October 27

The Stimulus Queue

There are few things that affect your creative process more than the qual- ity of the stimuli that you allow to enter your mind. The better and more diverse “dots” you have to connect, the higher quality ideas you are likely to generate. But some people leave their raw creative inputs to chance. They read whatever comes across their field of view or spend time mind- lessly surfing the web, Instagram, or Twitter for something that sparks their interest.

As a pro, you can’t afford to leave your stimulus to chance. I recom- mend that you have what I call a “stimulus queue.” It’s a list of items that you plan to read, experience, and watch next. You might use a tool (there are any number of apps that allow you to aggregate articles from the web) or the back page of your notebook or simply keep a stack of books next to your desk. (That’s what I do, and mine is growing tall!) But the key is that you file away interesting stimuli and work through them in a processed way.

Don’t leave your stimulus to chance. Keep a stimulus queue or list of things you want to experience, read, or watch, and work through it over time.


Where will you keep your stimulus queue?

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