Creativity is an important ability in many careers. In almost every job you need to be creative at least sometimes. This is especially true for jobs in which problem solving is important. These jobs call for out of the box thinking as well as new and exceptional solutions.
Creativity isn’t a skill that you have got or not, but can be learned to a certain degree. It’s like a muscle that gets stronger by exercising and you can practice to be more creative. Your creativity can’t be empty – the more you use it the more you’ll have.
Read and use the following 6 tips to get more witty, ingenious and original ideas.
1. Determine a Time Frame
Block a time frame in your calendar for creativity especially if you have a crowded agenda. Set up an appointment only for yourself. Tackle tasks or problems that demand your creativity during that time.
Find out if there’s a special time of the day when you are particularly creative. Block this time and don’t use it for routine tasks.
Turn this a habit.
Your colleagues will learn that they shouldn’t interrupt you during these hours of the day. Also, your brain will get used to creative thinking at the same time.
2. Start with Brainstorming
Start with brainstorming if you have to find a solution or come up with something creative. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes and write down everything you can think of about the topic.
Write down even the wacky things that come to your mind. In this case, quantity beats quality – if you write down 100 ideas you might get 5 good ones that are viable. Afterwards, sort out which of these ideas you can use.
3. Get Inspiration from Others
After the brainstorming, the next step is to do research. You might find some information or ideas that you haven’t thought of. Set a time limit for that too, so you don’t stray from the topic.
Get inspiration from others: Find out how other companies solve a specific problem. Picture how a family would handle it. What would the President do? What would a child do? What would your dog do? How would James Bond handle this situation?
Ask yourself these questions and try to answer them for yourself. Find a serious and workable method – is that method practicable for you? Why not? What would you need to be able to put this into practice?
4. Get Inspiration from your Everyday Life
Get inspiration from your everyday life. For example, if you are a copywriter, get inspiration from everything you read. Watch your environment – if you are on the bus, study posters ads.
Think about what is good about them and what isn’t. Ask yourself if this wording could work for your product or brand. Why or why not? What would you need to change?
Try to find a connection to your topic or problem in everything you see, hear or read. This is how you get (sometimes crazy but always creative) ideas about how to solve an issue or approach a topic. Focus on the unusual to practice thinking out of the box and finding unusual solutions.
Watch, hear or read something you’ve never seen, read or heard before. This will give you new input for your brain and your creativity.
5. Set the Mood
Start a ritual that gets you in a creative mood – especially if you had to do routine work before. For example, watch a few minutes of a funny video or listen to a song that gets you in a good mood.
While working creatively you can listen to special music. Find music to inspire your creativity and give you focus on YouTube or other online platforms.
If it’s hard for you to be creative at your desk, break away from your routine. See if it works better if you change the location. Go outside, sit on a bench and brainstorm with pen and paper or go to a cafe with your laptop.
6. Use Creativity Techniques
- ABC list: This is a brainstorming method. Try to find 26 ideas related to your topic/problem. Each key word has to begin with another letter of the alphabet.
- Disney Method: This approach works like a role play where you try to look at a problem from four different angles. Start with being a dreamer that is enthusiastic about the ideal solution. Second, try to see it with the eyes of a pragmatic realist. Third, put yourself in the position of critics. Point out weaknesses, obstacles and risks. Finally, take a neutral or external viewpoint like an observer or consultant.
- Headstand Technique: Use these four steps for the Headstand Technique: 1. Reverse the problem or task 2. Find a solution for the reversed task/problem 3. Reverse the solutions 4. Use the reversed solutions to create concrete solutions.
These 6 tips will help you to discover or develop your creativity. If you are not used to it if may feel a bit weird to write down crazy things that come to your mind at the beginning.
After a while your brain will become accustomed to thinking out of the box. It will become easier for you to get more creative ideas.
Don’t try to force it if you have a bad day. Sometimes your brain can’t come up with something creative no matter how hard you try. That can happen every now and then. In this case do something else and try again later.
If you suffer from creative blocks more often, the job you’re doing might not be right for you. Consider looking for another job where you can be more creative?
What are your tactics to be more creative at work? Tell us in the comments or share the article if you think it’s useful for your friends.