How to Increase Creativity
To increase your creative output, do these two things:
1. Encourage it.
2. Train your brain.
Start on both of these right now, and you can experience greater
Encouraging creativity will make you more creative. No big
surprise there. This principle is true for many things you might
want to see more of in your life. Encouragement works. The only
question then, is how do you encourage creativity?
You start by paying attention to it. The subconscious mind
tends to give you more of what you pay attention to. Ignore the
creative aspects of your life, and you're telling your subconscious
mind they are unimportant. Consciously note when you are creative,
and look for opportunities to be creative, and your subconscious
mind will start feeding you more creative ideas.
Writing down your ideas is a good way to encourage and increase
creativity. You can keep an "idea journal." Do this
regularly, and you'll notice that you often start having more
ideas while you are writing. Mediocre ideas may normally be forgotten,
but by writing them down, your subconscious may work on them,
and transform them into something very creative.
You can also encourage greater creativity in yourself by putting
creative ideas into practice. If you paint or write, for example,
try anything new. Even just driving a different route to work
to see if it is quicker can help. The point is to get you mind
working outside of its regular patterns.
Changing your surroundings can encourage creativity. Want
more creativity in your love life? Hike up a mountain with your
partner. Need story ideas? Try sitting on a roof to write. For
new ideas for your business, take a notebook to the park and
sit by the duck pond. Any change of environment can get your
brain out of it's ruts.
Training for Creativity
To dramatically increase creativity, develop creative habits
of mind. Watch any good comedian and you'll notice that she has
trained her mind to look for the "different angle"
on everyday things. You can train your mind in a similar way.
Start to challenge assumptions, for example, until it becomes
habit. Want ways to get customers into your store? Ask, "Do
I really need more customers?" An assumption-challenging
question like this suggests other creative solutions, like finding
ways to make more money off existing customers, or ways to cut
expenses. Maybe these will lead to more profitable ideas. Challenging
assumptions increases the creativity of your solutions.
While driving to work, randomly choose anything around you
and ask how it may be connected to whatever problem you're working
on. A helicopter might make you think about a way to track where
the car goes when you loan it to your kids. Palm trees may lead
to a new design for patio umbrellas.
The "Assumption Challenging" and "Random Presentation"
techniques are two classic creative problem solving tools among
dozens more. Training your brain to habitually use these, and
providing it with a little encouragement, can really increase