Are you creative? Don’t overthink it, just answer yes or no. Everyone should have answered yes. Even those of you reading this who consider yourselves Type A, a fan of numbers, pretty vanilla. I promise, you’re creative, too.
This is one of those topics constantly under debate—in reality, that isn’t the right question to ask. Everyone is born with creativity, but it can also be taught. It should be practiced. Here are a few ways to tap into your creative energies and refine your skills.
1. Visualize the situations.
As you’re brainstorming and trying to solve a problem, use a whiteboard to draw out the situation. Sketch out possibilities. Use colors and images. Make it something more exciting to stare at than simply a list of text or a window full of tabs.
This one is a little cliché, but clichés exist for a reason. If you’ve hit a roadblock in your brainstorming or can’t come up with your newest idea, take a break and move around. Even better if you can do this outdoors. Many people have said their best ideas come to them as they’re jogging. Swim, go for a run, dance, etc.
3. Visit happy hour.
Coffee is what keeps most of us focused during the day. But what can actually help us loosen up a little bit and think outside the box? Alcohol. There’s a great phrase that can apply here—“write drunk, edit sober”. Now, I’m certainly not suggesting you work on client material drunk. But sit back, have a drink, do some free writing and see what comes to mind.
4. Schedule time each day.
Creativity is a muscle, which means it needs to be exercised. Be proactive and make time each day to do something creative. Sketch the sunrise in the morning. Journal before you go to bed each night. Write poetry, songs or blogs. Make a point to exert these muscles every day.
5. Learn new hobbies.
Some of the smartest and most creative people are those that are well rounded. They may specialize in a skillset, but they also have diverse hobbies and interests. You never know where you’ll find inspiration, so learn something totally random. Sign up for an online class.
6. Carry a notebook with you.
As a writer, this is something I’ve always done. I have 2-3 notebooks with me at any given time. Sometimes an idea pops into my mind and I need to write it down. Or it can be used for making lists.
7. Spend time with kids and animals.
When is the last time you watched kids play? They have the most active imaginations, partially because it never even occurs to them to judge their ideas or self-censor what comes to mind. Be inspired by the worlds they create in their games. Or spend time with animals. Let the unconditional love of a pet take you away from whatever is on your mind. They can teach you to just be in the moment.
What other tips have people used for improving upon their creativity? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.