Improving Creativity

By Martin Gilliard

Improving creativity tends to be a goal for many as few people see themselves as creative. Please see barriers to creativity for reason why this is often the case.

The reality is that you don't have to be a genius, highly educated or extremely intellectual to come up with some great ideas. 

improving creativity

(Photo Credit iliveisl)


Review Creativity Techniques

A good place to start in order to improve your creative abilities is to review and experiment with some creativity techniques.


Get Fit

Another way to assist in improving creativity is to get fit. To be at your most creative it is bet that you feel alert, fit and healthy. Good ideas are more likely to come forward when we are feeling great about ourselves.

In fact, science is now proving that eureka type moments are more likely to occur during or after some form of aerobic exercise. Physical activity sends more blood to your brain and increases the flow of endorphins.

After aerobic workouts imaging tests confirm that the brain has increased amounts of blood and oxygen and that there is more activity in the frontal lobe which is the part of the brain which is used for complex reasoning.

Exercise stimulates the production of important brain chemicals including Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is a protein important for long term memory and encourages the growth of new nerve connections. For further information about creativity and its relation to the brain please see brain creativity.

Research at the Oregon Health and Science University has demonstrated that rats which have been encouraged to exercise have solved maze type problems quicker than sedentary rats. Also monkeys that have been taught to use treadmills learn things much quicker.

So take the stairs rather than the elevator, park your car in the furthest spot away from your office door or start working out at your local gym.

Remember that you can also be creative with how you choose to get fit. Perhaps try a new sport or use resistance machines that you are unfamiliar with the next time you visit your local gym.

Anything and everything to increase your pulse rate and to get your creative brain into action.

get fit

(Photo Credit: Anthony C)


Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Tasks that you don’t feel comfortable doing are usually tasks that you have little or no experience of.

Stepping out of your comfort zone and completing such tasks therefore enables new experiences and new knowledge, which in turn make it more likely for you to form new connections with areas that you are knowledgeable about. Such relationships can lead to new creative ideas.

(Photo Credit Trevor Blake)


Keep A Notebook, PDA Or Some Other Recording Device Handy

Ideas pop in and out of our minds all of the time. You can never be quite sure when you will have that aha moment so when you do it’s key to have some method of recording the idea.

There is nothing worse than forgetting a great idea. Even though you think you will remember it the chances are that you won’t. Don’t take that chance, use some form of recording device to note your ideas down.

Capturing ideas is essential to the creativity process. I occasionally wake in the middle of the night with an idea or a solution to a problem that has been bugging me. For this reason I have started to keep a notebook and pencil on my bedside cabinet.

notebook

(Photo Credit: waferboard)


Consider Something That You Do Or Use Every Day And Think About How You Could Improve On It

What could you change to the thing or action so as to make your life easier? Many businesses maintain a steady stream of income by making incremental innovation improvements to the products or services that they offer.

Perhaps you can come up with the next great incremental improvement to a product that you use on a regular basis?

Observe things with a critical eye. If you think there is a better way to do a particular job then go ahead and try it.


Learn Something New

Learn or read about a subject that you are unfamiliar with. Start a new hobby; visit a place you have never been to before or listen to some different music. New experiences and connections get your brain buzzing.

New knowledge from new subject areas when combined with existing knowledge can lead to new creative ideas. 

I will add further ideas for improving creativity by using the form below. Please feel free to comment on the ideas below or to add your own. I’d like this page to list as many ideas as possible. Hopefully one or two of them will ignite a spark for you and kick start your creative process into action! 


Improving Creativity by Learning From Others Ideas

Reading through ideas from others is a great way to improve creativity. look at how people have thought of dual purposes for everyday objects or how they have made something easier to use, quicker, faster, smaller, bigger, etc.

One great source is Google's Patent Search where you can search for hundreds of ideas that people have submitted for a patent.

Another great source is New Product Ideas From History on this site where ideas that were submitted by people back in the 1960's and the 1950's are listed. 

learn

(Photo Credit: Mark Brannan)

Do you have an idea or method for improving creativity?
Write about it here!

How do you improve your creativity? Please share your method here.

Methods For Improving Creativity

Click on the links below to see some great methods for improving creativity...

Think illogically 
Using logic can be great for evaluating ideas but when it comes to creating ideas try to break your pre-conditioned stereotypes by trying to think illogically. …

Listen to Inspiring Music Not rated yet
Music can arouse your creative spark. Research has shown that certain types of music can put your brain into a relaxed alpha state. So pick a track …

Celebrate Failure Not rated yet
To fail means that you have experimented with something and the conclusion was not quite as you had hoped for or expected. However, simply by trying you …

Be a Child Again Not rated yet
Research has proven that children are more creative than adults. This has something to do with the brain wave patterns of a child but also to do with them …

Have Fun Not rated yet
Fun almost always leads to increased creativity. If you are enjoying yourself, laughing and smiling, etc. you are more prone to coming up with creative …

Practice Using and Stretching Your Imagination Not rated yet
Imagination is a key differentiator between us and other animal that we share this planet with. Don’t waste this skill. Improve your creative abilities …

Start Thinking of Yourself as a Creative Person. Not rated yet
Have some belief in yourself. Pay attention to even the smallest of ideas that pop into your mind. Thinking that you are not creative can be a strong barrier …

What Annoys You? Not rated yet
Think of all the things that rattle your cage and get you annoyed. What could be done to improve them? List all of the things that annoy you and then try …

Change Your Daily Routine Not rated yet
Often we are so set in our daily routine that our subconscious mind does all of the work for us. Tomorrow try to do some things differently… Try …

Ask "What If...?" Not rated yet
Explore a question, problem or thought by asking "What if...?” Try thinking of unusual or unnatural answers to your "what if" questions. Are your answers …

Click here to write your own.


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