What can I do to increase my creativity?
Many people think creativity is some sort of magic skill: you are either born with it or not. The truth is very far from this misconception. There are systematic methods to increase personal creativity and anyone can learn them. Some components of creativity are psychological, some are habits and some are methodologies.
We cannot be creative unless we allow ourselves to be creative. Give yourself permission to do things creatively. This means that you will make a lot of stupid funny mistakes. So what? Focus on coming up with new, different and unique ways of doing things. Most of the stuff you come up with will be useless, but you will come up with more stuff than ever before. Try to push the envelope of what you can and cannot do: what is the most embarrassing way you could imagine yourself performing the task, the most boring, the funniest, the most difficult. By forcing ourselves to work under unusual constraint we force our creativity. After we visualize the worst situations, everything else we come up with will be much better.
Overcome your personal blocks to creativity: find out what part of creativity is hardest for you personally, and work specifically to improve it. You could be too conscious of your solutions, or too quick to do things some particular way, too serious about yourself or too unconfident. For example, I am too prone to use templates. Try to find out what your personal difficulty is and improve it. You may need some help with this one consider paid mentoring and grouping up with people who have a similar motivation but a different difficulty.
A supportive mentor or group of people you are a part of could make the difference. With social media availability, webinars and skype tutoring this should not be a problem. Your coworkers, closest family, and personal friends are also very important to make you feel worthy and confident in your own strengths. Avoid toxic people and look for people who make you better, go to personal development classes, meditate…
There are many habits that help creativity and boost happiness.
- New experiences are great for creativity. Each time you feel new things, you can use these emotions and memories to create new ideas.
- Acquiring knowledge. Take new courses and video courses, read books and blogs, pursue a hobby.
- Improving memory. Better creativity leads to better memory, better memory makes it easier to come up with new ideas.
- Sleep, diet, breathing, physical activity. Always good for brain and hence for creativity.
- Procrastination. When we get bored we become more creative. Leave some space in your schedule to get bored.
- Artistic activities. Creative writing, drawing or dancing will make you practice your inventiveness.
- Pet projects. Entrepreneurial activity, programming, volunteering work will make you solve complex challenges.
- Specific training, like “bilateral drawing”.
Methodologies improving creativity
There are many methods improving creativity. Here are some of them:
- Affirmations. Positive thinking. “Can do” attitude. Focus of trends and future.
- Relaxation, maybe even meditation. Alternatively walking or swimming. Quite often it is best to relax in a more natural environment like a park.
- Brainstorming. In different ways: alone, with friends, doodling, wring anything that comes up in your head.
- Associative thinking. Ask yourself “what does it remind me of”, “what if”, “how can I improve this”
- Stumbling upon random texts and images, trying to see how they can be useful.
- Recording. As we record our ideas, we do not need to remember them and open up to new ideas. Review your old ideas occasionally, you will be surprised what treasures are hiding there.
There are many formal and coherent techniques for creative thinking. This post is short, so I did not discuss them here. In 2004 I wrote a book on creativity, but it was badly plagiarized by others so I decided to remove it. I can offer you to read some interesting books on the subject or to read books that inspire like this collection.