How to be and stay creative

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Creativity is strongly related to a person’s ability of making connections between seemingly unrelated matters, perceiving the world around in unexpected ways and turning innovative ideas into reality. Its biggest advantage might be represented by how easily problems can be solved and how well deal with uncertainty the people that possess this capability.

Staying creative on a daily basis can be truly challenging, so here’s what you can do:

1. Look for inspiration outside your comfort zone

Research has proven that one of the biggest obstacles for creativity is working or thinking within ideas we’re already familiar with. Impose yourself a few “limitations” and see how creative you can get: when making a presentation, force yourself to begin each slide with a verb in active voice, or set a more stringent word count limit on your writing assignment.

Staying inspired under pressure, especially when it’s about meeting deadlines can be difficult, so the first step is taking a step back so as to refocus and get a clear picture of what needs to be done. What you can always try is changing the environment you are working in, take a break, go for a walk, watch a movie or do whatever makes you happy. It is scientifically proven that once you don’t make effort to think about something, the unconscious part of your brain starts working and comes up with more creative ideas.

Even when you don’t feel like doing any creative work, commit to doing it anyways, but work in limited, short periods of time- 20 or 30 minutes- without letting anything to distract you. Then take a break. After repeating this cycle a few times, you’ll notice that you no longer feel relieved when it’s time for a break and most of your work is already done. This is a method usually used by writers to overcome their creative blocks.

2. Make notes

Write down ideas now so you can use them later as milestones for your project. Creativity can strike anytime and even in the most unexpected places: in the shower, in the supermarket or when walking on the street. A good choice would be to keep an idea journal with you at all times or using Notes app on your phone. Also, you can create vision boards- a visual of your ideas that you can meditate on often. Put it where you can see it, it will inspire you.

3. Engage in activities that would expand your knowledge

Something that can offer you new perspectives and enrich your vocabulary is reading. We all complain we do not have enough time for this, but at least 30 minutes/day we can give up on something else for it. There are a few sites that offer free books, one of them is: http://www.101books.ru/ . You can also try audio books.

Start learning a new language, taking online courses on different topics or visit a virtual museum- Google’s Arts and Culture page lists a number of museums that you can travel to online such as Musee d’Orsay, Paris and The Met in New York. Have you ever considered starting a blog? You can use free online software such as WordPress.org or WordPress.com- by offering constant content for your audience you will consolidate your knowledge on the topics you choose to write about.

How important do you think creative skills are nowadays? What do you do to overcome creative blocks?

Written by: Nicoleta-Ioana Anca