How to boost your creativity every day
Ran out of creative juice? Get inspired with these creativity tips
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This November, I'm challenging myself to write every day. You can read them all under the "Shorts" category, where each post should be around 500–1k words. Think of them as "less polished" than my usual longer blog posts. This is Day 8.
Creativity is the ability to imagine and develop new and innovative ideas. According to Robert E. Franken, it can also be defined as "the tendency to generate or recognise ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others." Everyone needs creativity, and everyone has the potential to be creative. You don't have to be an artist, a designer, a writer or people in the creative industry to appreciate creativity. It's also useful for communicating and problem-solving in an unconventional and creative manner. It's natural to run out of creative juice especially when thinking and working a lot, so how do we replenish it? Here are four tips to improve your creativity on a daily basis:
Not only can you self-reflect, relieve stress and improve your writing, but you will also be able to inspire and unleash more creativity! I can't tell you how many times journaling has helped me come up with ideas for tweets or blog posts. Brain dump your thoughts by writing down whatever comes to mind because that's the purpose of journaling. Allow your mind to flow and wander to wherever it wants to go. Allow your imagination to run wild. If you want, you can always start with journaling prompts.
Give your brain a quick reset by taking a break. Have you ever felt as if you couldn't feed your brain any more information because it's been overexerted and overloaded? The best remedy for that is to take a break, right? It's similar to improving your creativity. You may believe that consuming more will increase your creativity, but that might not always be the case. Maybe it's time to try taking a break. Breaks come in all forms, including taking a walk. According to a Stanford study, taking a walk (no, a walk to the fridge does not count) or walking your dog can boost creativity. Take in the scenery around you and carefully absorb the details. Your surroundings may serve as a source of inspiration for you. You will need it most if you spend most of your day at your desk. Daydreaming, napping, and even meditating are also other forms of breaks. They leave you with a fresher and calmer mind, and give your creativity a jump-start too!
By working on something outside of work, you can look at a problem and the world with a fresh pair of eyes. It might seem counter-intuitive, because if you want to improve at your job, you will need to do more to improve outside of work hours right? Not always. It's okay to leave some distance every now and then. Working on something else that's not your usual work can help improve your creativity. Maybe it's something you enjoy doing in your spare time. Consider this: you can apply and use what you learn from your creative side projects at work. You're able to bring a fresh perspective to the table, which may allow you to think outside the box. For example, suppose you're a designer who enjoys coding in your spare time. Understanding code allows you to better understand constraints in certain designs, which enables you to create better designs around it. As an added bonus, you might discover your next calling perhaps.
Lastly, keep creating. Coming up with a "good" idea requires you to consider all of the bad ones first. Start and churn out the bad, work your way up to the good, then to the great. Don't overthink and get paralysed by your bad ideas. We all have bad ideas. It's just that the creative people we know are used to the process of churning out bad ideas to produce good ones. Because our brains aren't good at coming up with great ideas upfront, the best way to start is to brain dump all the bad ones first. Once your brain recognises what a "bad" idea is, it will slowly replace them with the good ones.
If all else fails, taking a nap works wonders too.