When people hear the word “creativity,” they associate it with an unlearnable trait. This, however, is far from the truth.
Creativity isn’t some lightning bolt that’s going to strike occasionally or without warning. It’s like a muscle that you need to stretch, challenge and occasionally push past its comfort zone.
If you believe that you don’t have a single creative bone in your body, think again. You can absolutely train yourself to be more creative.
Here are a few suggestions to give your creative side a much-needed boost:
1- Do What You Love
When you love what you’re doing, you’re naturally going to feel more inspired and enthusiastic about coming up with new ideas and thinking of creative ways to solve a problem. A task or a job that you keep postponing is going to be difficult to approach if you don’t have a positive, creative attitude.
Start by finding a hobby that you like and allows you to be creative. If you love arts and crafts, for instance, buy a craft subscription box for adults and make handmade stuff that will bring joy to you and others.
2- Consider Alternative Scenarios
When you’re looking at a problem, use “what if” questions to consider each possible scenario. If you’re scared of missing your flight, for instance, ask yourself, “What if I book a hotel near the airport, so that I can get to the check-in counter earlier?”
Be specific with how you approach a problem. By thinking about the alternatives beforehand, you’ll hone your ability to develop creative solutions to problems.
3- Apply the Six Hats Technique in Problem Solving
Another way to bolster your creativity is to put on your thinking hat – all six of them, in fact. The “six hats” approach entails viewing a problem from six different perspectives.
You wear the following hats whenever you do any kind of problem solving:
- White Hat – View the situation from an objective standpoint. Enumerate the facts.
- Black Hat – Use a negative perspective when looking at the problem. Find out the elements of a solution that won’t fly.
- Red Hat – See the situation emotionally. Search your feelings and determine what they tell you.
- Yellow Hat – Look at the situation positively. Check the elements in the solution that are working.
- Green Hat – Adopt a creative approach to solving the problem. Come up with alternative ideas.
- Blue Hat – Think broadly. Figure out the best overall solution to the problem.
Using the six hats technique will enable you to generate more ideas than simply looking at a situation or a problem from one or two points of view.
4- Look for Conditions that Make You Most Creative
Find the working conditions that work best for you. Some people flourish in the evening, whereas others are at their most productive and creative in the early hours of the morning.
Apart from working hours, consider other factors, such as music (or silence), lighting, and location. Think of yourself as an artist – you need everything to be perfect to be at your best.
5- Use Mind Maps and Flow Charts
A mind map is a fantastic way to connect related ideas and search for innovative solutions to problems. Start by writing down a central word or topic on a whiteboard or a piece of paper. Then, link ideas or terms around that central topic or word.
As you begin to develop a new project, make a flow chart to track the project presentation from the beginning until the end. Look for sequences of events or various paths that might occur. A flow chart can help you come up with unique solutions to problems, eliminate potential problems and visualize the final product.
6- Start Keeping a Creativity Journal
This type of journal allows you to track the ideas you produce and lets you follow your creative process. It’s also an excellent way to look back on your achievements and look for other possible solutions. Use this journal to save ideas that will serve as future inspiration.
7- Fight Fear of Failure
The fear of screwing up can paralyze your progress. Whenever you’re harboring such negative emotions, remind yourself that your mishaps are simply part of the process. Although you may stumble occasionally on your path to creativity, remember that you’ll reach your goals eventually.
8- Unplug Your Mind from Time to Time
Sometimes, your brain needs to unplug from skimming and processing volumes of information. Processing too many details can make your mind reel and negatively affect your creativity and productivity. Taking a breather before resuming a task can benefit your creative capacity.
Creativity is a useful skill for individuals from all walks of life. If you want to be more creative, take note of these eight suggestions.