By Mia Casey
Creativity comes in a variety of forms – be it suggesting a new idea at a meeting, painting a picture, thinking of how to overcome a problem, taking a photo, or even discovering new ways to work more productively. Because creativity is important to so many aspects of our lives, it’s important to ensure we’re making the most of it! So, here are 5 easy ways to increase your creativity.
1. Change your environment
If you’re working on a particular project, then changing up your workspace can be super helpful in generating new ideas. Usually stuck in an office or classroom? Try taking your tasks outside, and work with some fresh air for a while. If you’d prefer staying inside, even moving to a new room or changing where you sit can be helpful. A physical change of space can not only give you a new perspective on your surroundings, but on your work as well!
2. Take the time to relax
Stress can be a great motivator, but if you’re trying to develop new ideas it can lead you into a bit of a stress cycle, which is not conducive to creative thinking. Have a break, ensure you’re eating when you’re hungry, and drink lots of water. And make sure that when you have some time to yourself, you do something non-work or uni related for a while. Whether it’s watching a movie, taking a bath, or going for a walk, taking some time away from your work can give you brain a bit of a break. Plus, it gives your subconscious a chance to mull some new ideas over while you focus on taking care of yourself!
3. Do more exercise
I know what you’re thinking: ‘I’m already tired and I have so much to do, I can’t possibly workout on top of everything else!’ Trust me, we’ve all been there. However, spending some time focused on working on your body rather than your brain can help stimulate new ideas. Science agrees! A study from 2013 found that ‘taking part in regular exercise such as going for a walk or riding a bike really does improve creative thought.’ If you’re feeling flat, and can’t come up with any new ideas try getting some exercise. Even if it’s just going for a walk on your lunch break – it all helps!
4. Get inspired!
If you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by creative people – reach out! Set aside some time, grab a coffee together and chat with them about what they’re up to. This isn’t a time to have someone else answer your creativity questions for you, but even hearing about someone else’s work can help trigger your own problem solving skills. If they work in the same field as you, chat about any new advancements, articles you’ve read, or shows you’ve watched that relate to your mutual jobs. You never know, your coffee chats could lead to some great new ideas about your own work!
Not surrounded by creative people, or in a particularly uncreative industry? Consuming inspiring and creative content is a great way to get your own creative juices flowing. Regardless of what field you’re in, there’ll be people writing, filming, discussing or blogging about it online. Spending some time reading up on any new developments, or looking at content created by people who are really passionate about the industry is a great way to stir up new ideas of your own. And hey, you may even learn a thing or two!
5. Write your ideas by hand
Most of us spend our time typing away at a computer, and rarely take the time to pick up a pen. Changing how you plan out your ideas, can help alter how you think about the task at hand. Studies have been relatively inconclusive about whether writing by hand can increase creativity, buy there is ‘highly suggestive evidence’ trying writing by hand with improved memory function, alongside other creativity-correlated benefits. Grab a notebook and try brainstorming by hand – using different coloured pens and drawing mind maps can help connect similar ideas in your mind, and might even encourage you to think of something new!
So, while some people are naturally more creative than others, anyone can increase their creativity with a little practice. Why not spend some time this week improving your own creative processes?
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.