Advertising legend George Lois said “Creativity can solve almost any problem.” But mining that well of originality underneath all our habits, patterns and preconceived notions is tricky.
How can we consistently see beyond the obvious, think more resourcefully, and find new possibilities waiting to be discovered? The following tips can help nurture your natural creativity and respond more effectively to almost any challenge.
Open yourself to the new. Check out a museum exhibit, take in a movie, try going somewhere you’ve never been or seeing something you’ve never seen. Learn a new skill or hobby. Fresh stimulation can lead to inspiration.
Get out to go deep. Many creative people find connecting with nature a good way to unlock their deeper thoughts. Going for a walk, run or bike ride can change your perspective and get ideas flowing to the surface.
Read on many topics. It’s uncanny how many elements of a completely unrelated subject can prompt new insights. By broadening your knowledge into more areas, you gain the benefit of a cross pollination of ideas that help your creativity grow.
Keep a notebook handy. Ideas hit at odd times. Have a way to jot them down by keeping a notebook and pen handy at home, work, and points in between. If you’re more of a digital person, do a quick voice recording on your smartphone or whatever you like to use.
Step back and reset. Sometimes we get so caught up in the details that we lose sight of the big picture. That can lead to diminishing returns. Taking the time to step back and see things from a broader perspective can help clear the head and restore creative vision and energy.
Sleep on it. After a period of intense focus and thought, letting go and trusting the subconscious can often pay creative dividends. That’s because cognitive seeds have been planted in your mind that can feed new associations and insights. Salvador Dali once said, “All of my best ideas come through my dreams.”
We each have a wellspring of creative energy that lies dormant until we rouse it. Make these practices part of your process, and watch your thinking reach new levels of idea-generating productivity.