There are numerous ways to boost creativity. Different ways will work for different people and under varying circumstances. When one is lacking creative drive it is useful to have a few strategies to experiment with. Here are ten more ideas to try out-
1. Focus on one word
This can be especially useful if you are trying to increase creativity for a writing project. Think of a single word and quickly write down everything you can think of connected to that word. Don’t worry if the connection is pretty vague and that others may not see any link.
Another idea is to start with one word and write the first word it makes you think of. Write a word connected to the second word and then a word connected to that. This is a bit like the old tennis - elbow - foot game where one person says a word and then next person says another word that is connected in some way. The word may be a synonym, one that rhymes or associated in another way.
2. Have a deep conversation
Get involved in a deep conversation where you get right into a topic. This is best done with someone who is willing to listen to all sorts of ideas and will throw their ideas into the mix.
3. Place an indoor plant or two on your desk
Research shows indoor plants can increase creativity by as much as 45%. This seems like an easy idea to try out.
4. Just start work on something
Don’t analyse what you are doing, just start. You may decide to ‘muck around’ with a small project before getting into your main activity.
Meditation encourages divergent thought processes. Meditation can help people tap into ideas that are already in their conscious or sub conscious.
6. Focus on something blue or green
I haven’t tried this but I read that focusing on blue or green will assist creative thinking.
Focus on something blue such as the sky. Image:Marie Vonow
Allowing your mind to wander can allow creative ideas to emerge. Free association allows your mind to come up with emotions and ideas in an unconstrained manner. Sometimes doing a mundane job such as washing dishes will boost your creativity because it allows time for your mind to wander as you do the task.
8. Place restrictions on yourself
Sometimes giving yourself a time limit can make you more creative because you don’t waste time over-analysing ideas. Instead of trying to find the best idea you just get started.
A useful restriction for a writer could be to put an idea into 50 or 75 words. You will find yourself concentrating on finding the most concise way of expressing yourself and this may involve using words and phrases you don’t frequently use.
9. Don’t aim at perfection
Being a perfectionist is likely to restrict your thinking. It stops you from trying new ideas and taking risks.
10. Go for a walk
I wasn’t surprised that walking outside boosted creativity as I have experienced this myself. I often return from walking the dog with some ideas buzzing in my head. What surprised me was reading about research which proved walking on a treadmill facing a blank wall boosts creativity just as much.
(I would still rather walk my dog, even if the weather is cold.)
Research has shown creative output may increase by as much as 60% when walking. Some companies have meetings while people walk because it stimulates creative ideas.
It is interesting to note tips that could seem contradictory may promote creativity. Focusing is suggested in some tips. Letting your mind wander is recommended in others. Both could work, but for different reasons. Perhaps focusing on something works better for some people and free association for others. Maybe both will work for the same person but one method is more helpful under certain conditions. I don’t know if any of this is so, but it’s possible.
For more ways to give your creativity a boost click
# Free Association