My Two Cents
My blog about business, social media, books, life, and what matters.
One of the biggest challenges of content creation is coming up with new and engaging ideas on a regular basis. There are many tips out there, and even lists of prompts to get you thinking. But if you are able to activate three unique habits in your daily life, then you will create more and better content, with less effort. These mindset shifts make take some practice, but are so worth it!
Activate Your Inner Two-Year-Old
If you have ever spent any time with young children, you are familiar with their wonder at the world around them. They are continuously asking "why." Our tendency as adults is to slowly accept certain things as "known" and stop wondering about them.
Curiosity is a habit worth cultivating. Maintaining openness to new information will not only help you with content creation, studies show that it helps us to feel happier, achieve more, and strengthen relationships, among other things.
So how do you cultivate curiosity? Simply start asking questions. Start small with something you experience every day. For example, maybe research why dish soap is different for the dishwasher than the dish soap you hand wash with. Or read the ingredients list of your favorite food and look up one ingredient you don't recognize. Begin to open yourself up to new possibilities. Wonder about things - even things that seem obvious. You will uncover a lot of interesting things to write about or post about.
There are two parts to listening. The first is the most obvious. When you are talking to someone, take the time to absorb what they are saying rather than simply thinking about what you want to say next. Develop the skill of listening, and you will find that people are actually telling you exactly what to create content around all day long.
But there is a deeper level to the habit of listening. It is to listen when people are not talking, or when they are not talking to you. It is to listen to the sounds of life. And sometimes to listen even when there is no sound. Some examples of this:
This doesn't mean that you should intentionally snoop on conversations not meant for you or start digging through desk drawers uninvited. Rather, it is willing yourself to notice the things that other people miss.
Get Away from the Echo
This may very well be the most difficult habit to integrate. In a world that tries to figure out what we like and how we think through endless algorithms, it is easy to get stuck in a rut of information. When we start getting pre-programmed information, our creativity suffers as a result.
The first step to getting out of the echo chamber is to stop only listening to people who already agree with us. Seek out communities of people who don't share your views. Don't argue, don't get angry, simply work on developing your empathetic skills and understanding their point of view.
The second part to this skill is to make sure that you try new things regularly. Try a new hobby, go to a lunch spot you have never tried, take a chance on the new coffee shop down the street.
And finally, connect with sources and real world experiences that are outside the norm for your industry. Rather than reading another book about business, try a fiction book. Instead of digging into an online class about Facebook ads, take one about how to appreciate wine. The intersection of information, the ability to see a new angle, makes all the difference in being able to create content that is unique.