Creativity is an attribute that is not wasted whatever your field or endeavour. Whenever originality is displayed, it is always acknowledged and admired. These five simple habits will encourage your brain to take a more creative approach to tasks and problems.
Exercise both sides of the brain
While the statement that right-brain is for creativity and left brain is for analysis might hold some water, your creativity is improved when you learn to use both sides of the brain. Imagination is even more powerful when it contains elements of logic and rationale, and even the most analytical approaches cannot outdo a scientific approach that is as innovative and thoughtful as it is analytical.
Activities which are creative in nature have been shown to stimulate the right hemisphere of the brain, and other activities which are analytical stimulate the left. Incorporating activities that stimulate both sides of the brain will give you the ability to create innovative solutions to problems.
Stimulate both hemispheres with activities that involve both types of thinking such as;
- Learning to juggle, learning to do origami
- Doing tasks with your non-dominant hand such as brushing your teeth, or writing
- Writing backwards
Having a continuous thirst for knowledge can help stimulate creativity. A constant flow of information makes the mind even more thoughtful and intelligent. Continuous learning expands your thought and fills you with ideas. Stimulate your creativity by:
- Remain open to new ideas and be willing to try things out
- Question everything
- Research deeply into single topics (develop vertical knowledge)
The best way to test your understanding of information is by being able to explain it. Studying is not always enough to give you a firm grasp of things but when you are able to explain a studied or researched concept to yourself (or an audience), it proves that you have processed and internalised the concept deeply. Stimulate your brain by:
- Explaining things back to yourself
- Integrate your own ideas and expand the concept or knowledge
- Follow threads of ideas and concept emanating from the studied knowledge.
Daydreaming is a great way to tap into your natural imagination and creativity. Being able to just sit back and let your imagination run wild stimulates your creativity in good ways. Challenge yourself by testing your skills and ability to spin stories in your head. Stimulate your creativity with daydreams by:
- Let your mind wander in your free time, explore alternate realities and different possibilities.
- Doodle in a sketchbook or try to write flash fiction. Your attempts will get better with repetition.
- Document all your ideas and solutions, even the ones that don’t amount to much. Dreaming up solutions to real problems are a distinct possibility.
Take breaks when you feel “blocked”
With looming deadlines, it’s easy to feel pressure. You might be trying to keep your brain working even when it is signalling that it’s time to rest. Taking breaks at regular intervals gives your brain the time it needs to recuperate. When you are hard at work, set a timer to remind you to take a break. Sometimes that is all you need to see a better angle.
A balanced mind is one that is open to possibilities, imaginative, filled with knowledge and innovative. These five habits can help you train your brain to be even more creative.