How to be Creative – 7 Amazing Ideas to Boost Creativity

How to be Creative - 7 amazing ideas to boost creativity - Get your creative spark back! - www.yeswemadethis.com

Growing up many of us were led to believe creativity was a personal trait that some people were born with while others were not. While I would probably find myself in the first category more often than not, I saw many of my school friend being labeled as ‘not the creative type’. This often meant they didn’t really bother trying whenever some sort of creativity (whatever that meant) was involved, because you know – why would they? They ‘weren’t creative’ anyway. The truth is, all of us had the potential to do some amazing things, but we were never really taught about how to be creative. 

 

That was when I went to school (too) many years ago and I truly hope things have changed since then. In the meantime, many scientific studies have shown that creativity is not a predisposed genetic trait. It is a skill and like all other skills, you can boost creativity with practice.

 

Obviously, creativity is a very broad concept (we have a whole dang blog about it) and there can be many different answers to the question of how to be creative. But the first step to unlocking your creative potential, whatever it may be, is really to just give your amazing brain a little nudge in the right direction.

 

To help you with the process, we have gathered some amazing ideas on how to boost creativity, no matter where you are starting from. And if there is just one thing you are taking from this post it is to remember that yes! you can be creative too!

7 Ideas to Boost Creativity

1

Be open to experience.

In an intriguing creativity study,  researchers compared artists and bankers in an attempt to understand their differences in creativity. What they found was that artists displayed a tendency towards activity, which meant they were much more likely to expose themselves to a variety of external stimuli. As a result, these people “tend to have many diverse experiences that may be used as a substrate for divergent thinking and creative activity.”

 

It makes sense, right? The experiences we gather in our everyday lives transform directly into the ‘material’ we get to work with on our creative endeavors.

 

So to spark your creativity, try doing something new every day. It doesn’t have to be big. Maybe take a detour on your way to work tomorrow or go to another coffee place every once in a while. The change of scenery alone may give you a new outlook and get your creative juices flowing.

 

Better yet, sign up for a class in something you’ve always wanted to do and learn something new! If you are more of a digital type, consider doing an eCourse from Ultimate Bundles. They offer complete digital collections on so many interesting topics at really amazing prices. And best of all with Ultimate Bundles you can learn anywhere, anytime!

2

Lean into boredom.

Sounds counterproductive, right? But interestingly, studies have shown that being bored out of your mind can actually make you more creative. The reason for this may lie in the fact that when it is bored, your brain longs for stimulation. Not happy with the current boring state, it is seeking new possibilities, making new connections.

 

The problem is, nowadays we don’t let ourselves get bored. The second the possibility of boredom hits, we get our smartphones out and start scrolling. While this is not always a bad thing, as reading a good article or listening to an inspiring podcast can certainly boost your creativity, you should take the time to do nothing as well. Next time you are waiting in line at the post office, resist the urge to reach for that phone and just be. You might be surprised by just how interesting that boredom may turn out to be.

3

Surround yourself with inspiring people.

Talking to interesting and creative individuals will surely inspire you to take some creative action. Now as much as we would all like to sit down with someone like Banksy and have a chat, that probably won’t happen. So socialize with interesting people around you. Your friends, your colleagues, your family. Even if they are not your stereotypical “creatives” they may have some outlooks that are different than yours. And getting a new perspective on things is crucial for your creativity.

 

Another super convenient way to get inspired is by watching TED talks. They have hundreds (probably thousands) lectures by so many interesting individuals from pretty much every field you can think of. Whenever I am feeling discouraged or in a creative slump, watching one of those talks will surely get me going again.

4

Generate ideas – good or bad.

When we think of the extremely creative people, we tend to believe they produce one amazing idea after another. But they don’t. Picasso painted countless paintings before Guernica and not all of them were masterpieces. But they are what led to those amazing works of art we see in museums today.

 

Because ideas generate ideas, no matter how bad they are. Don’t think you will just come up with the one amazing creative idea that will change your life. It takes practice and most importantly, it takes a lot of lousy ideas to get one that works.

 

To practice this process of generating ideas, take a few minutes of your day and try this simple exercise. Look around you and pick a common object (like a bottle opener). Now write down as many unconventional uses for it you can think of. When you first start doing this, you will probably censure the ideas you think are stupid before you even write them down. But with time, you will learn to embrace the stupid and just go with the flow.

5

Keep a doodle journal.

If you haven’t already discovered the joys of doodling, you probably think this is silly. However, there have been numerous studies that have proven the positive affect doodling has on the creative process.

As Sunni Brown, the expert on the power of doodling and author of The Doodle Revolution, explains, “doodling lights up different networks in the brain”, that otherwise lie fairly dormant. This enables you to hold the ideas before they slip your mind and helps you find innovative solutions to problems you are faced with.

 

When you are doodling during, say, a meeting, you are processing information differently. You are engaging with information not only linguistically but also visually. This way you retain more information and process it in a more creative way.

6

Get your move on.

Considering how good exercise makes you feel, it comes as no surprise that being physically active positively affects your mind, as well. It reduces stress, makes you more productive, improves your memory (and the list goes on). And as some studies have shown, it can also make us more creative.

 

As neuroscientist Suzuki explains, exercise enhances the birth of new hippocampal brain cells, which are involved in our ability to imagine new situations. This suggests that physical activity might be able to improve the imaginative functions of the hippocampus and raises the exciting possibility that exercise could make us more imaginative and creative.

 

In fact, a Stanford study has shown that walking improves creativity. Researchers examined creativity levels of people while they were walking compared to while they were sitting and found an increase by an average of 60% when walking.

 

So what’s the lesson here? When in need of a fresh perspective, put your walking shoes on and go for a walk or a light jog. It will benefit you in more than one way.

7

Be more like a kid.

There is a reason why Google designs office spaces that may seem more like a kindergarten than a workplace and encourages its employees to take the time to play. It may seem counterproductive, but often play is necessary for creative output.

 

As author T. Christensen explains “research shows that play-like activities put us into a psychological state where it’s ok to fail, where it’s ok to wonder “what if?” A result of that thinking is the ability to freely explore the unknown. From that exploration, creative insights are much easier to spot”.

 

Without the limitations we see in the “real world”, we are much more likely to discover new possibilities or find fresh solutions to our problems.

 

Next time you are looking for the next amazing ideas, bring out your Legos and take a few minutes to warm up your brain before the actual work. You may be surprised by how many ideas you come up with.

What do you think? Do you have any activity that helps you boost your creativity? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.

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