8 Practical Ways to Boost Your Creativity

Many of us don’t even realise how creative we are sometimes until someone else points out what we have done. Some people might blame this on our stereotypical educational or schooling system.

Who are Creative People?

When creativity is mentioned, majority of people think of Artists, Musicians, Writers etc. The truth is, we all can be creative even as some of us go about our daily 8-5 jobs (Yes, 8-5 not 9-5 that’s a rip off especially for people in Lagos if you know what I mean).

Why Should You Be Creative?

Every corporate establishment needs innovative and creative people in their organisation to be able to tackle problems they have and create workable solutions. So in whatever career that we find ourselves (the boxes that we live in day to day), we have researched and compiled a couple of practice steps that can help you boost your creativity and improve your problem solving skills.


Let’s Begin;


1.    Always Ask Questions


Assumption is the lowest point of knowledge.  Can you remember this particular rice advert? It was about a three year old boy asking a series of questions like:

‘Why is water wet?’

‘Why is the sky blue?’

‘Why can’t I drive?’

‘Why don’t you go to school?’ (referring to him mom) and

‘Why is her stomach so big?’ (pointing to a pregnant woman as they walked past her in a supermarket).

 
These are questions that a typical Nigerian mother would most likely give that “If-I-Slap-You-Now-You-Will-Tell-Me-If-I-Am-Your-Teacher-At-School” look which would immediately shut the child up. Because of this many of us have become adults that have buried our curiosity and inquisitiveness to find out details.

So stay hungry, stay foolish and if there is something that is unclear, always ask ‘why?, what?, how? When?  What if?...’ without shame or fear, even if you might not get a response, but NEVER EVER EVER remain silent about your lack of knowledge about a particular topic. You never know when or where you might apply the simplest of knowledge you may have acquired. GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND, you can ask “him” too! 


     2.     Practice, Practice….Perfect!




There is a good tongue twister that you can have fun with while learning the art of practice that we believe if you say every time or every day, you will get perfect at and  say without blabbing. It goes thus: “If practice makes perfect and perfect needs perfect, I’m perfectly practiced and practically perfect”. 

 

Practicing your craft every day, even for a little while, keeps your mind sharp and creative. If you write, then write something every day. If you want to be a good designer, design something every day, it could be as easy as redesigning the logo for your favourite electronic brand or maybe your football team. What if Man United paid me to redesign their logo, what would I come up with? Need we say more?

3.    Sleep… Relax, Stop, Look and Listen!






Why do ideas suddenly “jump on you” in the shower? Simple because your brain needs time to work in the background when it’s not expected to do much else. Your brain also processes information and reorganises all the stuff kicking around in your head when you sleep. When you wake up, you may be surprised by the new ideas that burst into your brain! So Sleep on your thoughts or just relax!

Have you also noticed how when you’re stuck on finding the solution to something, the answers don’t usually come right there in that moment when you are actively thinking about it and struggling hard to figure it out?

The eureka moments usually come when you are not focused on that problem. So take a moment, admire the flowers, just sit in a coffee shop, watch a butterfly as it perches and moves from flower to flower or the dragon flies as they mate while in the air. Appreciate the simple beauties of life and just open up your mind and the “haaa” moment will come.

4.    Comfort Zone? What is that?




We all feel safe in our different boxes and the particular structures that we have implemented in our lives. We usually strive for stability and certainties (not that I am saying that those in themselves aren’t good) but one certainty in life that we are usually afraid to come to terms with is that in life, nothing is certain.

This is why we should get bold and step out of our boxes. Getting out of our boxes becomes a necessity to be creative. It can be as simple as learning to write with your left hands or learning to ride a motorcycle. Try to do something that you normally wouldn’t do and that you are probably afraid of.

 

Doing so trains your mind and helps you understand that you can accomplish new feats even the new assignment that you’ve been given at work by a very demanding boss. Taking managed risks will get you out of your boxed thinking.

5.    Read About or Learn Something New






It could be a new language or a musical instrument or a topic you probably normally wouldn’t read. Read as much as you can about everything or anything possible. Books exercise your brain, just as your body needs exercise to keep fit and healthy.


Reading books also provide inspiration and give you information that lets you make creative connections easily. Also constructive arguments are good, argue from a new different point of view or take the opposite stance from what you normally will agree with. It helps you open up your mind and experience something from a new perspective.


6.    Write Down Your Thoughts and Ideas




Do you forget ideas at times? Sometimes our brains can be saturated! You never know when you will be visited suddenly by your "creativity muse." So always, always, always carry a small notebook and a pen or pencil around with you. That way, if you are struck by an idea, you can quickly note it down.

7.    Actively Seek Out Alternatives



This is how we used to do it, we can simply call this statement the “creativity-killer” Please don’t fall in this space, always look for alternatives and not necessarily the ‘correct or the usual answer’.

Experiment! Just because something has always been done one way, or used for that purpose or you’ve always done something in a particular method doesn't mean things can't change. To exercise your mind to think creatively, you need to actively seek out alternatives and find out for yourself what other ways this problem can be solved. This challenges you and your mind to generate new solutions, ideas and answers. 


8.    Get Feedbacks on Your Works





No man is an island of knowledge. Simply put, to know more, you need to share more! Don’t be afraid of criticism or negative feedbacks. Sometimes, negative feedbacks from people can eventually lead to a positive output. Leverage on various site such as www.54artistry.com to share what you have been working on to a large community of creative people.




Images courtesy Google image