitting on your list? You’ll start seeing results in no time. You might not have time to complete an entire idea immediately, but you have time for two songs. Tom Petty. Miranda Lambert. Wiz Khalifa. You know who gets you going. Start with a couple of their songs and see what happens.

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