What makes you creative?

Feel like you lack creativity?

Do you always say “I’m just not a creative person”?

Most of us think that people are born creative or it is only required for people who write, paint a stunning picture, clever marketers who come up with creative ads but creativity is a useful skill which can work on with time, training and effort and can be mastered at any age. It helps you to find new ways to solve problems and approach a situation.

Creativity is like any other skill, the more you do, the more it will grow.

I highly recommend you to read “Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity”. It is a gem of a book which will help you to think differently and lead into the path of creativity with greater imagination.

25 ways to follow when you are struggling to come up with new ideas

Creative

1.Write … Anything

Are you a visual thinker? Then you have to write down your ideas (good or bad), without looking back. Writing encourages you to think deeply, generate new ideas and boost your creativity.

2. Get back into beginner’s mind

Instead of brain-storming, let your mind wander freely, imagine new possibilities. I know it’s crazy and not very practical but actually works to improve your creativity. There is a saying “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

3. Move your body

If you are tired mentally then move physically. Brainstorming yourself is old school, try new approaches to creative problem solving.

Just go out for a walk, find a quite park and take time for yourself whenever possible. It helps you to zone out and engage with different surroundings and play with your thoughts which in turn has a positive effect in your creative thinking.

Research shows that exercise can improve your creative thinking.

4. Take breaks

Have you ever noticed that you strike yourself with best ideas during commute or in the shower? Don’t overheat your brain with overthinking, take time to relax your mind and ideas will be on a roll.

5. Put your phone away.

Mobile phones gives you a lot of information daily, but just try keeping it away for a while. Anyway, when we are bored all we do is swiping through Instagram, answering mails, play games or getting mad at people on Twitter.

After all, you don’t need more information to be creative.

Author of Bored and Brilliant says,  “An idle mind is fertile ground for the seeds of creativity, but our endless swiping, tapping, and digital interactions ensure that our minds never have an opportunity to drift into this ‘default mode,’ where fresh ideas germinate.”

6. Doodle…..something

Make it visual with no end goal and pressure, but for the sake of joy. This helps in making connections in your brain and helps you keep engaged without drifting away, improves critical thinking skills and expand your imagination.

 If you are a business person, I encourage you to provide a piece of paper and stationary during meetings to let them have a free mind.

Use Betty Edwards’ book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” to teach yourself to draw.

7. Travel

It is similar as going out for a walk. When your mind is stimulated by new sounds, tastes, smells and experiences, your brain starts working differently and exposes you to different point of view.

8. Socialize with creative people.

Spend some time with people who are different from you, share ideas and get feedback. Do activities that are outside of your normal routine and meet people and share a conversation.

Different points of view will not only help improve your creative mind but your career too. It will offer you a fresh perspective to the new normal.

9. Relax by watching a funny content.

Have you ever hit on point while watching something funny? Then these funny content are actually helping you out. Research says that there is a strong connection between humour and creativity. A laugh can put you in a better mood and think freely.

10. Daydream

I know I sound a bit silly, but it actually helps your mind unconstrained. If you can’t travel in physical reality then please do it in your mind. It helps you to improve your creative approach to problems and sparks new ideas.

Eventually, it is completely fine to be zoned out for a few minutes.

11. Channel your inner child.

Ever wondered why children are naturally creative? It is only because they are willing to go in any direction with their creativity with no limits. A child enjoys every moment and have fun in whatever they do. Bring out your inner child, have fun at work, focus on one project at a time and let the results shower with happiness.

12. Practice regularly.

As discussed, Creativity is a skill and it’s not reserved only for geniuses. All you have to do is practice and instead of constantly watching television, swiping your phone or having other distractions, give some time to practice to improve your creativity. Practice makes you perfect and helps your creative thoughts stick to your mind.  If you’re an architect then design something new every day. Accept that there is always room for improvement.

13. Challenge yourself and the unknown.

What will a child do if you give him a new unknown set of toys? They will discover the mechanics of the game, destroy it or build it. Or have you tried “Escape room- an physical adventure game”? You might have felt that your creativity is infinite while solving puzzles. Apply the same and step outside your comfort zone and work with something you have not tried before. If you got it right, then look for higher difficult approaches and avoid using similar solutions.

14. Play music while at work.

Journal of Music Therapy found out that stress is reduced after listening to your favorite music. It helps you focus on whatever you are doing, relaxes you, and calm your nerves.

15. Create the Right surroundings

Kids have no fear of criticism, that’s where we adults fail.

Some companies provide playgrounds so that employees can feel relaxed and comfortable. If you’re not provided so, then try re-decorating your work place/desk. Add your favourite toys (Legos, origami paper), posters, adjust the lighting

16. Work where you have freedom.

It’s important for an individual to step out of the norms and think out of the box.

17. Generate more ideas and pick the best ones

Seek a broad set of perspectives and create a mind map. If you have followed the above steps then you should have a lot of ideas (even if they are silly) in hand already. List them out and pick the best suitable one. Interlink terms or ideas and create a flow chart to visualize your final product.

Not able to decide? Then try eliminating ideas which are close together and look at the differences, look at the pros and cons of the idea, think on how your friend will approach to this idea, rate them accordingly, consider the worst case scenario and create unique solutions.

“Creativity is just connecting things,” Steve Jobs said. If connecting familiar ideas isn’t working, try connecting opposite or unrelated ones.

18. Discover what time of day you’re at your best.

Discover your productive time of the day and focus at that particular time. You might be a morning person or an evening person, there is a complete varied science attached to it.

19. Take a creative course.

If you want to be guided with specific instructions the go for it. You can pick any creative course such as art, music, creative writing and these will help you to be exposed to different ways of thinking and you can apply it on your own work.

It will surround you with creative people and help you build strengths and discover your weaknesses.

20. Stop telling yourself you are not creative.

No matter how hard you try, you will never come up with ideas if you think you can’t do.

If you can start telling yourself about your ideas then you can have unique vision and create new concepts.

21. Just ask “Why?”

It’s common that your curiosity decreases as you grow but don’t let that happen. Just a “why” can give you brilliant ideas.

We usually assume we know the idea of it but we never look at other possibilities at all. Start by asking questions and don’t let your creativity have a road block for your imagination.

You can ask questions to yourself and look into different perspectives, like, can we use this else-where? Can it be modified? Can we add anything? Can it be re-arranged?

22. Try the “Six Hats” Technique

The “six hats” technique involves looking at a problem from six differing perspectives.

Creative : 6 hat technique

23. Never stop editing.

Take opinions, get feedback, everything can be better. Get to know why your idea is not appealing to them. Think about your failed idea, re-create it and never stop editing.

24. Create, make mistakes, repeat.

You are granted to make mistakes. If you take a risk then you make mistakes and finally an awesome idea comes up.

Thomas Edison famously said “I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them”

Never stress about perfection, it’s okay if you fail, if you build up pressure to create something awesome then you can never create it at all. Do the same thing over and over again until you are satisfied.

25. Commit Yourself completely to develop your creativity skills

And lastly, this is the first step you need to do to have a creative mind. Set goals, read books, enhance your imagination and mainly, never put off your efforts.

Why is it important to be creative

Challenge yourself with these exercises for your brain to become more creative

  • Without brainstorming, write 10 variations of the same question.
  • Do the 30 circle test.Draw 30 circles. Then, make as many circles into drawings as possible in one minute. You can do the test over and over again, trying to break your record each time. It helps in boosting your creativity and forces you to think fast.
  • Play with children’s toys. Lego’s, clay are few good toys you can use to improve your creativity.
  • List unusual uses for common household objects. For example, what are different ways to use a knife, book, and a stand? Take a while and make a list (don’t worry if they are stupid or not).
  • Make connections: Relate two completely different objects or sentences and create a story.
  • Draw a picture or make a collage of random photos
Creativity and value creation

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7 thoughts on “What helps you to be creative? (25 ways to follow even if you are not creative)”

  1. Nice read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! Emmeline Kimbell Otti

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