In case you haven’t heard the expression, a Blue Sky Hour is a way of referring to time spent brainstorming — fleshing out an idea or thinking about some new things to try or directions to consider.
The next time you have a Blue Sky Hour, try using it to think and listen to your internal muse, and take notes on possibilities that occur to you.
Or you could:
1. Write a shitty first draft. In Bird by Bird, author Anne Lamott first introduced her readers to this notion. Writing the first draft is always the hardest part. Changing your environment from your office, or home, to your coffee shop, can sometimes be helpful trick to push out that first draft.
2. Figure out which two or three items on your lengthy “To Do” list that you can actually accomplish this week.
3. Draft your imaginary TED Talk. Tell your audience about the thing that you feel most passionately about. You’re the expert and they will be on the edge of their seats.
4. Pull out the book on your bedside table and read a single chapter.
5. Suppose June was your last month on this earth. What special activity would you do that you wouldn’t normally do?
6. Draft a poem, lyrics to a song, or a speech for your upcoming conference.
7. Drink your coffee or tea while you sketch what you see out the window or in the coffee shop.
8. Make a list of five lives you would live if you could do anything.
9. Make a “jealousy map” as author Julia Cameron suggests in her book The Artist’s Way. In an effort to channel your jealous in a productive way, you make a list of the people who make you feel jealous or envious. Along with the names, you list the specific reasons for your feelings. Once you’ve completed your list, Cameron suggests that you look at the reasons and consider actions that you could take to bring you closer to the traits that you admire.
10. If none of these ideas appeal to you, how would you spend an hour “blue skying” ideas without letting your inner critic shut you down?