Creativity is an indispensable ingredient not only for art but also for any successful business. It’s the mother of innovation, the cornerstone of your R&D. That’s why, whether you’re a solopreneur or a business leader with employees, nurturing creativity in yourself and your team is an excellent strategy for staying competitive on the market.
In reality, finding new ways to market your business, interact with customers, or improve your products & services will not happen without someone coming up with a new idea, capturing it and taking action.
And the good news is that despite the common belief, creativity is not a gene that some of us have and some don’t. We all have it expressing is in many different ways. Just as we talked about it in last week’s post.
Better yet, according to Robert Epstein, American psychologist, professor, author, creativity is something that can be nurtured and cultivated by anyone.
For this reason this week, I’d like to share with you 5 Tips to Boost Your Creativity and Capture the Next Big Idea.
1. Take Time to Think
We covered the 4 Ts mantra last week. However, I’d like to add a bit to this point.
When our days are packed with meetings, e-mails, and other tasks heavy with mental demands, they overload prefrontal cortex part of the brain. All these drain and distract us cognitively. On the contrary, most of our “A-HA’s” moments come during a quiet break. Why? Because when we go for a walk, take a shower or even stare at a piece of art, the prefrontal cortex quiets down, and our default imagination mode gets turned on.
Additionally, by “Time To Think,” I also mean taking time to rest during vacation, weekends, as well as getting enough sleep. No million-dollar idea will come to us if we are overworked, stressed and on the verge of burn out.
Moreover, spending some this rest time in nature awakens our sense of awe and fascination with its beauty. And when our brain is in such a beautiful state, our creativity flourishes even more. If you’re interested to learn more about this research, click here.
2. Spend Time with Diverse Interesting People
Meeting regularly with a diverse and exciting network of people can open your horizons and help you come up with new inspiring ideas. Couple that with going together to exciting places such as art gallery, museum, or opera, and such experiences will stimulate your creative thinking in ways you couldn’t have imagined.
Furthermore, being around people and feeling connected gets rid of the number one killer of creativity, i.e., stress. It’s also fun and makes us feel happy. And as much as sadness can be a fuel in artistic creativity, in business, it’s an inhibitor to novel ideas as well.
So, don’t wait, go out there and spend some time with your friends and the broader network. And if you don’t have one yet and not sure how to go about it, click here for some tips.
3. Take On Challenging Projects
Challenging projects that don’t have an easy solution get our brains thinking and looking at things from different perspectives. For this reason, don’t dismiss any of the ideas you had as not possible to put into practice. Try to work on them instead. Better yet, brainstorm such projects with other people. Tapping into their experience, a different outlook on things can consequently generate more fantastic ideas. And since you are going to take my advice from point 2 above, finding great partners for brainstorming shouldn’t pose any problems to you anymore 😊.
4. Broaden Your Knowledge
Expanding horizons past your area of expertise will also stimulate your brain for creative thinking. Taking a course to learn a new skill, reading books or magazines from unrelated domains will broaden your knowledge and allow for the brain to “interconnect” all this new knowledge. Such interconnections are the basis of all creative thought i.e., new ideas emerging from bits and pieces of each discipline you dive into.
5. Always Be Ready to Capture Your Ideas
Once you get your creative juices going, you need to be ready to capture everything you come up with so that it doesn’t escape your memory. My favorite method is writing my thoughts down. Hence, carrying a journal with you is one but not the only way to do it. Note app on your phone, typing ideas on your laptop, or even a proverbial napkin will work as well.
To summarize, boosting our creativity is not only good for business. It’s also good for us.
If you look at all the above tips and think about it, implementing them will also help you improve the overall quality of life and happiness. And isn’t it how it should be in the first place? Our professional and personal life are our life as a whole? Isn’t it when one overshadows the other then somehow we don’t feel fully satisfied?
At least this is what I believe. Our “personal and professional selves,” with everything that goes into us, make us full wholehearted people who can be creative and make a positive difference in the world. For this reason, my mission is to inspire and enable you as a business leader to build mission-driven, people-oriented, and healthy organization that brings value to your customers and helps you lead a holistic fulfilled life.