The term creatives makes most people think of artists or designers. Yet creativity is crucial for everyone even if you spend more time in a boardroom than a design studio. No, we’re not all Monet with a paintbrush or J.K. Rowling with words, but creativity is a habit with practical applications that anyone can develop.
No matter what your day-to-day looks like, generating new ideas quickly and frequently helps you stay relevant in today’s fast moving world. Whether it’s staying engaged during wearisome moments or solving a tricky problem, getting your creative mindset in gear is essential.
Here are some tips:
- Be a (daydream) believer. Take a cue from The Monkees and know that anyone can develop creativity-boosting habits. It just takes some focus. Think of what inspires you and give yourself easy access to it. Keep audio books in the car, fill your iPod with a favorite band, bookmark a website of your favorite artist’s work, or simply set aside time to get outside each day.
- Don’t play the waiting game. Have a list of projects that you’d love to tackle but aren’t in the mood? Take Nike’s advice and just do it. A good way to hide your creativity indefinitely is to wait for it to come out naturally. Sometimes creativity has to be forced, so set aside specified times to dig into that project now!
- Shake it off. It should come as no surprise that we find Taylor Swift inspirational. But even if her music isn’t your thing, this particular message is a good reminder to let the haters hate, let go of the junk and focus on opening your mind in a productive manner.
- Found time. Maximize small pockets of time, especially in confined spaces where there are limited demands on your attention, such as in the shower or during a commute. Instead of zoning out or running through your to-do list, focus on something that inspires you. For me, creativity happens often when I’m traveling, stuck in a hotel room without my DVR to distract me or confined to that tiny space on a plane.
- One-a-day. It’s not only for vitamins. Experts agree that aiming to do one new thing a day can drastically increase your creative thinking and problem-solving ability. Sure, most of us won’t do this every day, but challenging ourselves to try something new gets us going in the right direction. I like this author’s take on daring yourself daily.
- Think like a child. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up.” Remember back when you were young, or observe your own little test subjects if you have some running around. In this mindset, approach tasks with new eyes and don’t immediately eliminate ideas that seem impractical. That open, curious, child-like wonder can lead to great things!
Hopefully you found some ideas here to revitalize your creativity as you tackle your tasks and goals for 2015! Hankering for more? Here are two books I plan on checking out for added inspiration: