5 Of The Most Important Tips For Sparking Creativity
Posted in: Innovation, Lifestyle
Creativity: everyone wants to find AND embrace it, but not everyone has the ability foster it.
Why is that? Are certain people just hardwired to think creatively and others aren’t? According to many research studies, everyone is capable of being creative. It’s just a matter of connecting the dots, forming relationships between two seemingly different things, having lots of ideas and being mentally prepared to create.
If you’re reading this in hopes of finding a magical equation or toolbox to get you from zero to creative genius in seconds, you clicked on the wrong article. These tools for fostering creativity are most likely tools you already have - but we guarantee they’ll spark your inner creative genius!
1. A pen.
No, not the Adobe pen tool or the pen you use on your tablet. I mean a good ole’ black BIC pen. Research suggests that writing with a pen not only engages the brain in learning, but it also improves memory. Plus, writing your creative ideas in ink instead of on a computer or tablet allows you to watch your creative process unfold. Without a magic eraser tool or delete button, you can look back on your work and maybe even take elements from the first stages of your ideation phase.
2. A notebook.
What’s a pen without a notebook to write in? Just about every creative person knows that keeping a journal or notebook around them at all times is a crucial part of the creative process. You never know when an idea will hit you; it could be mid-workout or in the middle of the night. And if you don’t have a notebook to quickly jot that idea down, you could miss out on your next great idea.
Advertising legend James Webb Young explores the benefits of notebooks in his book, A Technique for Producing Ideas, where he says “An idea is nothing more or less than a new combination of old elements... [and] the capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships.” Moral of the story? Creativity is part preparation, part imagination and your notebook is key to that preparation.
3. A sacred space.
Creativity takes time, and lots of it. That’s why creating a space that you can tolerate spending lots of time in is incredibly important. You want to work somewhere where you are comfortable, calm, and distraction-free. Personally, I prefer a clean, clutter-free (sometimes), naturally lit, open space filled with things that inspire me (art, books, photographs). Don’t have a dedicated space yet? Create one in your living space (away from your bedroom) using a desk, dedicated counter or table space, or even the floor. Don’t forget about the sounds and smells of your space, either. It’s all about creating an ambience that inspires all of the five senses. Even here at Hello Innovation, our CEO is always playing upbeat, ambient music in the office to create a vibe that's just as relaxed and positive as it is productive.
4. Any kind of exercise.
Who knew that working out could help you become more creative? It’s true. According to Dr. John Ratey, exercise has the ability to literally rewire your brain. It helps you think, create and solve problems in a more productive way. Plus, it boosts your mood and helps you handle uncertainty, risk, judgement and anxiety in a (scientifically measurable) better way. So next time you’re hesitant on picking up that yoga mat or putting on those running shoes, remember that exercise could be the boost you need to get your creative juices flowing.
5. A good night’s sleep.
It sounds obvious, but the benefits of a good night’s sleep are plentiful. Not only does sleep help you consolidate your memories (and make them stronger), but it helps you re-organize and restructure them as well. Researchers at Harvard also found that the emotional components of a memory are strengthened through sleep as well, which can help spur your creative process. And let’s not forget that sleep makes you healthier, smarter, quicker, more attentive and less stressed, too.
What’s your favorite tip for sparking creativity? Tell us in the comments below!