Whether you think you are creative or not, everyone can work to develop their creative thinking skills to improve the quality of their ideas and level of innovation.
You don't have to be a creative genius to be able to think outside the box, you just need to do more things that help stimulate creative thinking. As with all things, it’s simply a case of practice makes perfect. That’s why it’s so important to exercise your creative muscles to ensure they’re performing at their best. This is especially important as creative and innovative thinking is a skill that is highly valued in today’s modern workplace, regardless of industry. So, how do you enhance your creativity? Here are our top five ways to improving your own creative thinking and innovation skills.
1. Read, read and read some more
Reading, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, industry articles or blogs, is one of the best ways to get your creative juices flowing! Try to read up on a variety of topics, so that you broaden your horizons and are forced to think outside of your usual realms. You’ll be surprised how often seemingly unrelated topics can help you come up with creative solutions to your own problems.
2. Make time to be creative
It may sound simple, but one of the greatest ways to improve your creative thinking is to actually schedule time for it. Living in such a busy world of to-do-lists and deadlines, we’re often so caught up in our day-to-day tasks that we don’t allow ourselves an opportunity to stop and simply think. Take time to take a quiet walk, stare out your window, or any other quiet activity that allows you the space to set your mind free. If you have employees or co-workers, encourage them to do the same or set up a think day/think hour specifically focused on doing absolutely nothing but creative thinking. Then arrange for a brainstorm where you can share your thoughts and ideas with each other.
3. Change it up
Changing up your environment often helps prompt the mind to think along new pathways. So, if you’re looking to generate new ideas, perhaps it’s worth setting up an off-site meeting, or arranging for a teambuilding retreat somewhere new. Feeling blocked? Step away from your desk or computer and take a quick walk around the block. You’ll be surprised at how a different setting can give you a totally different perspective.
4. Get moving
Exercise is good for us in many ways, but did you know that exercise can also promote creative thinking? So, next time you’re feeling creatively blocked, it might be a signal to pull on those running shoes or to grab your yoga mat.
5. Watch what you eat
Too many people don’t understand the connection between the mind and the food we eat. But studies have proven that the healthier you eat, the better your cognitive processes become and the easier it is for you to think creatively and problem solve. Just like an engine, start giving your body healthier fuel and you’ll be amazed by how much better your mind runs!
What do you do to bring out your creative thinking, leave us a comment and let us know.
HANNA GIRLING, wife, mother, business owner, coach, sport enthusiast and forever an optimist.