Boost that creativity of yours!
12 tips for expanding your creative outlet you probably already know.
Creativity! Is it a talent, are you born with it or is it a skill that is developed through practise? I have no idea. What I know is that the word “talent” is one of those words that grind my gears almost every time when brought up. It is one of, if not, the most overused, abused words in every dictionary. Let me justify my writings here. I have been playing piano since 5 years of age. I started guitar lessons on my ninth circle around the sun. I am 23 now. That’s more than 10 years of practice on each instrument. Now, when someone calls me “talented” I do not hear a compliment but rather my left eye starts twitching. I am not! Without the immense amount of hours spent on these activities I would have been as “talented” as a piece of wood!
My point in a nutshell is
YOU ARE CREATIVE
Some people are, of course, born with a more creative prospects than others. And this is what can actually be called “talent” — the potential of a person to advance a certain skill faster than other people. However, creativity as everything else, can be learned if the mind is put to it. So just for the sake of repetitive learning:
YOU ARE CREATIVE
You probably just don’t know it yet and you simply need a few ideas on how to practice your inner creative genius.
Let me give you some simple exercises because, yes, creativity can and should be trained.
Creativity is an essential attribute even for the suited up business people. Entrepreneurs especially. Creativity is not only “the cool thing that artists posses”. You can be creative for creating your own recipe for this amazing cake that will make the rest of the moms at your kid’s party envy your skill. You can be creative for delivering this great idea at work. You can also… No! You must be creative when building and managing your own business.
Let’s start the bench press for your creativity now!
- Break stuff
Not literally, of course, put that back down. What I mean by break stuff is visualise all parts of something as separate entities. The official name of this technique is “generic parts technique”. Pick an object and simply break it down into parts (in your head!). This method is particularly useful for problem solving. Break that problem down and solve it in its core.
- The routine
One of the greatest enemies of creativity is that fixated schedule of your time. You get up, dress up, go to work, have fun, go back home, call it a day. Having your time planned is not the problem, it is a good thing. However, it is essential to experiment with your daily routine. If you are traveling to work, make that trip a fun experience. Don’t be just reading the morning paper until the destination is reached every day. Your morning coffee, why buy it from that place again when there are other possible options. Minor changes will have unbelievable effect. You will be awaken and so will be your creativity.
Life is harsh and sore, especially on Monday mornings, but please do not forget to laugh! Your positive mood is an invaluable trigger for your creativity. It is scientifically proven that being positive boosts the activity in the prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex which are areas of the brain responsible for the complex cognitions, decision-making and emotions. Cheer yourself up and get that creativity boiling. Even I managed to pull myself to be a funny guy on a Monday morning.
- Comfort zone
Your comfort zone, as comfortable as it comes to be, is not your friend. It doesn’t even like you and wants to steal your creativity. Try to escape from it at least for a while, occasionally. Engage in new things and broaden your horizons. There is much more to see, solve, experience and learn.
- Listen to music
Music is the quickest way to reach out to your creativity. Listening to classical music is especially helpful as it increases creativity, concentration and other cognitive functions.
Writing by hand is also said to be creativity empowering. Several authors writing on the subject of creativity suggest switching the Word doc with a pen and paper when possible. Open the notebook and give it a scratch. I might not be writing on paper now but I am already plenty creative. And awesome. Which leads us to the next tip.
- Be awesome
Or in other words be social. Spend time with people you trust and enlarge your network with other creative people developing in your field. You never know out of which conversation you will derive your million-dollar idea.
- Get outside of the box
Are you trying to generate ideas? Or you are establishing an idea further? Whatever the case, getting out of the usual setting in doing so will definitely deliver in some interesting results. If possible, sit by the window at work for a while thinking and observing. Get off that desk for a bit.
Do not, I repeat, do not be that person! While it might be perceived as an asset in one’s characteristics, perfectionism can result in the complete abandonment of an idea worth working on. Striving to deliver something outstanding and flawless can result in not delivering anything at all. What is even worse is the possibility of undermining oneself due to the inability to deliver astonishing results which will lead to the person’s belief he or she is not creative. You are! You are just over-pressuring yourselves. Climb each ladder steadily.
- Limit your amusement
Let me elaborate a bit here. I do not advise you to be a sad, unamusable person. However, do cut on that TV and cat videos at least a bit. While both mediators of joy might help for the third point “Laughing”, spending your evening watching TV everyday is not going to benefit you in the long term. Television has the bad habit of doing the imagining for you. So you are left with one function only — observance. Amusement leads to the absence of inspiration and thought. As we are being constantly advised, use television, movies, etc. to enlarge your creativity instead of replacing it.
Nothing frees the mind the way good exercise does. Keeping your body active will paradoxically help you rest your brain. Thinking with a fresh mind can help you come up with some interesting insights and ideas. Go sweat a little!
- Final outcome
Your outcome expectations are a source of great pressure. You have no way of knowing, if what you are currently working on will deliver in the precise way you imagine it. However, it is guaranteed that devoting your passion into it, without having the absolute picture of the final result, will allow you to broaden your view and maybe even surprise yourself at the end.
It is simple steps and changes as these that can help us maintain and even expand our creativity. If you desire to be a successful business person you should not undermine the importance of creative thinking.
You should also, as mentioned in the beginning, not use the word “talent” uncontrollably. Just putting this here for the sake of repetitive learning.