How to increase creativity

It is often said—very rightly at that—that creativity is a muscle. It needs to be used if you want to keep it sharp. It needs to be bent and stretched and pulled, occasionally beyond its limit, for it to develop.

To increase creativity, the only logical solution is to bring all that you have to the table and use it to build something more, something new.

Listed here are a few ways to do just that:

Feed your curiosity

Feed your curiosity and keep learning

The most important thing to do if you wish to improve your creativity is never to ignore curiosity. In fact, curiosity is like a mental beacon, where your brain is telling you to put your back into it and learn more before it expires from lack of information.

The human brain is designed to learn. Every person, every day, has dozens of moments where lack of knowledge keeps them from finding the answer to a solution. Most people ignore this and choose not to learn what they don’t know; hence they achieve less than they could.

Creative people are always ready to learn. When you read, or talk to experts and collaborate, ideas pop into your head of their own accord. The ideas want to be thought. You just have to make sure your mind is a habitable enough place for them.

Take a look from a different angle

Accept inspiration without question

Inspiration is never localized. If you are stuck for an idea, looking at what the competition does might help, but it will not give you anything new. All that has been done has been done already, and you can bet it has been reinvented and tried again and again and again.

What you need to do is not to just think outside the box but do it. Search for inspiration from places outside your chosen niche. Look for it in the most unlike of places. Create scenarios in your head of the craziest sort.

The best inspiration is always hidden where you least expect it to be. Thinking outside the box will not only give you great, unique ideas but also help boost your creativity.

Free your mind and think creative

Don’t think about it

Stress and tension both are major creativity-killers. Both overload the mind, stifling its innate tendency to wander and thus create innovative ideas. When you are so worried about what your boss will say if you don’t find a great plan, all you are really thinking about are the consequences of failure, not how to avoid that failure.

To unplug is the solution. Stop thinking about it. Take a nap, go shopping, wash the dishes or put the kids to bed. Go for a long walk and enjoy nature. You don’t have to do this for long, just maybe an hour or two where you don’t sit down and brood.

Exercise and rest freshen the brain, bringing it out of the shackles of morbid thoughts. It sets ideas free. Creativity stems from stress-free, pleasant and positive thoughts.

Think cretive and from different angles

Think from different angles

Sometimes the main reason you feel out of ideas is that you are looking at a thing from one angle only. To make an iron helmet, to use an archaic metaphor, the smith has to hammer the iron from all sides, not just one. He has to do it over and over, up and down, inside out, before the lump of metal becomes something worth using.

Similarly, a problem will never be solved if it keeps getting attached from one angle. It has to be seen from different perspectives, from all the sides, before a solution can be reached. For this purpose, one could use the Six Thinking Hats technique, where each hat represents a different outlook. One could mean all the facts, the other all the problems, another different possibility, and so on. This method has been proven to work by some of the greatest minds in the world.

Ask for other peoples creative opinion

Not everyone is the enemy

A major drawback of today is, everybody wants to be the sole hero. People want to solve every problem by themselves, to find the answer all on their own.

Sometimes you are too close and intimate with a problem. Your biases don’t let you look at all the possible viewpoints. In such cases, a fresh perspective might be just the thing you need to look at the problem objectively.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It does not mean you are not good enough, but rather helps you channel the creative energy that was always in you, only clouded by your predispositions.