Life is unpredictable. There are always new opportunities and experiences that we have that change our course. To keep up with this fast paced world of change it is essential to be creative. Here are some ideas to boost your creativity and get ahead of the game in your career.
Slow it down
Steve Siebol, the author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of The World Class, says that the enemy of creativity is excessive cognition, or having too many thoughts to process at the same time. He says the old cliché, “you can’t see the forest for the trees” applies when this occurs. He says the best thing people can do is seek some solitude, or alone time with their thoughts. Investing in solitude gives the performer a chance to slow their consciousness in order to gain perspective. When the mind is clear and focused, they can get creative again and focus on coming up with solutions that solve problems.
Change of scenery
Stanford did a study that doing tasks in unconventional places often helps to stimulate the mind and get creative juices flowing. Working at a coffee shop or outside in a nice park is a great way to get a change of scenery and get stuff done. Suni Suni, the founder of CareerGlider.com says that “getting out of the normal routine helps me to think of ways to find new ways to progress and advance my company.”
Studies have shown that staying hydrated is an important part of improving creativity. While it may seem that coffee helps creativity, the truth is that the effects will wear off over the course of the day leaving you with a 2pm slump. What's better is a fresh cup of ice cold water. Dehydration diminishes concentration, alertness and short-term memory, all of which are necessary in order to be more creative.
Start the process
Creativity starts within you, and you have to know what stops you being creative. In her book Digital Leadership: How Creativity in Business Can Propel Your Brand & Boost Your Results, Sofie Sandell shares an exercise called 'Setting your conditions for creativity'. Understand what it is that stops you being creative, what makes you tense, stressed and makes you feel dis-empowered. Equally it helps you look at what makes you blossom. There might be a pattern. You are the only one who understands what is killing your creativity. Maintaining our personal conditions for creativity is putting the oil in the machine. We need them to function well and we need new oil every now and then.
According to Alex Pentland, the author of Social Physics the key to creativity, motivation and lots of other related things is something called Idea Flow, or the transfer of ideas between many like-minded individuals. The idea in a nutshell, is basically that the more people you are connected with, the easier it is for ideas to flow from person to person, sparking new ideas and integrating old ones. It is good to speak with a variety of people as well to get ideas from different regions, backgrounds, and cultures. Alex says that not only are the most creative individuals the ones with the best networks, but they are also the most motivated as it turns out that money is not actually the greatest motivator, the opinions and respect of your peers is.
Even though life is unpredictable these things can help you boost your creativity to be more effective at school or at work.