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Today, more than ever before, we are rushing through life. We always aim to achieve more, and we seem to never be satisfied with how long it takes us to do all that. We are in a constant mode of acceleration, whether we actually do meaningful stuff or just scroll through our social feed. And it comes at a cost.

To be more creative, we need to relearn to slow down. Creativity cannot be rushed, and when we are always running forward, we are not able to experience, observe, and wonder — the ingredients from which any creation is made.

This Creativity Pack has one goal: to help us slow down if only for a limited time. We hope that this taste of a slower pace will make you crave more opportunities to go slower. Eventually, it is up to us.

before we start


If you are new to seempli, here's what you should know:

100% of our games are open-ended: they are not riddles, and so there are no right or wrong answers. The games are designed to trigger your imagination and Creativity, so whatever you make of them is just perfect!

Each game should result in something tangible you can capture: the outcome of the activity. We call these outcomes Insights. If no specific Insight type is specified, capture a photo of what you found or created or describe what you thought or felt in writing. We highly recommend saving all your Insights (or a photo of them) in an Insight Journal, so you can reflect on your creative journey (and the hours of fun you had).

Our games and activities are designed for playing more than once. In fact, each time you play, you are bound to discover and create new things. Playing with the same game again, just makes it more challenging, so you improve your creative skills by design.

And a tip dedicated to this edition:

We are so used to taking the shortest road to anywhere that we have forgotten what we might be missing. The side routes, the smaller, less-traveled ones, often hide real treasures in plain sight. We just have to look.

Taking the side roads also encourages us to look more deeply and mindfully at things, only because we are moving slower.

Now, apply this idea to whatever you do. We all have deadlines. We all have busy schedules. But sometimes, taking things slower and not rushing to the most obvious path to solving a problem, has much more significant benefit and may result in many creative opportunities along the way.

 

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in the clouds


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Let's start with the most straightforward way (and one of the most effective) to slow down: watching the clouds. Apart from a great way to relax and do something without any immediate goal, cloud-gazing is a great way to practice your imagination. The ever-changing abstract scenery is a fantastic playground for seeing things in our minds.

Find a quiet, outdoor place where you can sit (or lie down) for at least 10 minutes and do nothing but watch the clouds. Turn off your phone to avoid any distractions. Try to see things in the clouds, or just enjoy their amorphic, changing shapes.

After you've watched the clouds for a while, click the button to expose a Seed. Watch the clouds again, but now, try to capture something inspired by the Seed. Don't overthink it, and let your imagination take the lead.

in the details


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Our next game will take us to a completely different playground. Before you play, pick an object that you can observe carefully. Make sure to choose a real physical object and not a photo of one.

Now, look at the object closely for a few minutes. Play with it. Get as close to it as possible, until it looses its original context. Look for a surprising detail — something you didn't expect to see.

When you have at least one such detail in mind, write a short story inspired by it. The object you've selected can be part of the story, but it doesn't have to be. Focus on the detail itself and feel free to take it to a completely different context.

motion-less


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When we slow down and take some time to observe, we often find more than just new details — we find new dynamics. That's what we will try to do next.

Look around you mindfully. Explore your surroundings slowly. Find something still that nevertheless embodies movement. Anything goes, and this game can truly take you anywhere, so use it as an opportunity to see things differently and discover new movements in them.

Take two photographs of whatever it is you find: one that shows it in its stillness and the other that is focused on the movement it embodies.

Play again, and find more Motion-Less Insights.

safari


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To conclude the mindful observation part of this pack, let's observe an animal. Here are a few things to consider when you pick an animal to watch. First, try to select an animal you have not carefully observed before. For example, your pet is not the best choice because there is less room for surprises there. Second, prefer an animal you can see in real-life, as opposed to seeing a video of. Apart from that, anything goes. You can follow a street cat, or just watch an ant on the sidewalk. As strange as it might sound, doing so for ten minutes is more than just an exercise in slowing down — it is an opportunity for exploration and discovery.

Write down what you observed and discovered. Describe the fine details of everything you saw and thought of, even if it seems meaningless.

We started with some mindful observation games. Turning this kind of activity into a habit will increase your overall sense of well-being and ignite your curiosity and imagination. All these aspects are essential parts of being creative.

Now, let's practice slow (or slower) creation…

a grain of...


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In the next game, we move from slower observation to slower creating. Your challenge is to create something inspired associatively by the Powerless Seed. But here's the thing: whatever you decide to create must be made of some kind of grains.

Pick a grainy material (or more than one) and think how to express the Seed using this material. Try to form a vision first, and bring it to life using the grains. You can create a kind of a picture in which the grains are used as paint or a sculpture made of grains, or any other type of creation you can imagine.

slow-mo


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Our next game takes the slow-mindset from the creation process to what we create. It's time to create a slow-motion video!

For this game, you will need a camera that supports slow-motion mode. Luckily, most smartphone cameras already have this capability built-in. The video you are about to create should be inspired by the Echo Seed. Think of associations of Echo, or how to express the notion of an echo in a video. But whatever path you choose, make sure the video's low speed plays a significant part in the result. Use the slowness to bring your association to the front. Shoot a video that will not express the concept of an Echo if played on a normal speed.

letter spacing


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The next activity is really an experience more than it is a game. We all write many things during the day. Whether it is a shopping list, an email, or an important document, we focus on the content and less on the writing. In fact, we aim to write faster and get it over with.

So, let's try doing the opposite. Pick some task that involves writing something, and instead of using a keyboard, write whatever it is you need by hand. Now, let's take this game even further. Write slowly, one letter at a time. Make sure each letter is written separately, not just physically on the page. Take a one-second break between each letter. Enjoy the writing experience. Think about each and every character — don't write automatically.

Creating more slowly is a great way to enjoy the journey and not rush to our destination. This is the essence of being playful and creative.

In the last three games of this pack, we will try to bring this slower pace to our real tasks and activities and making them part of the play.

going analog


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Most of us perform a significant part of our work using digital means. Sometimes, this is just a matter of convenience, and sometimes there seems to be no other way to perform the task. Only there is.

Using a plain old pencil and paper or any other simple, analog tool for tasks we are used to performing digitally seems ineffective. But it is a constraint that can spark creativity, or at minimum, help us slow down and see and notice things we take for granted.

Pick a task you would typically do on a digital platform, and perform it using the simplest tools possible. Even if the outcome will eventually be just a draft, working with “new” tools is bound to create some surprising insights. If nothing else, it is a routine-breaker that will ignite your curiosity.

into the unknown


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Just before our last game, let's plan to get lost. Plan some exploration during the week, and go to a place you don't know. It can be a city you haven't visited before, a street, or a single building you only saw from the outside. It can be somewhere in nature or in a museum. Any place will do as long as you go there to take some time off and explore it.

When you arrive, look around you mindfully. Observe with all your senses. After some time, pick a Seed and look for something inspired by it. When you have an Insight, take its photo and write a haiku based on what you observed.

slowing down 101


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We'll conclude this pack with the ultimate open challenge. If you wish to slow down more often and turn it into a habit, you will have to find your own ways to do so. Whether you come up with dedicated activities or slower variations on current activities, you have to take ownership not only on what you do but also on your life's pace.

With that in mind, look around you, explore your task list, project plan, or daily agenda. Find surprising ways to slow down — something more profound than just allowing more time to perform each task.

Now, use the ways you came up with in real life… s l o w l y.

Slowing down is not just a routine breaker — it is an essential need. We hope you found this collection of slower-paced games rewarding and that you will use it to turn these and other slower activities into a habit.

Remember, all the games we've played are designed for re-play: the more you play with them, the more challenging it is to find and create something new. That's what so great about them. So, feel free to play with the games in this pack throughout the upcoming weeks. Make sure to surprise yourself — it will make you smile!

See you soon with a brand new Creativity Pack 🙂
Lidor