One of the most important qualities a human being possesses is creativity. In business and leadership, the most successful people are the ones who develop creative solutions to problems. In the arts, creativity is a must-have skill.
Sometimes you have days when you feel your creativity is off. Maybe it's been stretched to its limits, or maybe you're just coming up empty. How do you get your flow back once it seems to have slowed? Here are 8 of the best tips from around the web.
1) Practice Psychological Distance
Psychological distance refers to a state of mind that occurs when a problem isn't yours. When you can think objectively, you're able to come up with more creative and effective solutions. It's the reason you give your friends better advice than you give yourself. Because you're psychologically distant from the issue, you can offer concrete solutions to abstract problems. Check out the study conducted by Indiana University for full details on psychological distance.
2) Play a Strategy Game
A game that forces you to solve problems and create strategies will help you think more creatively. Board games like chess, role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, or strategic video games can all play a role in boosting your cognitive processes.
3) Pick Up an Instrument
Or if you're not musically inclined, listen to wordless music to benefit your creative mind. The benefits of learning an instrument are many and varied, but listening to music can have the same meditative effects as playing an instrument. Either method will jog your creative flow.
Many creative people are introverted and independent, so the idea of collaboration tends to scare them off. Don't be afraid to embrace a new perspective by seeking out feedback and participation from other creative friends and colleagues. Their fresh eyes might catch something you've missed, or find a direction you may never have seen. If nothing else, their enthusiasm for your ideas will give you a jump start to continue your work!
5) Take A Break
Alan Cohen famously wrote, "There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither." Sometimes it's best to walk away from the project, take a deep breath, and do nothing. Take a nap. Allow your mind to wander or your dreams to inspire you. Rest and be open, and do nothing.
6) Switch It Up
Breaking out of your routine, or performing your usual routine in a different way, can help get your mind thinking in new ways. Put your clothes on in a different order than normal, take a different route to school or work, or try writing with your other hand for a day.
7) Make It A Challenge
Did you know that Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" is the result of a bet with his editor? The editor bet Seuss that he couldn't write a book using 50 words or fewer. Seuss rose to the challenge, of course, and "Green Eggs and Ham" was born. By placing fun and interesting restrictions or rules on your work, you might be surprised what you produce!
8) Don't Accept "Blocks"
Too many creative people succumb to the idea of a "block," waiting for inspiration to strike them. There are many ways to overcome a supposed block, especially when you're working every day to keep your creative flow moving.