3 Ways to Unleash Your Creativity
Creating something from nothing isn’t simple. Inspiration, perspective, motivation, and the right tools are all critical elements to creativity. Having the exact right combination of all of these things, at the perfect time, isn’t always easy to come by.
Good news: There are strategies we can employ to give our creative sensibilities a jolt and ensure that we’re prepared to build whatever our hearts—or jobs—tell us we have to do.
Consider the following tips for unleashing your inner creative brilliance:
1. To spark creativity, get moving.
Sitting at your desk in front of a screen all day isn’t usually the most effective setting for dreaming up big, clever ideas. One of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing is to get up and get moving.
Studies have shown that stepping away from your work and going for a walk stimulates the neurological and physiological pathways that lead to creative thinking and problem solving. Turns out, it’s a simple strategy employed by many of the world’s top innovators, visionaries, and creators. Sometimes you need to take a break and clear your mind to make space for good ideas.
2. Seek out new experiences.
To one degree or another, we’re all creatures of habit. But if you’re stuck in the same routines doing the same things over and over, it leaves little room for thinking differently.
The more and varied our inputs (the places we go, people we speak with, media we engage with, etc.) the more our outputs (creativity) can evolve. In other words, go take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about. Read books. Strike up a conversation with that neighbor or co-worker you’ve never spoken to before. If you have time, try learning a new language.
Studies have even suggested that playing video games can help people become more creative in their tasks and projects.
Inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources, so increasing your interactions will in turn increase your chances for coming up with something you’ve never imagined before.
3. When it’s time to work, mitigate distractions.
Most creatives strive for what’s called a flow state, known more commonly as “being in the zone.” It’s a period of intense thought and concentration when a creative is getting his or her work done—fully immersed in whatever project they’re working on.
To mitigate distractions while in the zone, start by turning off non-critical notifications on your phone and laptop. A constantly dinging phone doesn’t lend itself to getting highly creative work done. Try to find a quiet place away from similarly jarring sounds—avoid coffee shops, casual conversations, barking dogs, etc.
Then, do whatever sets you up for maximum creativity. Depending on the type of creative work you’re doing, researchers have said that some level of sound or noise can help boost creativity. When writing, for example, electronic or classical music can help hold you in that flow state. Music with lyrics, however, can prove to be distracting.
Ideas only have value when they’re acted upon. To realize your full potential, set yourself up for that creative flow state from which the best ideas, and execution of those ideas, takes shape.