5 steps to getting creative

Creative in five steps

Opening up

For many of us, creativity is an enigma. We know the significance of it, but haven’t explored it. Luckily, creativity is not a talent; it’s a way of operating. So everyone has the ability to unleash their inner creative.

Most of us are in a closed state most of the time – it’s how we get things done. But to be truly creative, we need to be open to it. We need to be in a state of “play”. Highly creative people recognise this and are adept at maintaining an open mindset.

But how do we get there?

In his profound 1991 lecture on creativity, British comedian, John Cleese, broke it down into five steps.

1. Give yourself space.

You need to find a quiet, private place with zero distractions.

2. Allow some time.

Your inner-chatter needs plenty of it to quieten down before you can get creative.

3. Add more time.

Cleese recommends around 1.5 hours to focus on creativity – half an hour to get into the zone and an hour to get down to creative business.

4. Hold onto your confidence.

This is the single biggest killer of creative thought, so nip those insecure thoughts in the bud.

5. Don’t lose your sense of humour.

Boiled down, humour is two unrelated concepts put together to create new meaning. It helps you relax while opening you up to whole new areas of thought.


Once your time is up, you need to revert back to your closed state of mind. Why? Because open is for generating ideas and closed is for deploying them.

We’ve all had that light bulb moment, but it’s the prior preparation, brainstorms and deep creative thought that set us up for great bolts of inspiration in the shower, at the gym or over that third drink.

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