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7 ways to boost creativity

Creators in every field know how to cultivate, weed and polish ideas. If there are ideas. However, there comes a time when the creative flow dries up for everyone. Eminent Miami Ad School tells, based on scientific data, how to get rid of the thought “I'm lost” and again find the grains of creativity.

There is such a common problem - you need to something come up with (the deadline is just around the corner), but ... ideas just don’t work.

You can panic. What if ideas never come? Before you know it you are already unemployed. You will have to tell your parents about the failure ... and catch the sympathetic looks of friends and relatives. And in general, it's never too late to get a job in a restaurant to wash dishes ...

Stop. Breathe. No matter how creative, successful, respected and presentable you are, it happens that you just can’t squeeze the creativity out of yourself.

Below, we give proven techniques to get your creative flow back on track.

#1. Think stupid things

"If the idea doesn't strike you as absurd at first, it's hopeless."
Albert Einstein

When ideas don't go, it's the pressure to succeed. We are looking for amazing, revolutionary ideas that will solve the problem in a way that no one expected. We crave the joy and glory that comes with creative solutions.

But there is no benefit from such a desire. On the contrary, it blocks thinking. At a time when you should be thinking, throwing ideas and creating like a winged jazz pianist, you bite your nails and glance at your watch.

How to get rid of it? Knowledgeable people recommend bad ideas.

This refers to the worst idea method that is often practiced in the design environment. Target? To voice the worst, most ridiculous and useless solution of all.

Try it. Why it works: It breaks down the barrier / liberates (goodbye tension) and leads to different ways of solving the problem. You will be shocked to learn how often something brilliant crystallizes out of a deliberately idiotic thought. After all, each idea stems from a number of other ideas put together in a non-standard way.

As Thomas Edison once said, "It takes a lot of imagination and a lot of junk to come up with something."

#2. Play patterns

"Interpreting our reality through patterns that are not our own only makes us more unknown, more and more unfree, more and more isolated."
Gabriel García Márquez

Our brain is a pattern recognition device. This makes us complex beings. We don't have paws, beaks or sharp fangs. Any large predator on the planet can grind us to powder. BUT we can read patterns and use them.

We interpret (and apply) patterns to feed our creative energy.

One way to stimulate creativity is to notice patterns in our surroundings. For example, if you like to read detective stories, you may notice that this genre uses a limited set of motives and it is quite easy to predict the outcome of events with similar premises.

Of course, someone recognizes a pattern faster than others, but you can always improve your skills by studying mathematics, nature and art.

#3. Change the habit
(and break your pattern)

"Creativity also involves breaking patterns in order to look at things differently."
Edward de Bono

Okay, it's the other way around.

The price of such pattern recognition software in our head is such that the brain turns on autopilot as soon as possible. Every second a lot of events take place in the world, we have to assimilate billions of pieces of information. Therefore, when the brain reads the pattern as a repetitive, illogical event, it simply stops noticing it.

To work by the usual route? The brain turns off. Same pants, same t-shirt, same coffee... well, you get the idea.

Our daily activities form a comfort zone, but at the same time, it is the routine that prevents the brain from straining the convolutions to find inspiration.

The upside is that a number of studies have confirmed that you don't need to change a lot to make your brain think differently. Take an unfamiliar route. Buy a different brand of coffee. Anything to get something like “wow, the system broke today” in my head.

As psychologist Robert Epstein was quoted by magazine Entrepreneur: “Change your physical and social environment. If the same objects are on the walls and the table, and the circle of communication is unchanged, this is unlikely to contribute to creativity.

#4. Have fun

Somehow Albert Einstein wrote in a letter to his son: “You can absorb the most knowledge when you enjoy the process and do not notice how time flies. Sometimes I get so caught up in my work that I forget to have lunch.”

We don't know about you, but we used to believe what Einstein says.

This idea of his in particular concerns the creative sphere. Creative energy is perfectly generated in joy, beauty, laughter… in that which fills life with positivity. But when it comes to our work, it is very easy to lose such an important lightness.

Therefore, you need to maintain a balance and, if you get into a hackneyed rut, turn to what brings happiness. This not only supports mental well-being, but also makes the creative process especially enjoyable.

#5. Feed your curiosity

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be fanned."

Curiosity is not a weakness.

Unfortunately, many of us were told in school not to "dig deep" where we were really interested, but instead we were taught knowledge that was practical, popular, or "important".

Push this outdated approach in a box. Creativity is nothing but curiosity combined with hard work. Or let's use another metaphor: you need to constantly throw firewood on the fire of creativity, where firewood is your natural curiosity.

As mentioned above, a brilliant concept is often no more than two old ideas connected in a new way. This is the definition that experts even give to innovations.

So when we're trying to come up with some cool, groundbreaking concepts...there's nothing more rewarding than going down the well of ideas. You can form such a well when you absorb as many new thoughts and knowledge as possible from various sources.

#6. Take a step

The power of walking is great. And by no means contrived.

This was not unknown to Aristotle. The same with Beethoven and Thoreau. Steve Jobs loved walking so much that it became an essential aspect of his personality.

What is the point?

The fact is that, for example, the average American spends 7 to 15 hours in a sitting position every single day.

That's an indecent amount of time without movement.

And, unfortunately for us, such inertia harms the brain.

In fact, the brain is also part of the body. And the body develops through activity and exercise.

Famous Studies (from Stanford etc.) confirmed what many eminent thinkers already knew: walking stimulates creative thinking.

So why not try?

#7. Try on 6 hats

“Creativity consists of provocation, exploration and risk. Creativity consists of "thought experiments". It is impossible to predict how this or that experiment will end. But you have the opportunity to do this experiment.”
Edward de Bono, The Six Thinking Hats

In 1985, Edward de Bono wrote the book The Six Thinking Hats.

The meaning of the 6 hats is as follows: we all tend to think in a certain way. We all sin by clinging to comfort. At the same time, we also have the ability to think in myriad different ways. Different situations put our mind in different frames, which inevitably gives rise to new ideas.

The 6 hats method is simple: try to approach the problem from 6 different angles. Try on each of the 6 hats and see how your point of view changes.


Blue hat: wide look. Consider all the factors that come into play. Who is the stakeholder? (often in this hat the process of thinking takes the form of a list)

Black hat: negative theory. What parts of your not ideas will work? (if you feel a dead end, it will not be difficult to voice them ...)

Yellow hat: On the contrary, it's a positive theory. Which solution will definitely work?

Green Hat: think outside the box. What are the craziest ideas that come to mind?

Red Hat: Emote hat. What is your heart saying right now? How do you react to the process on an emotional level?

White Hat: The hat of objectivity and rationality. What do the facts say? What is objective truth?

Based on: Miami Ad School.

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