NINE WAYS TO BOOST YOUR CREATIVITY
"Curiosity will lead you to creativity."
What is Creativity?
Creativity is the ability to produce a novel idea or product useful to the society, with your imaginations.
Below are nine ways to boost your creative power;
1. Learn Through Collaboration
Curiosity will lead you to creativity. Andrew Ng, formerly associated with Google and now with Baidu, is one who doesn't believe innovation is due to unpredictable flashes of genius. Rather, he says you can become more creative and innovative, systematically.
"In my own life, I found that whenever I wasn't sure what to do next, I would go and learn a lot, read a lot, talk to experts. I don't know how the human brain works but it's almost magical: when you read enough or talk to enough experts, when you have enough inputs, new ideas start appearing." - Andrew Ng
Collaborating with and learning from others may just be what you need to give your creativity a boost.
2. Do Something You Love
Stuck for ideas? Not sure what to do? Your life needs some balance to ensure your creativity doesn't suffer. In a letter to his son, Albert Einstein provides a great bit of fatherly insight when addressing his son's interest in playing the piano and it is applicable when losing yourself in the creative process; do something that pleases you.
"That is the way to learn the most, that when you are doing something with such enjoyment that you don't notice that the time passes," Einstein writes. "I am sometimes so wrapped up in my work that I forget about the noon meal."
Love and creativity are intertwined. A hobby, such as playing an instrument, running, or collecting memorabilia, can help you relax and fight stress while giving your creativity a boost.
3. Find Inspiration From Other Industries
Your next idea won't come from copying what a competitor has already done. Look for innovation in different industries and niches.
Research what businesses are dominating and why. What businesses are you most loyal to? Why?
How can you transfer what worked for businesses outside your industry to your market? Maybe you can improve on these ideas. Getting inspired through other industries is a great way to boost your creativity.
4. Unplug (Or Just Do Nothing)
As Alan Cohen once wrote, "There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither."
Sometimes your best ideas will come when you're not wracking your brain, trying to come up with the next great idea. It could be while your mind wanders in the shower. It could be while sleeping. A good night rest will help you become more productive and creative.
Maybe your next innovative idea will come while driving, exercising, hiking, shopping, sitting on an airplane, or watching the sunset. If your creativity is lacking, unplug. Relax. Let your brain do its magic.
The average person sits between 7 and 15 hours every day.
That is terrible for your health and your mood. This means it can be terrible for your creativity.
Stanford research has indicated that walking improves creative thinking. In a follow-up study, HBR found that people who take part in walking meetings are more creative and engaged.
Priceline Group CEO, Darren Huston; Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg; Western Union Co. CEO, Hikmet Ersek; Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey; LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner and scores of other business leaders and entrepreneurs regularly have walking meetings.
While walking during work won't solve our national sitting crisis, it's a step in the right direction.
6. Set the Right Mood
Lack of ideas or being unable to solve a problem can be extremely frustrating. Except you value total silence, music can give your mood and creativity, a boost.
Steve Jobs used music to change his moods and keep himself creative. It could work for you, too.
7. Use the Six Thinking Hats Technique
Sometimes you just need to start over. Forget everything and begin anew with a blank slate. Breaking things down using the six different colored "thinking hats" is a technique that works perfectly for me.
The coloured "Thinking hats" technique is a beautiful illustration of one's thinking patterns and explains intriguing ways the mind can work using colors white, black and green. The white hat signifies focusing and believing just facts. The black hat signifies looking at the adverse side of things and believing something might go wrong. The green hat signifies looking at possibilities and new ideas. Applying this technique in our lives means our thoughts patterns becomes dynamic. You can think about things with the "facts", "things could go wrong" or "possibilities" perspectives.
Looking at a problem from unique perspectives may be just what you need to find a solution.
8. Ask For Advice or Feedback
Sometimes you're too close to a problem to figure out a creative solution on your own. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Ask for help and advice from friends, peers, and people from your personal network that you trust and respect. This is important because everyone has a unique skill set, experience, and knowledge.
A fresh perspective or more, may be just what you need. Even if you don't use their advice, it may spark new, creative thinking that will get you where you need to be.
9. Pick a Terrible Idea
Step away from whatever idea you're stuck on for a few minutes. What's the most useless idea you can imagine? Make a list of the worst ideas you can think up.
Now the real challenge to stretch your creativity: what are the best features of these terrible ideas? Perhaps looking at these terrible ideas will spark something creative that you can convert to excellent ideas.