When you’re stuck on a current project… When you’re looking for new ideas for your next project… When you need a creative solution to a problem… Creativity moves you toward your productivity goals.
Whether you’re writing a story, creating a work of art, designing a website, or planning a wedding, here are 5 tips to stimulate your creativity:
Vary Your Inputs
You can’t have output without input. Provide your mind with a variety of inputs by reading different types of books and other materials, including works on topics and genres that you don’t usually read. Do the same with movies and TV shows.
Feed your mind. Learn new things. Expose yourself to new ideas. Let your research wander.
Reading or watching different types of things consecutively can create a useful cross-pollination effect where you see connections that you never saw before.
Clear Your Mind
Remove distractions. With constant interruptions, your thoughts can become scattered. When you’re stressed, you can’t focus and do your best work.
Find a way to relax and clear your mind. Different methods work for different people. Sometimes, I use meditation or long walks. Perhaps a hard workout, an immersive computer game, or playing with pets or children works for you. Clearing the garbage of daily life out of your mind makes room for new ideas.
If you practice meditation, you can use your regular meditation method to explore ideas. If you don’t meditate, try it. Sit in a quiet, peaceful place, close your eyes, and relax. Keep paper and pen nearby in case you want to jot down notes.
Concentrate on a chosen topic. Avoid thinking about any current life problem, unless you’re looking for a creative solution to that issue. Visualize your topic and let images develop. Uninterrupted relaxation can release your creative subconscious.
Take care of your body. Those of us who do creative work can easily forget to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. When you work indoors all day, you may not get enough vitamin D. Get outdoors, take a walk, get some fresh air and sunshine.
The brain can’t work right if the body doesn’t.
Stock Your Ideas
Write down all your ideas. You never know what will inspire you later. Whenever you get an idea, make a note, even if it’s just a couple sentences or bullet points. Later you can review these ideas and see what gives you more ideas. Choose one to expand and cross-pollinate multiple ideas.
If you need software to organize your ideas, try Personal Knowbase note manager.