Many people think that creativity is only for some people. They believe that only certain activities are creative. Those activities like writing, painting, and singing. But, creativity is only the creation of something that did not exist before. Pursuits such as programming, accounting, and engineering are extremely creative fields, though they may not seem the case from the outside. In reality, creativity is a skill that must be pushed to its glorious peak.
Here are eight ways to improve your creativity no matter what field you have pursued to use it.
#1 REMAIN CURIOUS
When you are feeling stuck and uninspired, branch out and start learning more. Just like when you ask questions and only end up with more questions, reading widely can stimulate your creativity. As you browse others’ ideas or talk to those who are masters in their field you will begin to have new ideas. The more you learn the more information you will have to create new ideas with. So, throughout your life, remain curious and thirsty for knowledge. This feeds your muse, your resolve, and strengthens your passion imensely.
#2 CREATE IN A FIELD YOU LOVE
When you create in a field that leads to you getting lost for hours, you know you have found a pursuit that means a lot to you. This state is called flow and it is when you are in the perfect place of challenge and pleasure. The task may be a little above your abilities, but close enough where you are enjoying learning. As you find relaxation during this activity, your creativity will be able to flourish.
#3 DISCOVER INSPIRATION FROM NON-RELATED FIELDS
Copying someone else’s creativity won’t feed your own creativity, but referencing someone else’s process is an excellent way to find your own. If you are a writer, then reading broadly is a great way to find your own voice and structure. If you are a programmer, looking at another’s code is an excellent way to find creative and efficient ways to code a project. One thing that you will notice is that the same project can be approached in a variety of ways by different programmers and it is fascinating to watch each programmer’s process in action.
#4 DO NOTHING
Sometimes the key to boosting your creativity or finding that next idea is to rest. Unplug your phone, computer, and any other technologies, and let your subconscious out to make all the connections your conscious mind can’t. At times, input from your environment can hamper your creative process because it crowds out the free-flowing ideas. So, the next time you are struggling for an original approach, rest, go for a drive, take a shower. These may help you reach the epiphany that will solve the biggest creative problems you are facing.
#5 WALK A LOT
Many studies have shown the virtue of walking. With people sitting from 7 to 15 hours every day, we are in the midst of a crisis of inactivity. Sitting for prolonged periods of time is detrimental to your health and mood. Prolonged sitting can lead to the slowing of the brain, constant lethargy, and weight gain. Often, including with these long sitting spells is unhealthy food and mind-numbing television.
Companies are adopting a new plan to keep their employees more engaged and moving more. Called walking meetings, these are designed to get the employees up and moving so they can contribute better ideas and get a much-needed break from their cubicles.
Walking meetings or even just walking during the workday won’t solve our crisis of inactivity but it’s better than doing nothing.
#6 GET IN A CREATIVE MOOD
For many people, music is a great precursor to creativity. Different music can lead to creating many different products. This may be possible because music is able to tap into emotions and stir the person to create items based on memories.
But, having said this, others may create their best work in silence. For these people, like the blank page before them, the silence may allows their creativity to fill all the space it needs to grow.
If music is your go-to when you are called on to create something new, you are in good company as Steve Jobs used music to help him alter his mood and become more creative.
Before turning on your Pandora, you may want to experiment and find the music that works best. After you have found this, you could make a creativity CD for those days or nights when you are needing a marathon of creativity.
#7 BUY SIX HATS AND PUT THEM ON
While buying six hats would be excellent, this actually refers to the Six Thinking Hats technique, which allows you to place different colored “hats” on your head in order to approach a problem from multiple perspectives. For instance, you can buy a white hat to become objective, a black hat to think through any issues that may slow progress, and a green hat to brainstorm new ideas or alternatives.
Each of these hats can help you turn a problem and see it from every angle. Deciding on the color and function of the hat is up to you, but grab six and get started. You may be very surprised with your creative capacity as you change your perspective on a problem.
#8 REQUEST FEEDBACK AND CRITIQUE
To boost your creativity or get unstuck, ask for feedback or advice. This is not a sign that you are lacking in creativity or cannot figure out the answer by yourself. It only shows that you appreciate others skills, perspective, and creativity. Sometimes, when you have been working on a project for a long time you may be too close to see it objectively. When you ask for others input you can get a fresh perspective.
Whether you take their advice or throw it all out is your choice, but their feedback may help you create the outcome you would like.