13 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
Creativity makes the world go round. It brings us the movies that we watch, the Netflix shows that we binge, the books we read and the fancy new foods you’re just dying to try. Creativity is also a great way to set yourself apart from your associates and co-workers in the professional world, but occasionally we need a boost to help light that creative fire in our hearts.
To help you get started, we’ve gathered a few ways – both orthodox and otherwise – to help you boost your creativity and help you think outside the box.
We all live super busy lives, and sometimes it can be hard to find a little bit of time in the day to help foster your creativity. The first step you need to take to boost your creative heart is to make time. Get up early, stay up late or use your lunch break to write, draw, create or just try something new. Also, once you’ve made time, it’s important to jealously defend it – if you let people infringe on your creative time, you’ll never get anything done.
Crank up the Tunes
Music is almost always tied to creativity, since the very act of making music is a creative one. The Mozart Effect, for example, suggests that listening to Mozart or other classical music might help to improve your ability to perform mental tasks. If classical isn’t your thing, just find the music that inspires you to create. Spotify has a couple of playlists, like Creativity Boost or Brain Food, that might help you get started.
Write By Hand
Writing by hand might take longer, but it has a great number of benefits, including helping you be more creative. If writing is your creative outlet of choice, this is a fantastic way to boost your creativity. You’ll be in good company – famous writers like Neil Gaiman prefer to write their first drafts by hand.
Adding alcohol to any situation might seem like a good way to liven things up a bit, and it’s definitely a great way to boost your creativity – when used in moderation. Scientists have been studying the effects that alcohol has on creativity for years and found that when a person’s blood alcohol level is around 0.75 or the equivalent of three drinks, they tend to be more creative and think more broadly. Just don’t drink too much – no one likes the aftereffects of too much alcohol.
This one may seem a little stereotypical, but you’d be surprised how helpful sitting in a coffee shop and just observing the patrons can be. One study also found that sitting in a coffee shop or other public place can be helpful due to the level of ambient noise in the area. While loud noises can be distracting, the gentle hum of normal human activity can actually help improve your creativity.
Letting your mind wander is a great way to look at ideas from a new perspective, as well as getting away from your everyday stressors. Contrary to what your elementary school teachers might have told you, daydreaming is actually essential to a healthy and active mind. Daydreaming gives you a way to utilize your mind’s capacity to create while you’re doing other, more menial tasks, like filing paperwork or washing dishes.
Sometimes the easiest way to get started with a creative project is to set a goal and reward yourself. Do you need to write 1,000 words? Set your goal for 500 and treat yourself to a candy bar or an episode of your favorite show when you reach that goal. By setting small goals and rewarding yourself, you’ll find that you’re more motivated to continue creating, making it much easier to reach your final goal.
Also known as a brain dump, free writing can be a great way to get all of your creative ideas down on paper so you can sort them out. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation or revisions. In fact, writing by hand is a great way to free-write because you don’t have those little red squiggly lines under every word that you’ve misspelled. If you’re having trouble getting started, consider picking out a random writing prompt to give you that spark you need.
While this could fall under the same category as daydreaming, meditation is a more mindful practice that has surprising benefits on the creative psyche. Scientists have found that open-monitoring meditation can prime the mind for the generation of ideas. Basically, it helps you create a blank slate where anything is possible. As an added bonus, meditation itself has a ton of health benefits too.
This tip can be summed up in four simple words: Reading stimulates the brain. Tyrion Lannister, from George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series said it best: “… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” Books are exercise for your brain, and the more you exercise your mind, the easier creative endeavors will become.
Sit in a Box
Yes, you heard that right. Go find a large box and sit in it. We use the phrase “think outside the box” as a metaphor for creative thought, so if you’re having trouble thinking outside that box, then change your perspective – go sit in it. Sometimes looking at things from a different point of view can really help get those creative juices flowing.
Talk to People
Try using you friends, colleagues, co-workers, or even random strangers as sounding boards when you’re starting a new creative project. Just like how sitting in the box can change your perspective, each individual you talk to will have a new and unique perspective of their own to offer. It’s kind of amazing how you can ask the same question of 10 different people and get 10 totally unique answers.
Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Adult coloring books are super hot right now, and for good reason. In addition to being a major anxiety-reliever, they’re also great at helping you to up your creativity. So grab your crayons or colored pencils and pick up one of these awesome adult coloring books with designs that will help you clear your mind and make room for all kinds of wonderful new ideas.
Each of these tips and tricks can help get your creativity back on track, but it’s important to remember that your personal take on creativity is uniquely yours and that should be cherished and nurtured. In the words of the immortal Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel – “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!” Take that you and use it to create something wonderful!