“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook
One of the biggest challenges for creative people is keeping the creative juices flowing. This post is for anyone and everyone looking for ways to enhance their creativity.
It's not easy, day in and day out to stay fresh and come up with new ideas consistently. I have experience working with a high growth startup company where we help clients generate and create new topics to write about it. The ability to come up with ideas to talk about on your blog can be challenging! Sometimes writers, bloggers, artists, and anyone that is in a creative rut, could use a little creativity boost from time to time.
I know this topic has been written about before and others after me will add their own two cents to the conversation. Nonetheless, I wanted to add my tips and tricks with the intentions of being helpful and assist you in getting out of any creative funk you might be in.
Here are my top five ways to increase your creativity.
“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” - Jack London
1. Get away from the desk!
Nothing Earth shattering here, but you need to take a step back in order to have a fresh and uncluttered mind. Go outside and take a walk or maybe go for a run. Taking a moment to stop thinking about what you've been focused on is a sure-fire way to boost your creativity! If you take nothing else from this article except this, you are guaranteed to be more productive. It's the best advice top creatives and professionals share on how to increase creativity and that's why I listed it as my number 1 tip!
"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties"- Erich Fromm
2. Create a routine.
Ask any pro or semi-pro creative type and they will tell you that creating a routine is paramount to success and most people's number 1 tip on how to boost creativity. I made it my second tip because I feel taking a break is more important. At the end of the day, you need to do what works best for you!
I have my routines but I allow myself to be in the moment and go with the flow, because that's what life is about. I use a whiteboard to help map out my days or things I need to do. I also use workflowy to take with me on the go and keep my projects in order!
"Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn't formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them" -Lee Haney
Exercise, I thought about making this number one because without health, people don't feel so good, and if you don't fell so good, it's going to be pretty hard to be creative!
I encourage working out a minimum of three times a week. Lift some weights, do a pushup, get your blood pumping! This will make you feel good and is a great way to create space in your mind and allow you to increase your creativity. Maybe you want to hike, run on the beach, ride your bike, whatever you love to do... do it! Here's a decent article that discusses this in more detail.
"Meditation is nothing but taking a mental shower. "-Yogi Bhajan
4. Meditate... (Ideally, Daily)
To build habits, you need to do them daily. It's pretty simple and seemingly one of the hardest things to do. It's easy to NOT do the activity you know you should do. I am right here with you. I try to meditate when I feel like I want or need it, but I don't want to force it. If I force it, I don't find it enjoyable and meditation should be relaxing and enjoyable.
I find it equally beneficial to just sit, relax, breathe, and be. I like to do this at the beach as much as I can! :)
note: I do notice an increase in creativity when I do meditate at least 2-3 times a week.
Give it a try and if you don't like it, don't do it! Everyon is different and at the end of the day, you need to do what works for you!
I use the Calm app but you can use whatever app you like best.
“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” - Friedrich Nietzsche
If you aren't walking on a daily basis or at least taking breaks from your job in other ways e.g. running, swimming, etc., you need to start doing this immediately! Walking is another form of meditation and if you don't want to meditate -it's hard for me too- then I highly recommend walking!
If I am in a creative rut or I just need a creative boost, I go for a walk!
note: This is a great way to spend time with friends and significant others too! :)
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marely
6. Listen to music.
I really should have made this a list of ten because the ideas keep coming to me! I think most people do this but listening to music really helps me generate new ideas and inspires me to get in "the zone". I am not talking about your favorite songs, the ones you know all the words to. I am talking about Classical music or science based "trance music".
I have been doing this for about a month now and I love it! I find this is really helps me reduce my ADD and align my focus on the current task at hand. It's #science. It's backed by neuroscientist Dr. Giovanni Santostasi and I have seen in increase in my productivity. Which is great, because I have a lot of projects I am working on! :)
It usually helps me write by reading - somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.
I was never the biggest reader, so for me to add reading to this list, even in the bonus section is huge! I currently listen to audio books via audible, which I love! Aside from that, I started making a habit of taking and reading 10-15 minutes a day. It's been really relaxing and allows me to just be. Not focusing on anything but what I am reading is another form of meditation. Taking a break from always trying to access your creative reservoir by doing different activities like reading and walking on a consistent basis, you are going to set yourself up for success every time you need to be creative.That's how I have been able to boost creativity. I take a step back in order to move forward.
BE CURIOUS!- dare to fail!
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” — Walt Disney
8. Try to fail.
By now I am sure you have seen a ton of support around failing. If you haven't you are in for a treat. If you think back to your days in school, failing was not considered good. Nobody rewarded failure.
The spin these days is to go out and try. If you fail, fail forward and celebrate your attempt at going outside your comfort zone and pushing yourself to your limits. Take that information and reflect upon what went wrong and what you can do better to improve and succeed with your next attempt.
By continuing to push yourself to the point of failure, means you are truly growing. I always see a boost in creativity when I push myself to failure. Failure to me means, a drawing I don't like, a painting that doesn't look so good or a story for a new kids book that's not unique. I have a lot of FAILS and I am looking forward to many more! :)
Have tips that help make you a more creative person? Share your ideas in the comments and help make the world a more creative place!
I am an artist, illustrator, and kids book author.