Five ways to boost creativity

Published On: April 19, 2019 08:20 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

Music stimulates the part of our brain that controls creativity, among other things. According to “The Mozart Effect,” listening to Mozart can increase creativity, concentration, and other cognitive functions. Though it’s not clear if this effect works for everyone, a little classical music might go a long way in making you think creatively. But you don’t have to rely on music only to get your mind ticking. There are some other sure shot ways to boost your creative juices.

Pay attention to (and write down) new ideas that come to you
As people age, the number of creative ideas that come to them doesn’t necessarily diminish, but they tend to capture fewer of these “brilliant” ideas. So when an idea comes to you, start making it a point to preserve it. Jot it down in a smartphone note app, write it in a pocket-sized notebook you carry around or sketch it out on a napkin. Research has shown over and over again that capturing your new ideas is the most valuable aspect of boosting creativity. Most ideas are simply lost. Let that not be the case. 

Change your surroundings, even if it’s in a small way
Studies support that creativity nudges can come from changes as small as a brighter cup of coffee or different colors in a room. Try switching out some of the items on your desk, orienting yourself differently or doing an overhaul of your bulletin board. Also, these nudges aren’t only limited to your physical surroundings, they’re also connected to your social setting. Take advantage of opportunities to periodically work in different areas of the office, sit with new colleagues or invite people from different departments to lunch. Although you might not have much control over your work environment, making any possible adjustments and alterations could translate into a significant creativity boost.

Create content
If creating content isn’t a part of your job, find a way to inject it into your work. Whether it’s drafting a departmental newsletter or helping boost your company’s social media presence, there’s an opportunity somewhere for you to exercise your creativity. Or if that seems 
like too much “work”, do something for yourself: Start a blog, or a YouTube channel. In this day and age of social media, there’s just so much you can do to put some really good content out there. Keep a track of other social media influencers and see what they do and take it from there.  

Ask for advice or feedback
Sometimes you are too close to a problem to figure out a creative solution all by yourself. Ask for help and advice from friends, peers, and people from your personal network that you trust and respect. Every person has a unique skill set, experience, and knowledge. A fresh outside perspective may be just what you need. Even if you don’t use their advice, it may spark some new, creative thinking. Other people, who are detached from the issue, can also potentially help you see the problem with fresh eyes and thus come up with a solution.

Meditate and relax
Relaxing your mind has more benefits than you may imagine. Relaxation unlocks creativity as it rejuvenates the mind. Relaxation need not be time-consuming or expensive. It can entail simple activities like going on a walk or for a dip in the pool. It can be anything that will let your mind relax and revive your mood. Meditation has also been known to unlock mental potential. It organizes your thoughts and increases productivity. Most importantly, it calms the mind and brings you back to the present moment, refreshed and more open to creative thoughts and better ideas.

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