Creative Napping and Other Power Tools

by : LeonardoTrait

There are several "power tools" for boosting creativity, getting ideas, and staying fresh mentally. Many of these are not seen as "real" activity, and I'm on a mission to change that, because I think the world needs to know about such important activities as creative napping, the first technique I want to talk about.

**Creative Napping**

Now, when I say "creative napping," you may think of sleeping while hanging upside down from the ceiling fan. That would be creative, but I doubt it would be napping, because I'm sure the "sleeping" part would be fairly skimpy.

No, creative napping is a nap with a purpose - a nap designed to trigger creative ideas and help solve problems and provide answers.

The first step in creative napping is to know what your dilemma is - whether that is how to design the brochure you're working on, where that lost penny is in your spreadsheet, or how to help your son improve his grades at school.

Whatever this problem is, your target is a solution, or at least a few ideas, for resolving it.

Creative napping absolutely will not work if you don't know what you're trying to solve. You may wake up with some wonderful ideas, but they'll probably be things like how to add holes to cheddar cheese so it looks like swiss, or how to remove one wheel from your car and still drive.

I have written entire novels in my sleep, woken up, and realized they were absolutely horrible. Creative, but horrible.

What we want is creativity with a focus, so we end up with usable ideas.

Okay, is it time to nap now?

Not quite.

Before you nap, I'd like you to sit down with a piece of paper and write down three possible solutions to the problem, as you see them now. Think about what the real problem is, and lay out your three current best options.

Now, find a comfortable place. I don't like to use my bed for this, because I sometimes end up really falling dead asleep and not getting much creative work done. I nap in my chair occasionally, but usually on the futon in my office. It's comfortable, but not incredibly so, and if the room is too cool there's a quilt, but I'm not "in bed."

Go to your comfortable place, loosen your clothing if you need to, and simply lie down or sit back, close your eyes, relax, and allow yourself 20-30 minutes, or more if you can afford it, to float.

You may fall asleep. You may just drift. You may have some really good ideas float by. Let them float.

You are not looking for ideas. You are napping. When you wake up, the good ideas will still be there.

While I call this a "power tool," it is very different from the "power nap," where the point is to get as much rest in as short a period of time as possible. This is about relaxing and letting your creative mind do its job.

And it works.

[End of Part 1]