Last week we talked about the importance of avoiding the things which only serve to deepen your creativity rut.
This week, I’d like to introduce some ideas which should increase your creativity by giving it a nice little boost.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, feel free to substitute activities for others which sound more appealing. Have fun!
- Go to a comedy club
- Take an improv class
- Go see a funny movie
- Hang out with a silly friend
- Read a comic strip (or as some of my more experienced readers would call them, The Funnies)
Laughter helps us relax, lowers cortisol, increases oxygen in the blood and improves circulation. Finding humor in unusual things also helps us make new and interesting connections we may otherwise not have thought of.
2. Try new experiences
- Travel/see the world
- Try a new restaurant
- Experiment with new food
- Start a hobby
- Go exploring in your city
- Do something that scares you (like skydiving or public speaking)
Trying new things widens our horizons and allows us to experience things in new, creative ways. They also create a sense of adventure and confidence, two critical aspects of innovative thinking.
Trying new things allows us to experience things in new, creative ways. Click To Tweet
3. Brainstorm the right way
- Entertain all ideas—even bad ones
- Let go of perfection
- Don’t edit or censor yourself
- Crowdsource—bounce ideas off of others
Like we previously discussed, evaluation is a death sentence to true creativity.
While brainstorming, tell yourself (and others) that there are no dumb ideas. And mean it. Having a safe environment opens up the mind and gets the creative juices flowing. You can always edit later.
4. Awaken your mind
- Read a book
- Turn off the TV
- Listen to music
- Play an instrument
- Write a poem
- Make a list
- Turn off the TV!
In our entertainment-saturated culture, it’s easy to let others be our creativity for us. Turning off that TV and reading a book instead or playing the piano forces the brain to fill in the blanks, and start making those creative connections.
Turn off the TV. #creativity #freelance Click To Tweet
5. Just do something
- Go for a walk
- Take a bath or a nap
- Work on something you enjoy
- Dance when no one’s watching
- Play with your dog
- Exercise or engage in your favorite sport
The mind/body connections cannot be understated; a sluggish body houses a sluggish mind. Getting moving also helps with the distraction principle we talked about earlier. When you’re busy doing something you enjoy or are able to get away from a stressful project, you come back refreshed and re-energized.
Plus, just the act of getting up and doing something, anything, usually has the power to yank you out of whatever creative rut you’re in.