Why bother boosting your creativity? If you’ve read the current employment news, you’ve probably seen studies that show how much employers value creativity. In an ever-tightening economy, this emphasis makes sense. Employees who can come up with creative solutions to problems are a real asset to any company.
Of course, being creative helps with more than just your job. The ability to solve problems effectively is important in every aspect of life. Everyone encounters obstacles such as procrastination and mental blocks, both professionally and personally, and creativity is necessary to address them.
So how do you think creatively? For starters, strive to be healthy. Your mind can’t operate at peak performance if your body is rundown.
Naturally, you need to do the following:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
If you’re an artist, you know what it’s like when the well runs dry and you dread it just like the rest of us. It seems like this happens with far too much frequency than you’d probably like. But when it comes to refilling the reservoir, what exactly can you do to control it? Believe it or not, there are ways you can use to jumpstart your creativity. Here are potential lifesavers.
How to Increase Creativity – 8 Proven Ways
1. Brainstorm to be More Creative
Beyond taking care of yourself, brainstorming is an approach you can use to enhance your creativity. When you brainstorm, you allow your mind to wander and develop new approaches to a problem.
We are creatures of habit. We tend to use the same approach to a problem again and again even if that approach isn’t working. Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Brainstorming is a way to break this pattern and develop new approaches.
One of the nice things about brainstorming is its simplicity. Try these five steps:
1) Find a comfortable place to work. Take this time to step away from co-workers and family.
2) Write out your problem. This step is vital. You need to define your problem before you can effectively solve it.
3) Consider all possible solutions and approaches to the problem without judging or filtering them. Don’t reject a possible solution as too far-fetched or not possible. Simply record all the ideas you can think of without censoring yourself.
4) List twenty or so possibilities so you have an assortment of ideas.
5) Review your ideas when you finish and carefully consider which ones might work. Sometimes the oddest idea ends up being the one with the most potential.
What if you get stuck? Try thinking about what the ideal end result would be for your problem. For example, if your problem is lack of customers, consider what the best-case scenario would be. How about that you’re swamped with customers? Now think about what would draw those customers to you. By approaching the problem from the desired end result, you often can think of new ideas.
2. Doodle to Unlock Your Creative Genius
If you just can’t seem to focus on the task at hand, then pick up a pen and some paper and just doodle. Don’t deny you ever did this in high school. We’re sure a few of your textbooks would have some evidence disproving your denial. Let your brain wander however it wants to in the form of mindless, shapeless scribbling. You never know. The longer you sit there, mindlessly letting your pencil wander the page, the more it might make sense. Your starved brain might start to find enjoyment and satisfaction in the activity.
3. Move Outside the Box to Boost Creativity
Find yourself stuck in a rut? Can’t get out of it? Well, have you tried something you’ve never done before? No seriously, if you’re stuck, then try something new. Try to think from a brand new perspective, or creating in a brand new style that isn’t usually your forte. By forcing your brain to move outside of its familiar territory, you’re strength training it. You’re training it to stretch itself in ways it may not be comfortable with, but are ultimately better for it. This keeps it from getting lazy in its comfort and lapsing its concentration.
4. Meditate to Find Your Creative Self
Now, we’re not talking about the deep-seated, full-on monk style of meditation. We’re talking a simple de-cluttering. Your mind is full of random, useless junk. It’s time for spring cleaning. Just sit or lay somewhere comfortable, close your eyes, and drift. Picture yourself drifting peacefully on a river. The leaves floating by are thoughts. As thoughts drift toward you, gently brush them out of your path. Keep your mind flowing clean and clear. Gradually, the deeper you sink into meditation, the clearer your mind becomes. Your mind is now rested and primed for any true ideas that might spike while you’ve been off the clock.
5. Get Away From it All to Uninstall Creative Cloud
All work and no play makes any artist a dull boy. You may enjoy your creative work, but at the end of the day, it’s still work. You need a break away from it for a while. Go for a walk, play catch with your kids, or just go for a long walk on the beach. Bring your significant other with you, make a day of it. Just get out of the house and do something, anything that doesn’t involve your work. Then, before you know it, you’ll be ready to get back into it again with full vigor.
6. Exercise to Achieve Peak Creativity
Sort of banking on the previous point, exercise does wonders for creativity. Exercise forces our minds to focus precisely on the task at hand. Partially for safety, since a lapse in concentration while exerting can lead to injury. But it also serves to distract our minds, force them to focus on the now. We don’t have time nor energy for anything else while in the moment. This gives our minds some breathing room, allows it to take a break. So go swimming for an hour or so. You’d be surprised what it could do for you.
7. Indulge (Just a teeny bit) to Extract Creative Juices
Believe it or not, the occasional glass of wine relaxes us. Okay, maybe that’s more common knowledge than we thought, but honestly, it could help. By helping to alleviate current worries and concerns, we’re more relaxed and open to new ideas. We find ourselves a little more creative, a little more imaginative. Just don’t overdo it. Getting straight-up intoxicated won’t help you in the slightest and only hurts in the morning.
8. Collaborate with Another Artist to Gather Collective Creativity
Honestly, if you’re truly struggling to come up with ideas on your own, then go and hang out with another artist friend. Go over ideas together, share thoughts and opinions. Hear what they’re working on and tell them your own project. The best works are always done in a group. You might find yourself inspired hearing what they have to say.
If you’re having trouble jump-starting your creativity, then we’re hoping this article helped to inspire you. There are lots of options available, so try whatever suits you the best.
Have a favorite way that you use to boost your creativity? Please share it with us in the comments below.