Build Your Creativity System

Build Your Creativity System

Despite Hollywood mythology, real-life creativity doesn’t usually happen randomly in a surprise flash of brilliance. Let’s take a look at some ways to dramatically boost our creativity each day. Even those with true natural talent often use these tips to increase the quantity and quality of their ideas, as they regularly feed their minds and souls with inspiration to solve important problems. How do they do this? Well, many design a simple system that helps them continuously discover, collect, connect and synthesize new ideas that they can apply to the problems on which they’re working.

In order to summon creativity even when I’m not in the mood, I created a system that continuously feeds me new ideas & different perspectives

My career includes shooting photos and making films, designing new products, developing persuasive marketing and organizational communications, and visualizing complex concepts or systems for customers across many  industries and countries. In order to summon creativity even when I’m not in the mood, I created a system that continuously feeds me new ideas and different perspectives to enrich my thinking.

To start building your creativity system, here are five simple suggestions to help you in your life and work:

1. Get quiet

Life, including work, can be noisy and full of interruptions. You may not need or want to meditate, but it’s important to clear your mind each day to make room for ideas, insights and innovations. Your mind, like your muscles, needs to relax and rest.

2. Get a hobby

I schedule time each week for something I love to do. Shooting and editing photos is my favorite hobby, but I suggest finding something that fits into your current situation. My hobby provides a place where I get to make all of the decisions and take risks with no judgement, while building skills to use in other parts of my life. That’s win-win.

3. Get outside

Nature itself is a creative force – it can have a calming effect and help put things in perspective. If you’re able to walk or just sit outside each day, you’ll experience the benefits almost immediately. Nature also provides inspiration to think bigger and learn from a living ecosystem at work.

4. Get uncomfortable

Churchill said, “This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.” Whether it’s meeting new people, joining a new organization or enrolling in an online class, do something that breaks your patterns and stretches your comfort zone—that’s when learning and real growth begins.

5. Get others’ ideas

The classic story of the lone inventor and a Eureka! moment is mostly a myth. Good ideas don’t need to be original ideas. Harness the collective power of other creative people by using your time online to learn, connect and collaborate. Automate your inspiration by signing up for email newsletters and RSS feeds outside your areas of expertise, and sources of potential new ideas are just a click away.

It’s important to consistently capture & collect ideas

These five suggestions are not my entire system but trying even a few of them can greatly improve your creative thinking and output. Inspiration can strike at any time, so it’s important to consistently capture and collect your ideas. Use what works for you– paper and pen, a smartphone app, or sending yourself emails.

Now it’s your turn. Please tell us about the creativity hacks you use to generate great ideas more consistently. Thank you!


Author: Joe Shields

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