What can I do to be creative and productive at the same time? Have you seen others perform an art and wonder how they developed that creative skill? It’s high time for you to tap the creative potential within you and utilize your creative thoughts to the fullest. Creativity is innate in every human being; it is just that one has to work upon to improve creative thinking skills.
1. Thinking and doing things outside your comfort zone
People find it easy and safe to always stay within their comfort zone. Break the fear that is hindering your growth, come out of your comfort zone, and explore your creativity. To improve your creative thinking skills, the first thing is to try doing something that you usually don’t do. Try reading books with creative content, watch movies, experiment eating cuisines outside your taste, brainstorm with people outside your friend circle. Try adventure sports and visit painting exhibitions. You might not know when you will land on something exciting that pushes you to become a creative thinker and improves creative thinking skills.
2. Training your body and mind
It is often said, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” It is not good to let your mind run errands; instead, try focusing on what stimulates your interest and creativity. Exercise is good for the body. Meditation is good for the brain. Exercise and meditation put together can help you to stay focused. Staying focused would lead to better and innovative thinking, and this would contribute to improving your creative skills. A creative mind is a root for creative innovations. The current fast-paced world needs creative ideas and quick results. So only a calm and stress-free mind can bring out innovative and creative ideas.
3. Connecting the dots
You necessarily need not come up with a brand new idea every time. Try assembling the information that you already have in a unique pattern, think differently from a different perspective; look at problems from different angles. There is always the 3rd side to everything that happens around you, be it problems at the office, achieving a deadline, etc. Try to connect the dots form different past experiences. Analyze them one by one, and there you are bound to improve creative thinking skills.
Remember, modern problems demand modern and creative solutions.
4. Travel and explore around
Staying at home, the same place every other day is not going to help you improve your creative thinking. Step out of your house. For some people, it is difficult to find a reason to go out and spend some time with nature. Staying indoors will only result in sluggishness. Traveling to different places, meeting new people, adapting to a new environment – all this is a process of self-discovery, and it will stimulate creative thinking. Make it a point to at least go out every weekend, or an evening walk or a morning jog might help. Breathing in the fresh air will help you release your toxicity out of your body, and you will feel brisk to start over again.
5. Plan and allocate time
We have 24 hours in hand. Still, most of us feel that 24 hours is not just enough. Making use of time is very important when it comes to improving your creativity. Make sure to allocate time to do what you like apart from work and daily routine. Make a list of things that you have to work on, which will help you progress in building your creativity. It can be doodling or a Mandela art or sketching. All these help you focus better on creative ideas, channelize your thinking process, and thereby improves creative thinking. So when you are done with writing down the list of things to do next, you have to chalk out a timetable or a plan on how you can put a tick on all the things to do.
6. Do not be afraid of failures
Failure is not the end. Not able to focus on what you do should not hinder your thinking. Take a break. Give some time for your brain to recoup. Once your mind is rejuvenated, you will be able to think clearly, and thus new ideas will blossom. Do not criticize yourself too much. Keep negativity out. Do not be afraid of failures. Every problem has different solutions, so try to hit the base of the problem and find answers. After all, improved creative thinking helps you to tackle issues in a better way.
7. Always ask questions, use the 5Ws concept
Do not always accept whatever is said. Always ask questions, use the 5Ws concept often, i.e., why, when, where, which, what. Be confident to ask questions and be ready to get different answers each time you question. Every time you question, you are deliberately going out of the way and thinking differently. Do not confine to the conventional thinking standards. Refine your answers, write them down if needed. Introspect them one by one, and you will arrive at a new perspective, thus improving creative thinking skills.
8. Planning and execution
Actions speak louder than thoughts or words. There is no point in just thinking and not knowing how to execute it. Have a plan of what you are thinking. Sometimes you might have a lot of ideas running in your mind, but to organize them and to do it is difficult. So start with writing them down and then prioritize them in the order of importance and deadlines. Creative implementation is necessary after creative thinking.
Brainstorm on the first three things to do and get to execution. Always plan, unplan, and replan. You do not know when it will click correctly, and you will arrive at the big picture. Success lies in being able to execute the plans carefully and releasing the ultimate creativity into the work.
9. Collaborate and work in a group
Sometimes being alone might not lead to productive ideas. Working as a single man army may not help in the longer run. Try to collaborate with people at the workspace to achieve a creative goal. It is a skill to make people understand what your thoughts are and presenting it to them so that it is convincing enough. When you collaborate and work in a group, you get the opportunity to arrive at different ideas, different thoughts, different perspectives, and more solutions by which a task can be completed. So do not stay inside a shell, just come out and bond with people to improve your creative thinking. Successful people are those who can collaborate and work in a team, thus unleashing more creative thinking.
10. Be open to criticism
Ask feedback from your close circle of friends and from people whom you seek inspiration. Do not give up on negative feedback because your friends know what you are worthy of doing. It is essential to get feedback from people who have been there and done that work because they will give you constructive feedback. This will help you to rework on your thought and avoid making the same mistakes again. Others will easily spot the errors on the minute things that you miss to notice, and that can be rectified.
So what are you waiting for? Grab every opportunity, and think creatively. You may not know the next Michael Angelo or Steve Jobs might be hiding in you.