10 Ways to Boost Your Creativity
We all face days where finding a burst of creativity seems particularly difficult. We sit staring at a blank page or our fingers find it impossible to discover that next note. When we’re in desperate need to come up with a new idea at work, it seems like your mind is stubbornly doing everything it can to stop that happening.
Luckily there are some things you can do that help to boost and stimulate the creative areas of the brain.
1. Be Someone Else For A Day
Pretending to be someone else for the day completely activates your imagination and creative muscles. Speak like they do, walk like they do and act like they do. Doing this can lower the barriers that are preventing you from accessing creativity in your own projects.
2. Day Dream
Allow yourself to simply sit back and day dream. Sometimes we try to keep such a reign on our thoughts that we stop our mind from stumbling across creative new ideas. Let it wander and see where it takes you.
Collaborating with other artists, or people in the same field, allows you the benefit of brainstorming, and activates the principle of two minds being better than one. Some of the best tracks come from jamming sessions where musicians have just played and seen where the music has taken them. Find someone, or some people, who you connect with and that you can bounce ideas off easily. It will benefit all of you.
Reading really does expand the mind and as well as reading books directly relating to the field you’re in, sometimes reading a great work of fiction is just as good to kick your own creativity into gear. As we read, our minds visualise the words and it stimulates the creative parts of the brain.
Nothing fancy, just get a pencil and sheet of paper and see what happens. Usually you will have no idea what you’re going to draw, as the lines go down onto the page a shape begins to form. You work on that, adding more detail, shading and highlighting until you have a finished piece. It might not be the prettiest but you have accomplished what you’ve been trying to get your mind to do. You should never strive for perfection on the first attempt, this stifles creativity and there is a reason why there are 2nd, 3rd, 4th drafts etc.
6. Mind Maps
Mind maps are a great way to piece together information in order to focus your mind. This can be really handy for people who like to visualise data. Take a storyteller for example, you can map out your characters, story arcs and plot details and see where they’ll link up. Here’s a handy guide on mind mapping and how to do it.
7. Work from a Bar, Cafe or Restaurant
A recent study showed that the ambient noise in bars, cafes and restaurants is at a perfect level to be at our most creative. If you’re feeling stifled at home or the silence becomes to ‘Loud’, consider working from one of those locations to change things up.
Practicing meditation allows us to take better control of our thoughts and stop distractions from setting us off course. As the opposite to daydreaming, where you allowing ideas to take shape, Meditation can control the mind to stay focussed when you start your project. It’s recommended to practice meditation every morning for 15-20 minutes.
9. The Colour Blue
Studies show that looking at the colour blue enhances creativity. Blue is the colour of the sky and the sea and associated with peace and tranquility. This tells the brain that it is safe to explore and be creative. Conversely, the colour red warns of danger and kicks the brain into high alert levels. This is good for attention to detail but if you’re looking to boost creativity, try surrounding yourself with blue or looking at it for several minutes while coming up with ideas.
10. Work at Night
A study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology has shown that working in a dark room with dim lighting actually promotes creativity. Many creative people tend to work through the night and this study gives insight as to way this time seems to be the time they do their best work. On top of this, fluorescent lighting messes with our brains and sleep rhythms, so working by candlelight instead of overhead lighting, is much less stressful on the brain.