creativity, creative thinking, creative ideas, how to be creative

Where are all the great ideas when you need them? If you find yourself stuck, looking for a new solution or simply bored and craving something new, here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.

Lower your standards

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You may be thinking here, “Really? How am I going to get better ideas if I keep the bar low?” Imagine you wanted to paint, but you’d only do it if you were guaranteed to paint a masterpiece. You’d never even start! On the other hand, if you just got started, your painting skills would improve overtime and you’d eventually create your masterpiece. The same concept applies to creative thinking. You need to start somewhere. Sometimes you’ll get lucky immediately. But more often you’ll tweak, change, improve and combine your not-so-great ideas before you come up with something truly useful.

Ask different questions

Your ideas are a direct response to the questions you’re asking yourself. So if you’re stuck, try looking at your challenge differently and exploring new questions. Why is it a challenge? Is there something else you need to solve first? How can you make your challenge smaller? Bigger? More fun? More beautiful? How can you simplify it? What if you painted it blue?

Change your settings

Another way to see your challenge from a new angle is to change your physical environment. Re-decorate your room, go to another room or, even better, go outside, to the park, the local library or a café. What do you notice from your new viewpoint?

Pretend you’re someone else

What would Leonardo da Vinci say if he was presented with your challenge? What about Albert Einstein? Imagine what the world would look like if you were them and notice if anything different comes to mind.

Share your ideas

Often we keep our ideas to ourselves because we’re afraid of being criticised. Sure, we avoid potential criticism, but we miss out on valuable feedback from others. Sometimes just one phrase or suggestion from a friend can set you on a whole new trail of thought that can lead to an unexpected conclusion.

Walk away

When you feel like you’ve spent hours on a challenge and you’re not making any progress, it’s time to walk away and do something completely different. Your subconscious mind will be working on your behalf while you’re meditating, playing with your kids or taking a bath. Be sure to have a notebook handy to capture the new ideas when they arrive!

Play and have fun

Play engages your imagination, reduces stress levels and helps your ideas flow freely. You’re less likely to sensor and discard what you come up with as useless. Instead, your childlike curiosity will lead you to examine your ideas closely and seek new connections.

Do these suggestions sound too easy to be effective? Put them to the test!

Image by weinstock via pixabay.com

By Tatiana Apostolova