Everything has already been considered.
“I have no idea where to begin.”
I simply am not a creative person.
When we’re supposed to come up with a wonderful new concept, no matter how hard we stare at our computer displays, we can’t come up with anything worthwhile.
We wonder why we did not inherit these creative genes when we observe our peers who are “creative sorts.”
But it’s possible that we’re looking at it incorrectly. In reality, many psychologists contend that creativity is a skill that can be learned and not a trait that people are born with. As with any other skill, it can only be improved by practice.
The brain is like a muscle in that it must be trained, in this case by cognitive activities.
So, how can we exercise our creative muscles when we are failing to generate fresh ideas? Everyone has their own preferred methods for “getting in shape.” To help you get started, here are eleven strategies to stimulate your creativity.
11 Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity
1. Write a free write in the morning.
There are times when we walk into the office in the morning, and all we can think about is our overflowing list of tasks. But focusing entirely on how much work we have to complete might be stressful and cause us to lose perspective on our own ideas.
On days like this, one approach to regain concentration is to perform a morning freewrite. According to a study conducted by Harvard Business School professor Teresa Amabile, daily journaling in the office enables you to rediscover your perspective and increase your productivity.
Instead of immediately beginning work on your tasks when you arrive at the office, schedule ten minutes for a digital detox and grab a notebook and pen to write.
In contrast to a blog or other public-facing content, a physical diary is your own personal collection of thoughts that need only make sense to you. Writing in a more free-form style will allow your creativity to flow while requiring you to put your thoughts into textual form.
2. Enroll in a creative course.
Taking a creative course could be the best approach to direct your creativity if you are the type of person who enjoys guided instruction.
Creative classes may include creative writing, photography and videography, music, art, and design. Regardless of the course you enroll in, you will be exposed to many ways of thinking and functioning that you can use in your own career. In addition, it may assist you to identify your strengths and address your problems.
It will also surround you with individuals who share the objective of enhancing their creative abilities. You can gain a new perspective on your own ideas by reviewing each other’s work and gaining insight from your peers.
And if you’re too shy to ask for assistance in the workplace, a classroom setting could provide you with the opportunity to open up to others through workshop-style evaluations. By sharing your ideas with others, you will be pushed to articulate your thoughts into words and images, as well as learn how to respond to criticism.
Now, classes may not be appropriate for everyone, particularly if you feel that structure inhibits your creative flow. But if you lack direction in your thoughts, it may be worthwhile to give it a shot.
3. Exercise while brainstorming.
If you feel like your brain is working hard but you’re still coming up empty, try pushing yourself physically for about thirty minutes. Researchers have discovered a correlation between physical activity and enhanced creative thinking.
A study that examined the effects of moderate exercise on participants’ performance on a variety of cognitive tasks indicated that regular exercise may promote healthy cognitive thinking and creativity.
“Movement occupies a much greater portion of the brain than language. Oliver Sacks, a neurologist, remarked, “Language is but a small island above this vast ocean of movement.”
Take 30 minutes out of your day to run, perform an invigorating yoga sequence, or engage in desk exercises. It will improve your mind and body.
4. Travel to other places.
It is essential to keep your mind challenged with new sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and experiences, as your creativity is tied to the way your brain is wired. Through a fresh cultural encounter, expose yourself to a totally different perspective. Maintaining your senses enables your synapses to think in novel ways.
Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School whose research focuses on the cognitive connection between international travel and creativity, states, “Experiencing foreign cultures increases cognitive flexibility as well as deepens and integrates thinking, enabling deep connections between divergent forms.”
He highlights the significance of not only traveling to new locations but also becoming immersed in their culture. By engaging with the local art, cuisine, and people, you are able to learn and apply new ways of thinking to your own ideas.
5. Channel your inner child.
Children are called “naturally creative” since they have no concept of creative limitations. Since children are willing to take their imagination in any direction, they do not hold back. Adopt this mindset, especially when it comes to moving your work on an entirely new path.
Instead of worrying or feeling self-conscious that your work is not good enough, be willing to take creative chances.
Most significantly, you should enjoy your work. A child views everything as an adventure and seizes every opportunity. Instead of worrying about all of your duties at once, concentrate all of your efforts on one project at a time so you can perform at your best.
6. Join a coworking space.
According to research conducted at the University of Michigan, there are two important ways in which coworking spaces generate unique opportunities for creativity: flexibility and autonomy. It has a lot to do with the space’s physical layout.
The ability to customize one’s environment to one’s particular preferences inspires originality. Several studies have demonstrated that the capacity to customize one’s environment increases productivity. Your creative slump could be the result of working in an environment that is not suitable to your specific work style.
Additionally, the proximity to others affords several opportunities for collaboration. Collaboration can be a stimulus for innovation, and coworking spaces are excellent methods to immerse oneself in a new setting with innovative individuals.
7. Incorporate breaks into every work day.
Have you ever observed that some of your best ideas come to you at the most unusual times, such as in the shower or while driving? There is a reason for this: These breaks help your mind to continue working on these concepts without being stuck in a rut where it cannot arrange its thoughts.
As Adrian Furnman, Ph.D. explains in an article for Psychology Today, it’s crucial to allow your thoughts “incubation time” after working on a concept for some time.
Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, is a proponent of naps in the workplace.
He finds that he receives his best ideas as he is falling asleep or waking up. In an interview with The New York Times, he stated that he encourages people to take a break by providing sleep rooms so that staff can “work less and think more.” According to him, this will stimulate creativity.
Make sure to set appropriate break periods in your calendar so that you don’t lose that time after an infinite string of back-to-back meetings.
8. Connect with creative people.
When you’ve exhausted your own creative resources, it may be time to tap the ingenuity of others.
Not only is surrounding yourself with people with whom you can discuss and receive feedback on your ideas and thoughts beneficial to your creativity, but it is also beneficial to your profession. These diverse perspectives can provide a new viewpoint on a topic you’ve been staring at for too long.
Not only may creative individuals provide criticism on your projects, but their own desire will inspire you to do your finest work. When you need to force yourself to channel your inner creative energy, a healthy dose of competition may be exactly what the doctor prescribed.
This is particularly accurate when these connections challenge your way of thinking. If you surround yourself with people who share your beliefs, you may fall victim to confirmation bias, when you fail to recognize the flaws in your own work since everyone already agrees with you.
Although it may be difficult to accept this criticism, it will challenge you to think in ways you’ve never considered before.
To begin networking with other creative minds, you might examine the work of others on platforms such as Behance and Instagram. Attend industry- and interest-specific conferences and networking events if you’re hoping to meet with people in person.
9. Keep a doodle journal at your desk.
You’re a visual thinker, right? If this is the case, you may find it difficult to discover a direction for your ideas while confined to the four corners of the screen. Change your routine and pick up a pen and paper to give your thoughts a more physical outlet.
A blank sheet of paper or whiteboard may be the optimal medium for organizing your thoughts in one location.
According to Sunni Brown, author of The Doodle Revolution, “Even if you’re just doodling in the margins, you’re activating different information and lighting up various neural networks.”
Creating visual maps of your various thoughts enables you to discover the connections between them. Physically putting it down forces you to turn your ideas into words and tangible forms. If you can see your mental process, it will be easier to comprehend the path you wish to take.
10. Unwind by watching funny content.
Have you reached the phase in your creative block where you watch cat videos for hours on end? It appears that cat movies may truly be useful. According to research, a high association exists between humor and creativity.
Laughter can really facilitate these moments of inspiration. Humor also improves your attitude, allowing you to think more freely and tackle creative challenges more effectively.
If you approach your project with a lighter attitude, you’ll be able to approach the issue at hand with a new viewpoint. Start with this list of humorous tweets and social media postings posted by actual brands as inspiration.
11. Listen to music while you work.
Need a technique to focus on your task without becoming distracted? Although there has been much dispute over whether or not listening to music will genuinely boost your IQ over time (a theory commonly referred to as the Mozart Effect), there are still productivity benefits to listening to music.
Music can assist you to concentrate on whatever task you are currently performing. It can also improve your mood and soothe your nerves if you are feeling stressed.
Certain types of music can help you focus your creativity and tune out office distractions better than others. While music with abrupt tempo or lyrical changes might be distracting, ambient music can enhance processing levels and foster creative thought.
Conclusion- How To Be More Creative?
I’ve left the finest suggestion for last as a bonus: labels. Many labels are assigned to us at a young age.
Teachers, parents, and other powerful others attempt to classify us in the areas in which they believe we will flourish. They intend no harm, but are attempting to push us in a direction where they believe we will prosper.
However, as a result, we are classified as creative or not creative early in life.
And these labels have a substantial impact on the areas we seek to improve. These designations DO NOT identify us; therefore, we must comprehend a few vital facts regarding creativity:
- Every individual is creative. If you ask everyone to draw a house, each will have a unique appearance. This is the result of our own originality.
- Accept that every choice you make in life is creative.
- Creativity is a routine, not a talent. This is a procedure. If you use it more, you strengthen and improve it. It is a conscious decision to assess each decision and add creative twists, a decision that becomes a habit over time.
What else do you do to channel your inner creativity? Share with us in the comments.