I’ll have a 'P' please Bob

Unfortunately, this article isn’t about Blockbusters the brilliantly creative hexagonal game show of the 80’s hosted by Bob Holness. But, it is about words beginning with P that will help you get into a creative mind-set. (I may write an article about Bob at a later date if you were disappointed).

Over many years I have read and researched different mindsets that help switch on peoples creative modes. I made huge lists, thought a lot, brainstormed and then I came to the conclusion that there are literally hundreds and thousands of different ways people tap into their creativity. Because, people find ways that work well and not so well for the individual depending on how they think best. And I am sure everyone, including you, has their own unique way of getting into ‘the zone’.

Here are my four words beginning with P that I find really help me shift out of everyday logical thinking and step into a creative space.


The state of being present

You know that feeling when one hour feels like 5 minutes? Well, that is the feeling of being present or in ‘flow’. Mihaly Csikezentmihalyi, a psychologist and expert on creativity says ‘Flow is an almost automatic, effortless, yet highly focused state of consciousness’.

So, Distractions of technology beeping or multitasking other projects at the same time as thinking creatively makes it really hard, if not impossible for you and other people to get really good ideas.

3 tips to getting present:

  • Focus on the problem

  • Remove irrelevant distractions

  • Turn off your mobile alerts. Emails can wait.

Side note: Ironically, when writing this article I got distracted by myths about Bob Holness



The state of being positive

We all know positivity makes the world a nicer place, right? Well, it is really important to keep things positive when thinking creatively. Whether it is your internal critique saying ‘all my ideas are rubbish’ or when someone metaphorically cr*ps all over someone else’s idea, they are all really unhelpful and can stop the creative juices flowing instantly. Be nice to yourself and others and think positive.

3 tips to getting positive

  • Ignore your inner critique

  • Build on ideas

  • Say yes and …



To continue steadfastly on some state of purpose or cause of action

Creative thinking isn’t a talent only some lucky people are born with. It is a switch in behaviour and how you see things. You can turn it on and off. But I know it can also dim, especially when you feel like you need to replace the bulb. Take a little break but persist with it – keep up with the other behaviours and techniques. The best idea might be patiently waiting around the corner.

3 tips to getting persistent

  • Keep going

  • Keep going

  • Take a break and keep going.



Full of play or fun and pleasantly humorous

Ok, now this is cool. Creativity researcher Bob McKim developed an exercise where some adults were asked to quickly sketch the person next to them. Upon completion they were asked to show their muse. The typical reaction was nervous laughter and apologies. The same exercise was done with kids and they happily showed their masterpiece. As we grow up we become more sensitive to the opinions of others, and the freedom to be playful and creative is replaced with self-consciousness and fear of embarrassment. It’s time to switch it back and play.

3 tips to getting playful

  • Ignore the rational
  • Throw reasoning out the window
  • Embrace your inner 8 year old

In summary practice those P's and get present, positive, persistent and playful when switching on your creative mode. 

And, if you have any more P's that you practice to get creative do let us know in the comments below.