A promise is a promise. Last week I told you I would compile your best comments into a new detailed list of “Creative Thinking: 10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity (part 2)” and publish it on ilcantone.com. And here it is! The wait was worth it 🙂
But, first of all, I recommend you to read or refresh the original post: Creative Thinking: 10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity (part 1).
And here it is, the new list of 10 effective ways to boost your creativity:
1. Know the rules well so you can break them effectively
You have to be an expert on your chosen topic if you want to go far beyond the rules currently defined in it. By having a great understanding of the topic, you will be able to think creatively and develop innovative solutions to problems.
2. Your working atmosphere must be conducive to creativity
If we want to be creative we need a quiet workspace and time to sit there and relax in order to have a state of deep concentration; only then, we give the muse a chance to appear. In other words, we have to try hard to concentrate on the task at hand if we want to be creative, and it won’t be possible if we don’t have a comfortable atmosphere to work.
3. Carry a notebook & Jot down good ideas when they hit you
My best tip is to always carry around a notebook (or Ipod as I do) so that ideas from nature, conversations and other aspects of life can be easily jotted down in a sentence to be returned to later on.
I find that my best business ideas, article posts and product designs come from this method as it is not forced and allows the mind maximum scope for making connections.
4. Mind mapping good ideas
I like to keep track of all ideas I get and write everything down (I carry a notebook and pen, and save all ideas to Google Docs when I get online). When I need to “turn on” the creativity, I dig into my idea-pile and just reading through all the ideas gets me going.
After that I like to form mind maps and take the ideas a bit further. In the end I might work on a related idea that came from that mind map, but as I save the mind map, I can always go back and work on that original idea.
So in a sense, for me, creativity is the process I follow. It’s perfect, when I’m not feeling particularly creative, the process gets me in that creative mood I need to be, because I see all the ideas I’ve written down and worked on before.
Don’t wait for inspiration to arrive. The muse lies in waiting for us to show up. Set aside a specific day or time of day that will create a routine that you can count on. When you show up to do the work, make it a sacred ceremony. Light a candle, say an incantation, do anything that signals to yourself that you are there to do your holy work.
6. Have a mini power yoga session
I practice yoga and I find that some of the core concepts can easily be used by anyone to boost creativity. If you can find a quiet place to sit or lie down comfortably, it is very important that you relax and pay attention to your breathing. Start to take nice slow, long, deep inhales and exhales. When you think you have exhaled all of the air out of your body, exhale just a little bit more and then slowly begin to inhale again.
The breaths should be very intentional, slow and controlled. This creates a positive flow of energy, fresh oxygen and blood throughout your body. Practice controlling your breath like this for about 3-5 minutes and you just gave yourself a mini power yoga session that will help open your mind and stimulate your creativity.
Related to this point Ryan commented: I meditate for at least 20-30 minutes. After sitting still creative ideas usually flow to me easily. Stillness helps to remove my blockages.
7. Clear your head, collect your thoughts and de-stress your life
When I need to be creative I try to clear my head of all thoughts. Sometimes it’s difficult, but a quiet room where I can be alone really helps. Another way to clear my head of all thoughts is to work out. It tends to relieve stress and pressures from the day. Then take a nice shower to get relaxed. After that my mind seems to open up and I can begin to think creatively. Related to this point Ali from InternetHow Blog encourage us to take long walks to clear our mind.
Exercise is really important to a healthy lifestyle and, of course, to clear our mind and to make the creative process easier. I also love taking long walks to clear my mind and to reflect on my situation and prepare for my next step.
8. Sharing and discussing ideas with others
Collaborate with other people because there is always something to learn from each one. This will help you to grow and to understand different points of view. So, talk to a friend, share your thoughts on a given topic and ask them to help you to find new fresh ideas or to develop them. You would be surprised how much extra stuff you come up with.
9. Challenge yourself
It is important to continually challenge yourself in order to boost your creative potential. Find your skills and your limits, put yourself in a challenging situation and try your best to overcome it. You can overcome any challenge you face in life. When you face a challenge and you do your best to overcome it you grow and your comfort zone expands. So, try out new things and avoid always using the same solutions you have used in the past.
Here’s a great example of what I mean: Entrepreneurial Challenge: How to Turn $5 Into $650 in 2 Hours.
As Joseph Campbell said once: “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
10. Make your own list with your top 10 creativity tips
Many of my artist friends (and myself) have some sort of list with reminders and proven strategies to pull out in case of a creativity block. So, come on, collect your best creativity tips (the ones which work best for you) and make your own list.
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Now, I’m looking to you for some wisdom:
- What do you do to boost your creativity?
- How do you generate new ideas? What lights you up?
Use the comments section of this post as a forum to post your own experiences, opinions and thoughts on this subject.
And remember, share your thoughts and enjoy what others share with you 🙂
My Twitter: @DavidCantone
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