7 Ways of Giving Your Creativity a Boost
Being creative isn’t easy. The hardest part is overcoming creative block when it inevitably arises. Everyone has their own way of overcoming these blocks, but here are 7 ways you can boost your creativity.
Learn to Relax
Relaxing now and then is important in order to give your brain the opportunity to unwind and rejuvenate. Often when we are struggling with an issue, the best thing we can do is to take a break and then come back to it later. This applies just as much to creative problems as it does to practical ones.
There are a number of ways you can go about relaxing and unwinding – everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a relaxing day – so do whatever works for you. The only goal is to give your mind peace and quiet to take it off your creative endeavours so that you can come back to them with a fresh pair of eyes.
Some people find that getting up and going for a short walk is enough to refresh their minds, whereas other people find that playing sports or video games helps more. Do whatever works for you and give yourself enough time for your mind totally unwind.
Many people find that both meditation and mindfulness techniques help them to not only clear their minds, but to enhance their creativity in general. We are all used to our thoughts running away with us. There are times when we find ourselves desperately trying to focus on one particular thing, but our minds just won’t seem to quiet down and let us. The result is that we find ourselves in a constant battle to get things done.
Both meditation and mindfulness have been shown to be very effective in helping to clear the mind and to relax us physically and emotionally. If you are finding that your creativity is being impeded because you can’t seem to keep your mind focused and free of distracting thoughts, meditation and mindfulness can be effective steps to take.
Write Your Ideas Down
You never know when inspiration is going to strike, there’s nothing worse than having a great idea, only to forget it shortly afterwards. It is a good idea to carry a notepad with you everywhere in order to write down and sketch out any ideas that come to you. Your smartphone can also prove very useful for recording your ideas, either as a dictation device, or a kind of digital notepad.
Writing your ideas down doesn’t just make it more likely that you will remember them, it will also encourage you to think about them in more detail. It also saves you having to try and hold an idea in your head until you can get it down. When this happens, it prevents you from considering any other ideas and so stifles your creativity overall.
One of the best ways of giving your creative output a shot in the arm is to try and find ways of challenging yourself. Try and set yourself creative tasks that you would not normally consider. For example, think about designing a car number plate.
In the UK, motorists can purchase customised number plates. Each registration must be unique and can only be tied to a single vehicle, but any motorist can buy a custom number plate and register it to their vehicle, providing that it is not already in use of course. There are a small number of restrictions in place surrounding what number plates are allowed. Some older vehicles are also subject to certain restrictions.
Trying to come up with a number plate might not sound like an obvious creative activity, but this is precisely the point! Having to work within the limits of the regulations for a UK number plate will encourage you to think about the creative task at hand in ways that you probably wouldn’t normally.
If you find yourself considering whether to order one of the number plates you design, you should be aware that many of the most popular private car registration(s) are already taken. British Car Registrations sell valuation guides which indicate the value of these and other types of the number plate and can be a good starting place to help you with ideas.
Use Lists to Organise Your Thoughts
Lists are an excellent way of organising your thoughts and getting your ideas written down. Once you have started to list the various elements of a creative project, it becomes much easier to develop each of those elements. Often, the simple act of writing an idea down causes us to think about it more than we otherwise would.
When we consider ideas in different ways, we often find unexpected directions to take them in. Lists help to focus your attention on the key aspects of your endeavour.
Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself
It is always good to review your own work with a critical eye and a view to fixing any mistakes, however, it is equally important that you aren’t so critical of your own work that you end up inhibiting your own progress. When you look back over your work, you will sometimes find that you are unhappy with certain features. You should change anything that you don’t think is working, of course, but try and think of something positive to go with every negative observation you make of your own work.
The number of people who are able to just do a creative task well, with little to no preparation, are the exception and not the rule. If you are holding yourself up to these kinds of impossible standards, you will struggle to motivate yourself.
Ease off the Expectations
One of the other common things that many creative people do, which ends up holding them back, is they set themselves impossible goals. If, for example, you are a writer, you don’t have to sit down and write a whole novel every time you do some writing. The more you are able to reduce your expectations of yourself, the less you will focus on the final outcome, and you will feel more free to experiment.
Take in Similar Work
No matter what creative field or medium you work in, you should be remaining up to date with what other people who work in your chosen field are doing. Staying up to date with the latest trends and styles will help you to deepen your understanding of what people want. It will also help you to work out what ideas do and don’t work in your own work.
The old advice that practice makes perfect is the kind of thing that you hear so often, it quickly becomes annoying. However, there is a reason that you hear this advice so often, it works. The more you practice, and the more time you are able to dedicate to your craft, the better you will become. It doesn’t matter how you like to express yourself creatively, the more time you spend practising being creative, the easier you will find it to produce that creativity when it is most needed.
If you are finding yourself stagnating creatively and you are looking for a way to give your output a new lease of life, the above tips will help get you there. Creativity is a very personal thing, we all have our own rituals and techniques to help us get our creative juices flowing.