Jun 28, 2009
Creativity and inspiration can come from anything. Sometimes you are trying really hard and you don’t get any ideas and other times when you are not even trying, you get tons. While we cannot completely control our creativity, we can definitely use some simple tips and tricks to enhance it:
1. Question your most fundamental assumptions and ask yourself “What if these were not true?”
2. Look at similar problems in different fields and see what elements are common. Try to apply those to your problem.
3. Don’t evaluate an idea instantly. First write all the ideas that come to your mind and then analyze them together.
4. Setup a daily or weekly time to get rid of your mental baggage like writing emails, making phone calls e.t.c. This would free up your mind and make it easy to get more ideas.
5. Look at people that inspire you, study them and see how they do things.
6. Note during what part of the day your creativity is at it’s peak. Structure your day in a way to make the most out of it.
7. Analyze and understand what triggers your creativity; a good conversation, a good meal, a walk e.t.c and try to do that whenever you get a mental block.
8. Don’t force your creativity. If you cannot think, leave it for a while and then come back to it. Spending time unfruitfuly would make you frustrated and create more hurdles.
9. Do it for yourself. Forget about the world and think that you are doing it just to make yourself happy.
10. Don’t think that you are creative! Know it. If you doubt yourself, your mind would try to restrict the flow of thoughts.
11. Redefine your problem. Change the wording of your question or your problem. This often leads our mind to think in a new direction.
12. Engage in creative activities periodically. Play/list to music, do some art or anything else that would engage your mind.
13. Take a nap. Sleeping on an idea sometimes gives you a fresher perspective.
14. Use unlined paper: This will free up your mind from the restriction of writing linear sentences and would open up your brain to different forms of expression.
15. Ask a child how he or she would solve the problem. Sometimes complicated problems require simple solutions that we overlook.
16. Watch videos of some really inspirational talks over at www.TED.com
17. Change your atmosphere! Go to a new and exciting place and interact with people you have never met before.
18. Work through the process of elimination. If you are not getting a good idea, think of all the bad ideas and set them aside. As you keep thinking your mind will try to cut out the bad parts of all these ideas to come up with a good one.
19. Take a brain dump. Take a piece of paper and write down everything that comes to your mind without caring about the order or arrangement. Then take a break and come back to it after a while. Your mind would be fresh and empty and would make more sense of your thoughts.
20. Write it down. Sometimes we get so engaged in thinking that we cannot remember all of it. Writing helps in remembering as well as streamlining your thoughts.
21. Open a random book to a random page! Try to formulate ideas around that topic. This concept works around the statement that “Freedom Inhibits Creativity”.
22. List down all the hurdles/issues you are facing on a piece of paper and try to solve them individually. This would organize your thought process.
23. If you are struggling with writing, use one of the 329 prompts at Creative Writing Prompts to force self to write.
24. Enjoy some great music to get inspired.
25. Change the setting of your office/room. A renewed working space would give you fresh perspectives.
26. Meditate, or just spend sometime alone with yourself, doing nothing. This would help you connect with your inner-self.
27. Exercise! It allows you to harness your energy and be more focused.
28. Break the routine. Take a different route to work or try a totally different kind of food. Breaking your routine allows you to challenge the traditional way of thinking and try something unique.
29. Stimulate your senses of touch, taste, hear and sight.
30. Follow Picasso when he said “If I don’t have red, I use blue.” Don’t worry about what you are lacking, just use the resources you have and challenge yourself to come up with something.