4 Ways To Tap Into Your Creativity
You may not know it, but you work in a creative profession. Yes, you. Whether you’re in construction, finance, education or health care, whether your days involve fine art or fine print, the ability to think and act creatively will be a boon to your career. Entrepreneurs are particularly skilled at tapping into creative solutions to old problems, leading to new and disruptive technologies or improvements to the status quo. But middle managers in large companies are equally called upon to find solutions to problems, and creative thinking is the tool that allows you to find off beat solutions. In an increasingly innovation-driven world, it’s well worth developing your creative thinking skills in order to stay competitive and get ahead. Here are four ways to tap into that creativity that anyone can use.
1. Think when you’re tired
Yes, really! Research has found that we are more prone to wander off on mental tangents when we’re tired, rather than with the pinpoint accuracy that we can achieve when mentally alert. This may seem counter-productive, but in fact those distracted thoughts can help us think outside the box. Save the fact checking and process driven work for when you’re at your freshest, and let your mind turn to problem solving when you’re weary.
2. Keep the light dim and the music ambient
If you have the luxury of a private workspace, try altering the ambience of the space by keeping the lights soft and the music softer. It has been shown that when lights are dimmer, even if participants don’t notice a change in visibility, they begin to think more creatively. Likewise, ambient music levels have been proven to be more effective than either louder music or silence in promoting nonlinear thought and creative cognition.
3. Impose restrictions on yourself
If the recent spike in popularity for adult colouring books has proved anything, it’s that our creativity thrives when we’re given constraints within which to work. A blank sheet of paper is daunting, where lines and shapes show us a place to start. Similarly, when Dr Seuss’s editor challenged him to write a book using fifty words or less, he produced the best selling and beloved children’s classic, Green Eggs and Ham. When we’re faced with parameters, our minds naturally look for ways to work around them or within them, leading to some of the best creative work out there.
4. Exercise more
Is there anything exercise can’t solve? Exercise gets you away from your desk, pumps blood through the body and floods your mind with endorphins. As it puts you in a positive mood, it can also promote creative and optimistic thinking, giving you that boost that gets you to the solution you’re seeking.
What do you think?
When and how do you do your best creative work? We understand that everyone is different, so we’d love to hear from you.
This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Fast Company, Science Direct, JSTOR and Lifehacker.