Have you ever been envious of creative people and want to boost your creativity? Even if are not the creative type and have no desire to be creative, science has linked creativity to increased critical thinking skills. So what are you waiting for? Checking out these ten tips for boosting your creativity.
1.) Embrace the “bookworm” in you. Read more!
For those who aren’t book lovers, this step may sound a bit scary and too time consuming. However, in the interest of letting your creative juices flow, you may want to give the thought a try. Reading opens up your mind to a plethora of new thoughts, new views, and new ways. Books and other types of reading materials present a whole new world that will surely broaden your way of thinking, which in turn will pave your way to becoming more creative. There’s simply no limit to the things you’ll learn as you devote your time to assimilating the contents of such publications. To make the activity less tedious, try spending even just 30 minutes of each day on reading. In time, you’ll discover that those few minutes of reading have really gone a long way.
2.) Abandon your comfort zone; explore new things.
When you engage in the same activities time and time again, your brain practically goes into an auto-pilot mode. Because what you’re doing is already known and familiar to your brain, you simply don’t provide enough stimulation to get it working and extending itself. Stepping out of your comfort zone will not only do that, but it will also boost your creativity in ways you haven’t imagined. If you’re used to spending your free time relaxing in front of the TV, for example, you may want to enroll in classes you’ve always wanted to try. Lessons in face painting, origami, baking, or any other class that you consider unfamiliar are a good place to start. Of course, exploring new things could also be as simple as taking a new route to work. The bottom line here is to shake up your routine and explore anything new.
3.) Unleash the Einstein in you by listening to music.
The great Albert Einstein credited part of his creativity to Mozart’s music. As a young teen, he discovered the beauty of Mozart’s pieces, and that has played a significant role in enhancing his ingenuity. Today, listening to certain types of music has been proven useful in increasing the brain’s overall creativity. While the so-called Isochronic Tones and Binaural Beats certainly provide brain entertainment, the everyday tunes you upload on your iPad or other music-playing device ought to provide enough stimulation as well. So the next time you feel your creativity levels sinking to the bottom, put on your headphones and listen to some brain-boosting beats.
4.) Meditate and relax your way to creativity.
There are times when the mind is preoccupied with too much worries and stressful thoughts that it can no longer accommodate creative ones. Meditation provides a solution to such a problem. While you focus intensely on meditative movements, poses, and breathing, you’ll find that your mind is cleared of the clutter. This leads to increased concentration, clarity, and insight, which in turn will leave room for greater creativity. Other relaxation techniques work in much the same way. While a troubled mind ruminates on troubling thoughts, a relaxed and calm mind invites inspiration to strike.
5.) Solve some brain-stimulating puzzles.
Boosting your creativity can be as fun as playing and solving puzzles. These brain-stimulating games are the perfect way to give your brain its much-needed exercise. Sudoku, anagrams, crossword puzzles, Rubik’s cube, and even jigsaw puzzles present a problem that you will have to solve by looking at it from various viewpoints. When you give your mind the opportunity to approach a certain situation from different angles, you make formulating new ideas and new concepts that much easier. As a result, your creativity levels shoot up.
6.) Solve lateral thinking puzzles.
While the usual puzzles get your brain working, it is the lateral thinking puzzles that present a greater challenge. To solve this sort of puzzle, you have to use a creative and indirect approach to arrive at a few plausible answers. While there can be a number of answers to a lateral thinking puzzle, there is usually just one that makes the most sense. Application of traditional step-by-step logic isn’t necessarily useful in this type of puzzle, which makes the game or riddle even more challenging and creativity-boosting.
7.) Brainstorm effectively with the Six Hats Method.
The Six Hats in this method refer to the six directions in which a person’s thoughts could go: information (white), emotions (red), discernment (black), optimistic response (yellow), creativity (green), and process control (blue). The Six Hats Method is quite useful in extracting creative thoughts from a person and helping him look at a scenario from the six given directions. The technique is of great value particularly in group discussions because everyone is set to think in one certain direction at a time. This saves the group from arguing endlessly because one member is thinking of purely facts and information (white), while another is already on the emotional side of things (red).
8.) Consider alternatives to every scenario.
Another effective way to boost your creativity is to think outside the box and consider the alternatives to every scenario. When trying to solve a problem, don’t stop with the first idea you come up with. Continue to brainstorm for other answers. You just might give birth to a totally radical, but really effective, solution. Granted, not all the alternatives are likely to be applicable, but the exercise itself will open up your mind to possibilities. After all, creativity is mostly about concocting new ways and using new approaches and making those discoveries work for you.
9.) Create mind maps.
Mind maps are tools that encourage you to list down all the things you can associate with a certain concept or word. They are also extremely useful diagrams, great for organizing your topsy-turvy thoughts and solving seemingly difficult problems. When you create a mind map, you get your brain to map out all the options and prospects, a process which will get your creative juices flowing to no end.
10.) Try to solve everything yourself.
While creativity can surely be encouraged among those working in groups, there is no better way to enhance your creativity than by solving things yourself. When you rely on no one but yourself, you are forced to get as creative as you can. After all, no one is going to hand you the solution. You have to expand your mind, get the wheels in it to work, and come up with viable answers.
There you go, ten ways to increase your creativity. Try to incorporate these things into your everyday life and see yourself becoming more creative by the day.
There was an article on Scientific American, written in July of 2009, that talks about one specific method of increasing creativity via psychological distance. I will be talking about the idea of psychological distance in the future. But for now, please read this interesting piece on increasing creativity written by Scientific American.