What’s Your Creative Rhythm? or Your M.O.?

When I talk about “creative Rhythm” I’m talking about the way you do your best work. How you honor your own natural instincts, your own rhythm, your Modus Operandi.

Your M.O. is your Modus Operandi.

Modus Operandi is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as method or mode of operation. Habits of working, particularly in the context of business, but also more generally.

Are you honoring your Creative Rhythms? Your MOs?

At my First Grade conference my mom was told

“We love Kelly. She’s always happy and involved in a lot of things. We always know where to find her because of the mess surrounding her.”

Guess what. Nothing has changed. My MO was an “active girl.” Now I’m an “active woman.”  Not in the sense of being caught in the “cult of busy” but in that “I have so many fun things going on I don’t know what to do next!”

But knowing what my M.O. is doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges. Society doesn’t always see my style as positive.

I might be seen as

…impulsive, flighty, can’t seem to settle on one thing. She has too many projects going at once and doesn’t have a steady job history. She tends to procrastinate and wait ’til the last minute.

OR as:

…spontaneous, interested in what’s going on around her. She’s creative, an idea factory, and always has lots of irons in the fire. As a result her career and experience is rich and varied.

She doesn’t dive in immediately, but works in her head, in her journal, in her sleep, and in the shower, and then, when time is of the essence, SHE GETS IT DONE! Edits the work, and voilà! Job well done.

I’ve struggled with this issue. Bosses can’t see that you’re “working in your head.” I’ve had conflicts with a business partner because she didn’t understand my “work style.” And don’t get me started on cleaning house!

Then in 2008 during Martha Beck Coach Training I was introduced to the Kolbe Action Modes. And it allowed me to, for the first time, know how to DO MY BEST WORK!

“The Kolbe A™* Index/Instinct Test is a graphical representation of an individual’s instinctive method of operation, or modus operandi (M.O.). The numbers in each Action Mode represent different points on a continuum, rather than relative values. Each point on the continuum indicates a positive trait. There is no such thing as a negative or “bad” Kolbe Index result.”

Four Action Modes®*

  • Fact Finder – the instinctive way we gather and share information.
  • Follow Thru – the instinctive way we arrange and design.
  • Quick Start – the instinctive way we deal with risk and uncertainty.
  • Implementor – the instinctive way we handle space and tangibles.

Turns out I’m a 5-4-8-3: 5 (Fact Finder), 4 (Follow Thru), 8 (Quick Start), 3 (Implementer)

Here’s some of the advice it gave me in the report:

  • Communicating requires conative action

  • Ad lib. Improvise. Do presentations with only bottomline notes. Over preparing takes you out of your stride. Say it rather than write it.
  • Don’t get caught up in the mechanics of a presentation. You are able to read audiences well, but following a script or getting locked into an audio-visual format limits your ability to go with the flow.
  • Communicate your goals to others so that they may buy in; they need to know where you are heading.
  • Recognize that others need to put your brainstorms into context: those with more Fact Finder need details and those with Follow Thru intensity need to put your brainstorms into context.
  • Your forte isn’t in doing Implementor demonstrations, though you may enjoy using props to show a craftsperson what you want.
  • Humor goes a long way in bridging conative gaps. Communicate the commitment you are willing to make and the talent you offer without placing a value judgment on either yours or others’ forms of contribution.

It told me that I do my best work – that my MO – was to let ideas simmer, to percolate, and to do them when the time is right. (Notice I didn’t say “at the last minute”) Now I enjoy the extreme focus I get when I’m in “flow” on a project, not the built up stress of “shoulds” I used to put on myself…

This is what I mean when I talk about your CREATIVE RYTHM. What’s yours? What is your MO??

* Click this link to find out more about the Kolbe A™ Index and explore all the other “Science of Human Actions, Reactions & Interactions” at Kolbe.


Note for our So, do it! Salon members:  This is our topic this week.

Those of you who have the PLUS, or PLUS PLUS Salon Packages should have already gotten your Kolbe A Index. If you haven’t let me or Melanie know in a direct message here or by emailing hello@sodoitsalons.com

The rest of you are always welcome to to upgrade to either the PLUS or PLUS PLUS packages at any time. They both include the Kolbe A assessment and one-on-one time to work on your project.

Again, contact Melanie at hello@sodoitsalons.com and she’ll make it happen!

How Creative Rhythm Planning Works

Design INTENTIONAL PLANNING Practices

There are two things we know for sure:

1. Energy flows where your attention goes.
2. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not real. (thank you Marie Forleo!)

By using the concept of “planning with intention” we are making a conscious decision where our attention goes. By doing this, we’ll will reach our goals and have more time for our creative pursuits. Here are a few ideas. Identify what will work for you.

Commit to INTENTIONAL PLANNING sessions

Weekly.

Pick a consistent day/time to look at the week ahead.

  • Sunday evenings work well… or Monday mornings. How about end of the day on Friday? The important thing is to make it a habit by finding a time that works for you.
  • Put it in your calendar.

Daily.
Plan tomorrow at the end of today.

  • Increase your success by ending each day with a short time to look – with intention – ahead to the next day.
  • Schedule it. Again, write it on your calendar

“The Intentional Planning workshop was great.  I wished we would’ve had more time or that there would be a part 2!  I really like Kelly’s approach to planning.  I’m enjoying the planner. And I’m excited about journaling.  I call it my “5 Minute Journal.”  I set a timer for 5 minutes (at least 1x day) and just write.  When the timer stops, I stop.  ”
– Shelley Gilbertson

Long term.

In addition to short-term planning, long-term planning is key to staying on track.

Start with an Annual plan, a Manifesto or a Vision Board.

Identify you areas of focus for your year. I used to do 10 – but I’ve narrowed my focus to 6!. The 3 areas you want to focus on in your PERSONAL life and the 3 focus areas in your WORK life.

“If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.”  — Einstein

Write your areas of focus somewhere prominent – like in the beginning of your paper planner – and then “picture it” – create a visual representation of your focus areas. Again, do this right in your planner so you can review it every day.

These appointments are as important as any other.Put all of your INTENTIONAL PLANNING sessions in your calendar as appointments with yourself.

Weekly INTENTIONAL PLANNING sessions.

Manifesto

Each week, start by re-visiting your personal manifesto – written and visual. Are you limiting yourself to your chosen 6 areas? Peter Bregman, Author of 18 Minutes, says to make sure that 95% of your time is on what I’m calling your “manifesto.” Let the remaining 5% be for the stuff that comes up in life.

By keeping your own personal manifesto in the front of your mind, you will more easily stay track.

Get your own Creative Rhythm undated Planner here.

 

Or click here to download a sample and try it for yourself! CreativeRhythmPlanner Pages