Unfolding Your Brain - AdobeMax 2013
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Unfolding Your Brain - AdobeMax 2013



Discover why at times we feel on fire with creativity — and at other times we don’t. We'll explore the neuroscience of creativity, productivity techniques, and emerging practices that spur ...

Discover why at times we feel on fire with creativity — and at other times we don’t. We'll explore the neuroscience of creativity, productivity techniques, and emerging practices that spur innovation and help our brains work best. Beware: This session challenges the standard norms for concentration, focus, and productivity and may change how you work — for the better. Presented at AdobeMax 2013.



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Unfolding Your Brain - AdobeMax 2013 Unfolding Your Brain - AdobeMax 2013 Presentation Transcript

  • UnFolding Your BrainDenise R. JacobsAdobeMaxLos Angeles, CA6 May 2013Catapult Your Creative Productivity!
  • For the TwittersI am:@denisejacobsThis fine event:@adobemax #adobemaxI’m talking about ways to:#unfoldyourbrain
  • Photos: Denise Jacobs and Stefan NietzscheSome little-known facts about me:
  • I’ve always loved to create, but…
  • But I was still afraid: am I truly creative?Photo: Denise Jacobs
  • After writing this…
  • I had an epiphanyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055814772/
  • In terms ofhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/designandtechnologydepartment/4771136128/
  • We all hold the powerhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/assbach/267598910/
  • My work: to facilitate access & processUsed with permission: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aarronwalter/4629076165/
  • IntroIs this all there is?
  • Office-boundhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stewf/393637161/
  • Managers
  • Bureaucracyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4749431435/
  • Adds up tohttp://www.toonpool.com/cartoons/__62375#img9
  • Oppressedhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/johannahobbs/2412291551/
  • “Houston, we have a problem…”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:S70-34902.jpg
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/plindberg/33867829/Most important tool for creativity?
  • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APSM_V14_D495_Side_view_of_the_brain_and_spinal_cord.jpgThis one!
  • Your brain’s status?
  • Because you feel like this?
  • And/or like this?http://www.flickr.com/photos/vmcamposjr/3630714365/
  • Our brains could be like this insteadhttp://3.bp.blogspot.com/-1eRPzp-nsRo/Tev0hqraxtI/AAAAAAAASDY/xs8YEgb4op4/s1600/beetle.jpg
  • When creativity is flowinghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/sgeithner/5290115839/
  • We are alchemistshttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Faust_image_19thcentury.jpg
  • And while it feels like magichttp://www.flickr.com/photos/torley/2761300969/
  • “Creativity is magical, but is notmagic.”- Dr. Charles Limb,“Your Brain on Improvisation”TED talkRemember, however
  • “Creativity is newness produced.”- Sir Ken Robinson, Out of Our Minds
  • If we understand the mechanismshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/304687602/
  • Something consistent; can be counted uponPhoto: Denise Jacobs
  • To share concepts, ideas, and tips forpractices that help to better leverageyour brain to catapult your creativeproductivity so that you can workbetter and create more!My objective:
  • To be able to reach this!http://www.flickr.com/photos/7730492@N03/4958540694/
  • Our Goals1Emancipate2Adjust3Practice4Generate5Innovate6Produce
  • 1emancipate
  • Distractionshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/nicksherman/539896911/
  • Busynesshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/wester/504925076/
  • Multitasking
  • It’s bad, mkay?http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/3041235238/
  • Zeigarnik Effecthttp://www.psychwiki.com/wiki/Zeigarnik_Effect
  • Communication addictionhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/andersdenken/2082816707/
  • Intermittent reinforcement
  • The monsters in your headhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/4887528060/
  • “If your demons are such that theyfill the room the instant youcontemplate creating, yourstudio will be too dangerous aplace to enter.”- Eric Maisel, Fearless Creating
  • “False Evidence Appearing Real”or, alternatively,“F*ck Everything And Run!”F.E.A.R. =
  • “The goal is to manage anxiety sothat our energies are used forthe productive and satisfying artof creating, rather than thedestructive and debilitating artof self-torture.”- Clare Warmke, Idea Revolution
  • Fear of failurehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717325940/
  • “An essential aspect of creativity isnot being afraid to fail.”- Dr. Edwin Land, The InstantImage: Edwin Land and thePolaroid Experience
  • Inner CriticPhoto: Denise Jacobs
  • Impostor Syndrome
  • Impostor Syndrome Paradoxhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/x1brett/2279939232/
  • Comparisonshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kharied/3315558702/
  • Procrastinationhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/irrezolut/2311904560/
  • Perfectionismhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/diepuppenstubensammlerin/7648792510/
  • Isolationhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/ktylerconk/2324862289/
  • 2Adjust
  • Train your brainhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarescott/3211540197/
  • Left v. Right brainhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/47691521@N07/4639590640/
  • Left hemispherehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/smittenkittenoriginals/4451172538/
  • Right hemispherehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lorelei-ranveig/2294885580/
  • “The parts of your brain that areresponsible for self-monitoring areliterally turned off during creativeendeavors….Creative people havemastered the art of turning off [theinhibitive] part of their brains to let theirideas flow more smoothly, unleashingtheir imagination.”- Tina Seelig, InGenius
  • Lower cognitive filtershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/wiba/483626169/
  • What are our brains constantly producing?http://www.flickr.com/photos/44568283@N02/4097561067/
  • Know your Brainwaves
  • Alpha: the gateway to creativity
  • Be mindfulhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/eldave/3065425105/
  • Engage in mindless activityhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rabi/2499381396/
  • Showershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3761878381/
  • Daydreamhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/fuzzylittlemanpeach/4633972431/
  • Get physicalhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/miguel77/2728104156/
  • “When your brain is supposedlydoing nothing, it’s really doing atremendous amount.”– Marcus Raichle, Neurologist
  • Unplug and take“Lo-fi” timehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/2682666460/
  • Leverage biophiliahttp://www.flickr.com/photos/verifex/3782787057/
  • Thoughts on fearhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZIt20emgLY
  • “Fear is not real. It is a product ofthe thoughts you create. Do notmisunderstand me. Danger isvery real. But fear is a choice.”- character of Cypher Raige(played by Will Smith), AfterEarth
  • Become a Fear Alchemisthttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joseph_Wright_of_Derby_The_Alchemist.jpg
  • Negative Stress > Eustresshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/avantgame/2323853965/
  • Reframe #FAILhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/laughingsquid/2717326642/
  • Take ourselves less seriously
  • Laughter heals fears (& activates R-brain)http://www.flickr.com/photos/lanchongzi/3545537282/
  • 3Practice
  • Exercise disciplinehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/supersonicphotos/5300957205/
  • Focus on meaningful taskshttp://www.43folders.com/2008/09/01/what-are-you-doing
  • Show up everydayhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/eliseporter/2315794956/
  • Clean-up habit fieldshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/risager/3452272176/
  • Habit what?http://alistapart.com/article/habit-fields
  • Manage timehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/paolocampioni/2168286027/
  • Say NO to Distractionshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/gideon/6582069/
  • Single-taskhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/33498942@N04/6009639079/
  • RescueTime.com
  • GetConcentrating.com
  • Pomodoro Techniquehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lucamascaro/4975166968/
  • Airplane modehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pieterouwerkerk/699475144/
  • Delegatehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/3645313261/
  • Work standing uphttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rknight/2645099486/
  • Why? Becausehttp://www.medicalbillingandcoding.org/sitting-kills/
  • 4Generate
  • Start the flow of ideashttp://www.flickr.com/photos/international-festival/3018718331/
  • Look for problems to solve (or create them)http://www.flickr.com/photos/argonne/4441693270/
  • Art students were given 27 eclectic objects and were instructed to select afew and arrange a still life and draw it. Some examined relatively fewobjects, outlined their idea swiftly, and moved quickly to draw their stilllife. Others took their time: handled more objects, turned them this wayand that, rearranged them several times, and needed much longer tocomplete the drawing.It appeared as if the first group was trying to solve a problem: How can Iproduce a good drawing? Whereas the second was trying to find aproblem: What good drawing can I produce?The problem-finders’ drawings had been ranked much higher in creativitythan the problem-solvers’. Ten years later, the problem-finders had allgone on to be professional artists, while the problem-solvers had left theart world.Another decade later, the problem-finders were “significantly moresuccessful — by the standards of the artistic community — than theirpeers.”A study on problem-finding and creativity
  • Create a inspiring macro environment
  • Inspiring micro-environmentshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/info_grrl/6162309101/
  • Change environmentshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/yourdon/3475417696/
  • Start generatinghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kathb/3933087930/
  • Capture ideashttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rosengrant/3637839874/
  • Write them downhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/caitlinator/2826079915/
  • Sketch them outhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/eoze04/4890376021/
  • Talk them out (& record it)http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/3641402489/
  • Embrace disruptionPhoto: Denise Jacobs
  • Gather and curate your ideashttp://www.flickr.com/photos/gmanviz/3181410714/
  • EvernotePinterest.comDelicious.comFlickr.comTrello.comZootool.comGimmebar.comDropr.comDiigoTumblrImgspark.comScrnshots.comVi.sualize.usEmberapp.comTools to do so
  • 5Innovate
  • Do it with othershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/u-suke/5668302030/
  • Immerse yourself in diverse environmentshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/shirinwiniger/3680885289/
  • Avoid samenesshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/dahlstroms/3774973833/
  • Incubate to generatehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/strawberrymaya/480057790/
  • The source of great ideashttp://www.flickr.com/photos/librarianavengers/2495352933/
  • Brainstorminghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/andymangold/4455910733/
  • Bring brilliance togetherhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/argonne/4436484250/
  • Invite others to wonder with youhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jakecaptive/47065720/
  • Share ideashttp://www.flickr.com/photos/dcmetroblogger/3861295403/
  • Share mistakeshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/neilt/26322670/
  • Co-work to collaboratehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/coffeemick/5106610355/
  • Engage in parallel playPhoto: Denise Jacobs
  • Improvisationhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/roel1943/5740295789/
  • Plus ithttp://www.flickr.com/photos/66568868@N00/6032481145/
  • Proper tools to capture ideasPhoto courtesy of Post-it Brand & 3M
  • 6Produce
  • Tinkerhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/kenturamon/83083170/
  • Prototypehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/mindmob/292609444/
  • Iteratehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/deliciousblur/4165405018/
  • •  observe•  suggest•  tinker•  review•  apply feedback•  reiterateThe d.school production process
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/myfear/289257055/The stage is set for Flow
  • Flow?
  • •  Concept in mind: knowing what youwant to achieve and what it looks like•  Necessary materials on hand•  Cleared space•  Time carved out and distractionseliminated•  Practice in placeAll of the previous steps lead you here:
  • EpilogueLiberation
  • Previouslyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/generated/2084287794/
  • Moving forwardhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pulpolux/3317141795/
  • (Re)Gain Creative Confidencehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/44085287@N05/4055807492/
  • “…the confidence that, when given adifficult problem, we have amethodology that enables us tocome up with a solution thatnobody has before.”- David Kelley of Ideo…which is
  • Joyfulness in workhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/rvm_71/5011353192/
  • Ideas are on and poppin’!http://www.flickr.com/photos/7730492@N03/4957946157/
  • Cavalier creativityAleitaAndre.com
  • Change Thinking > Change Habits > Change Resultshttp://starchild07.deviantart.com/art/Brainwaves-44238823
  • Value yourself, ideas, and processhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pocait/2847866615/
  • Creativity will take off!http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Space_Shuttle_Endeavour_launches_on_STS-99.jpg
  • The End…?http://www.flickr.com/photos/imuttoo/232100469/
  • delicious.com/denisejacobs/unfoldyourbraindelicious.com/denisejacobs/creativityhabitdelicious.com/denisejacobs/brainoncreativityAlways being updated as I find new relevant articles!Resources!
  • My articles for further readingnetmagazine.com/features/four-secrets-enhancing-creative-productivityalistapart.com/articles/reigniting-your-creative-spark/alistapart.com/articles/banishing-your-inner-critic/
  • My books!The CSS DetectiveGuideCSSDetectiveGuide.comInterAct WithWeb StandardsInterActWithWebStandards.comMy chapter:“Learning with theWeb”Smashing Books #3 &#3 1/3SmashingBook.comMy chapter:“The Missing Elementof Redesign: Story”
  • Cover art thanks to Americo MoralesAmericoMorales.com
  • DeniseJacobs.comdenise@denisejacobs.comtwitter.com/denisejacobsfacebook.com/denisejacobsdotcomslideshare.net/denisejacobsYour Creativity Evangelist ExtraordinairePhoto used with permission: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aarronwalter/4629078087/
  • …for your chance to WIN one of these e-books from Adobe Press! Every survey yousubmit enters your name to win the daily grandprize - an Apple® iPod Nano®Take the SESSION SURVEY > ADOBEMAX app!
  • And finallyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/27620885@N02/2609974180/i