Is your job creative? Do you attend classes at a university that require you to come up with plenty of ideas? Perhaps, you do something that involves non-standard thinking in your free time? Regardless of where and how big of an chance you have to use creativity, it is worth knowing how to activate it within you in an effective way.
Traditional methods for preventing creative crises or the popular and irritating writer’s block usually don’t work. Why? Because creativity works out best if it’s an approach to life and not just a plan for resolving single problems.
You have to learn how to live in a creative way. How should you start? Here are several ideas.
1. BE LIKE SALVADOR DALI
You’ve certainly heard of him, haven’t you? This surrealist painter focused on eccentricity not only in his work results but also in the methods of working. Dali had a specifically interesting approach to naps, which similarly to work, were to be the most productive and energy-generating source.
The recipe for such naps? Sit in a comfortable chair and hold keys in your hand. Rest your arm and let your hand hang loose. Before that, put a plate or bowl, preferably a metal one, on the floor next to the chair. All you need to do now is to fall asleep! When you do that, your hand will let go off the keys and they will wake you up when hitting the metal surface.
Dali stated that this was a great method for activating the mind and improving work. Perhaps it is worth taking advice of this big artist, seriously?
2. PRACTICE DIY
Creative people visit shops less often because they prefer to prepare some things by themselves. It’s a good idea to follow this example and make creativity the background for the entire life step by step.
It‘s difficult, especially because if you have little time, you can find practically everything on shop shelves. It’s a good idea to find a compromise within yourself in such a case and give yourself a week so that everything (well almost everything) you need can be done applying the DIY technique.
Food can be such a challenge. Why not try to bake bread, cake or prepare a sauce made of fresh tomatoes? Holidays and birthdays are a great time for preparing cards (with your original wishes) and gifts – also the creative ones. You can try to make trousers, a scarf or beanie for yourself, put together a beautiful flower bouquet with flowers picked by you, compose a bathing soap or jewellery.
The ideas are endless! See how much you can do in one week.
3. PRACTICE CREATIVITY IN PROBLEMATIC SITUATIONS AND FIND AT LEAST THREE SOLUTIONS EACH TIME
Creativity is based on the process of divergent thinking that assumes consideration of numerous points of view. It does not adopt only one correct solution (as opposed to convergent thinking).
Such an approach may be applied even in daily, routine activities – when cooking, cleaning (distribution of chores is a great space for showing creativity), and then implementing them into more-demanding tasks, also at work.
When talking about a problem that you think your company should resolve, propose at least two solutions even if you’re convinced that they are pointless. This will inspire you and others, and you can focus on the solution instead of the problems itself.
Start with three creative methods for slicing an onion and end with three alternatives, and equally fascinating ideas for increasing the number of returning customers. You won’t regret it, even it’s just for training purposes.
4. IT’S OK TO BE FRUSTRATED
As long as it’s reasonable. Excessive frustration will block the ability of creative thinking but slight frustration may help you. Good ideas come from a strong desire to resolve often a difficult problem that usually irritates or even angers one.
You have certainly heard about literary or art works that were created with anger or other emotions in the background. An immediate inflow of creativity may be a method for relieving stress but we are definitely not advising you to try to become angry intentionally.
Despite such a state (to a moderate degree) may result in increased creativity, people tend to have better ideas when they are in a good mood.
What to do? Find a compromise. Ensure you’re always in a good mood but when you feel frustrated, check if you can transform it into something unique instead of being irritated.
5. CHANGE YOUR WORKING ENVIRONMENT
You don’t always have to do work at your desk especially when the weather encourages you to go outside. Who knows, maybe you’ll be more creative at the park, forest or on a bench located in the centre of a city. Many people say that they wouldn’t be able to work at home and they prefer to go to a cosy café to work there for several effective hours.
This makes sense because you can observe other people in such places – and people’s behaviours can be a mine of ideas. Maybe you’re this person too? Think about the time when you feel the most creative – when alone? Surrounded by people or nature? At home or in a changing environment? Once you come up with a response, go and create!
Do you feel that one of the above ideas is perfect for you? Use it as soon as possible and then… come up with your own (and make sure you share it with us!). After all, this is what creativity is, isn’t it?