If you have a career that requires creativity or you’ve ever needed a creative solution to a problem, you’re aware of how challenging it can be to be creative on command. Perhaps you are looking to be more creative with your craft or your art? Creativity can seem to come and go with little rhyme or reason. Have you ever wished you could proactively boost your creativity? You can!
Like any other skill, the ability to increase your creativity gets better with practice and experience.
An excellent book on the subject of art and creativity is The War of Art by Steve Pressfield.
“Someone once asked Somerset Maughham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. ‘I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.'” ~Steve Pressfield, The War of Art
Here are some strategies that can encourage you to be more creative:
1. Work in a new environment.
It’s amazing how much a change of scenery can help! Try working in the library or a coffee shop. Rearrange your office and change the view. When you do the same things in the same place, you’ll tend to think the same thoughts.
- Turn off your autopilot and expose your senses to new stimuli.
- Likewise, if you stay in your current work environment, remove distractions and clutter and surround yourself with inspiration.
2. Pretend you’re helping someone else find solutions.
Many people find that they have more creative ideas when helping others solve their challenges.
- Pretend you’re helping a friend and let the ideas flow. Depersonalizing the issue seems to free up a part of the mind that’s otherwise stifled.
3. Brainstorm in pairs.
Have you ever noticed that you and a friend or coworker find more creative ideas between the two of you rather than when brainstorming in a group? Break away from the group and pair up with just one other person.
- When a large group brainstorms, most of the group members lack a sense of accountability. It’s too easy to be passive.
4. Try being creative at a different time of the day.
If you normally write in the morning, but the creativity just isn’t flowing, try the afternoon or evening. You could also try getting up extra early for a change. If you’ve been feeling stuck at 9 AM for a while, it’s time try a different hour of the day.
5. Try some music.
Few things can change your mood and get those creative juices flowing faster than a great song. Try different types of music and see what works. Avoid sticking to only your favorites. Branch out and listen to something new.
Meditation is useful tool for giving your mind a well-needed break and also for your mental and emotional health. Through meditation you will likely find your thoughts start to become reenergized. Simple and elegant solutions frequently reveal themselves after a short period of meditation.
- Meditation requires a little practice, but it’s easier to learn than you may think. Meditate on your challenges and be open to the thoughts that arise.
- Listening to Brainwave Entrainment for Creativity can also help!
7. Stay hydrated.
Get a drink of water! Your body is mostly water. Even a small degree of dehydration causes all sorts of biological processes to go haywire. If you’re feeling stuck, take a minute to drink a large glass of water.
- Remember to drink throughout the day.
- Likewise, if you’re not eating enough throughout the time when you are expected to be creative, you will not be as creative as you could be. You must fuel yourself with healthy, nutrient-dense foods.
8. Go outside.
Try getting outside for a little exercise. The late John Denver frequently commented that all of his best songs were written immediately after an exhilarating, outdoor activity. Nature has the ability to inspire.
- You may lack a plan, but you can still get outside and see what comes to you.
Creativity doesn’t automatically happen on command, but you can help it along by being in tune with what helps you to be creative.. There are times when creativity is needed, but it’s nowhere to be found. Add these tips to your creativity pool the next time you’re feeling uninspired. If one strategy fails to yield the results you desire, try another. With practice, you can learn to unleash your creativity on demand.