John Cleese's Principles of Creativity

Highlights from a presentation by John Cleese on creativity. He lays out a few principles for achieving it

  1. Got a problem? Sleep on it. Let your unconscious mind find the solution
  2. Another way to leverage your unconscious: it will keep working on tasks you've completed. When you revisit them, you'll find improvements waiting for you
  3. Avoid interruptions, they destroy flow
  4. Ideas "don't come from laptops", they come from thinking. You won't be creative if you're "running around all day, keeping balls in the air"
  5. To foster creativity you need to establish:
    1. Boundaries of space: a place where you can think without being interrupted
    2. Boundaries of time: a clear timespan during which you will think (though he doesn't explicitly say this, I've found the constraint of a deadline is a good spur to creativity)
None of this is new, but it's a good set of principles nonetheless. Here's the video.