How to Become More Creative: Practical Steps You Can Take Today

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Someday Is Today" by Matthew Dicks. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

How broad is your knowledge? Do you deliberately repurpose works that you’ve already created?

In Someday Is Today: 22 Simple Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life, Matthew Dicks discusses ways to free up time to maximize your creative potential. He specifically recommends boosting your creativity by consuming varied content and reusing your old work.

Continue reading to learn how to become more creative in these two ways.

Consume Varied Content

Dicks’s first piece of advice on how to become more creative is to consume a wide variety of content as often as you can. You’ll expand your knowledge in new directions and come up with new, unique ideas. For example, if you’re a painter, listen to a podcast about music theory during dinner. This might help you draw connections between painting and music that will inspire your next piece. Or, you might come up with a ground-breaking idea for an improv show where you and a musician perform (paint and play live) simultaneously, being influenced by each other’s art.

(Shortform note: In Building a Second Brain, Tiago Forte agrees on the importance of engaging with a variety of content to boost creativity. He explains that this practice is one of the best ways to maximize creativity because, at its core, creativity is about drawing connections between ideas, especially ideas that don’t seem to be connected at first glance. Further, research suggests that people who excel at recognizing relationships and drawing new connections between concepts are the most creative.)

Reuse Your Old Work

Second, Dicks recommends making the most of the work you’ve already created by reusing it for future projects. You can do this in three ways:

  1. Repurpose a project that didn’t work out for a different, future venture. For example, turn a painting that didn’t get accepted for an art show into an NFT that you can sell online.
  2. Use components of past projects for future projects. For example, cut the failed art-show painting into pieces and use it to make an abstract collage.
  3. Use past projects to inspire your work on future projects. For example, if one of your paintings was successful, use it to inspire a collection of similarly styled paintings.
Store and Manage Past Work With a ‘Second Brain’

In Building a Second Brain, Forte provides an organizational system to streamline the process of storing past work to reuse later—what he calls a ‘Second Brain’. The Second Brain is a digital storage system for saving important information. It has themed folders for categorizing each new piece of information you add—for instance, a folder for information relating to current goals, a folder for the information you want to save for the future, and so on.

According to Forte’s system, you’d store past work in the “archive” folder of your Second Brain and reuse it by visiting the folder each time you start a new project—either to get inspiration, repurpose old projects, or reuse pieces of past work.
How to Become More Creative: Practical Steps You Can Take Today

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Matthew Dicks's "Someday Is Today" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Someday Is Today summary:

  • Why most people delay taking action toward their dreams and goals
  • Tips for accomplishing extraordinary things in life
  • How to maximize your time, efficiency, productivity, and creative potential

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, science, and philosophy. A switch to audio books has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a creative nonfiction book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.