Try These Thinking Strategies From Different Professions if You’re Stuck

“My thinking about this case had become very uptight,” says the Dude in The Big Lebowski as he figures out that the other Lebowski kept the ransom money. If you find that line a “big mood,” in the parlance of our times, then try out these twenty-five useful thinking tools gathered from various professions.

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Organize Your Schedule by Mental State, Not by Project

If you’re struggling to get your stuff done, and finding yourself alternately antsy, distracted, and tired, then try out this alternate approach to scheduling. Writer and podcaster David Kadavy organizes his tasks based on their mental load, separating high-level creative tasks like idea generation from less taxing…

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An Art Critic’s 33 Rules for Being an Artist

Art, as we all know, is about following a set number of rules handed to you by another person. In the latest New York Magazine cover story, art critic Jerry Saltz lists 33 steps to becoming a great artist, and what’s interesting is how many don’ts he’s willing to hand out. His refreshingly specific tips are all, at…

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Make Your Own ‘Family’ Tree for Creative Inspiration

As Austin Kleon, the author of Steal Like an Artist, writes on his blog, for artists or those looking for inspiration generally, you can’t always rely on your own family, friends or upbringing to give you the tools you need. Instead, you “must establish your own artistic genealogy.”

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I’m David Raymond, Creator of Gritty, and This Is How I Work

In 1978, Philadelphia Phillies intern David Raymond put on the costume of the Phillie Phanatic, and introduced the world to one of the best-known costumed mascots in sports. After 15 years as the Phanatic, Raymond went into business creating his own mascots. And now he’s created the most instantly famous mascot in…

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Why Keiko Agena Believes Failure is Important 

Dig, if you will, this short video with Keiko Agena: actor and author of the book No Mistakes: A Perfect Workbook for Imperfect Artists. Keiko’s here to tell you why failure is important, how you always have potential, and what “no mistakes” really means.

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Kill Your Old Ideas So You Can Be More Creative

I spent ten years “writing” a TV show about Silicon Valley. I spent hundreds of hours talking about it, collecting ideas in a giant Evernote file, brainstorming the soundtrack—but not much time writing it. Because every time I thought I had a handle on it, I thought of a better version. Over the years, I adapted my…

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Find Your “Pocket of Freedom” to Make Long Commutes More Bearable

Commutes are frustrating because they make us feel like we don’t have any control. You’re either trapped on a bus or train, or trapped in a car crawling along the freeway. But if you focus on what you can control, your time heading to and from work can become the best, most enriching parts of your day.

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Marvin Gaye’s Best Creativity Tips

Marvin Gaye might have been best known for albums like I Heard It Through the Grapevine and What’s Going On, but when you look closer, you see an artist who struggled with depression who somehow found a way through that to release some of the greatest soul music to come out of Motown.

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Why You Should Skip Email First Thing in the Morning

It’s tempting to check your email right when you get into the office, but it can mess with your work flow and eat into your creative time. Here’s what we mean.

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