Hear the word ‘creativity’ and you might think about artists, wordsmiths or musicians, but the word can apply to so much more. Creativity is about generating ideas, and as a practiced skill, can help you in all aspects of life. The ability to come up with new techniques, tricks and ways of looking at a problem creatively can be particularly important in helping to progress your career or in making your business a success.
Want to reach your creative potential? We’ve got a number of ideas that you can put into practice.
1. Immerse yourself in the Arts
Creative stimulation is vitally important to keep you thinking, and can also be a great way to broaden your horizons. Head to the theatre and watch a play, visit an art gallery, learn a new skill such as graphic design to encourage a flair for design for your business or listen to live music. If you’re too involved in your business and shut yourself off from cultural activities, you may feel like you’re getting out of touch with different forms of creative expression.
2. Question everything
“Think like a scientist,” says Think author Guy P. Harrison. “It doesn’t require you to memorise the periodic table of elements or to understand quantum physics. It just means that you maintain a healthy level of curiosity and doubt. You aren’t afraid to ask questions and request evidence, and you don’t draw conclusions about things until you have very good reasons to do so.” This should be applied throughout your life. You can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes to your own work.
3. Complete a task
Don’t have lots of half-finished projects to your name. Stop researching and planning, and instead simply get something finished. Author Steven Pressfield once said his most important book: “That moment when I first hit the keys to spell out THE END was so epochal. I remember rolling the last page out and adding it to the stack that was the finished manuscript. Nobody knew I was done. Nobody cared. But I knew.” Who cares if the work isn’t groundbreaking? You mightn’t be proud of it, but you’ll be proud you did it. And then you can go from there.
4. Start a conversation
Get insight from the people around you. Constructive criticism is necessary in life, but conversations could also spark new ideas. Try sharing your work with friends and family, or even put your creations in the public eye. In the 21st century, it’s never been easier to get opinions from your peers – upload a picture of your work to an appropriate social media channel, encourage people to answer survey questions or offer your product for free in exchange for reviews. This creative exercise is sure to help you and your ideas prosper.
5. Stimulate the mind
Very few of us find sitting in front of a computer all day to be a stimulating process. You need to find something that refreshes the mind to break up long periods of work. For some, nature is key – whether it’s looking at a sky full of stars or crunching your way through autumn leaves. A bout of exercise could be another course of action. Break up your day with a fast walk, run, cycle or swim – if the exercise is outdoors, even better. But experiment and see what works for you. It could be that blasting your favourite album has you raring to go.
These are just some of the things you can try, but there are plenty of ways to encourage a creative mind for success in business.