Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. “Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. Creativity requires passion and commitment. It brings to our awareness what was previously hidden and points to new life. The experience is one of heightened consciousness: ecstasy.” -Rollo May.
Creativity begins with a foundation of knowledge, learning a discipline, and mastering a way of thinking. You can learn to be creative by experimenting, exploring, questioning assumptions, using imagination and sintering information. Learning to be creative is akin to learning a sport. It requires practice to develop the right muscles and a supportive environment in which to flourish.
There are four main steps to boost your creativity:
Preparation stage is the time when we learn everything we can by putting as much information into our brains via books, movies
,talking to people and gathering experiences we prime our brains to have a pool of ideas to draw from later on the incubation stage.
Incubation stage is the hardest for workaholics since this stage requires rest we need time to step away from a project in order to stop consciously thinkin about it, we need time to take a long walk or sleep. Countless studies have shown that simply sleeping on a problem and coming back to it the next day greatly increases performance results. The negative effects of fatigue and sleep deprivation on cognitive abilities is well documented. We need sleep and play for ideas to gestate in the mind. The importance of deliberate rest can be understated. The Illumination stage comes after grinding many hours of hard work. This is the classis ”aha” moment where a solution seems to come out of nowhere. Of course the solution or breakthrough moment comes as a result of having done the preparation in incubation stages. Great Ideas don’t come out of nowhere, the breakthrough moment comes from strains of associations and connecting existing ideas and new ways.
The Verification stage like the first stage of preparation is more deliberate and guided than the subconscious stages of incubation or illumination. In the verification stage we verify how valuable or worthy an idea is. This is the editing stage where we turn on the critic and analyze the project from every possible angle. Often asking for feedback from others to help, get a clearer understanding of the quality of our work. If we find that the idea is not accurate or valid we can go back to the preparation stage and deliberately research and become immersed in new references.
So there are many stages to creative work. These four stages are good starting point for understanding the creative process and none of the stages necessarily exist in isolation from each other.
The distinction between working and not working is a little blurry.
The foundation of any creative act comes from making mental connections based of experiences, ideas take time to gestate in the mind. Working for the sake of working can cause more trouble than it’s worth.
Following creative thinking exercises will boost your creativity.
- Schedule creative Free time.
make daily planner, write today’s goals and to-do lists
think of creativity as a plant. It’s not going to grow in a closed box restrictions and deadlines, It needs space, time and regular treatment in order to flourish. Maybe there is free half and hour in your daily planner? Then use it for creative thinking.
- SET A TIMER
if you are opposite person, set yourself a timer, because deadlines can restrict some of us, they can also push us to work harder. In affect pushing through that mental block . Find out what works best for you.
- Think Quantity Over Quality
When it comes to creativity, quantity over quality can take you very far. Instead of searching one certain caption in your mind, start searching ten times more different captions and write them down. Write one idea down, then second, third and fourth will come on your mind. Creativity has a domino effect, once you get the ball rolling, there is no stopping. Don’t focus on nailing down that one perfect idea on the first try. Don’t be afraid of braid vomit for lack of a better term and let your ideas spill on the paper.
- Become AN IDEA MACHINE
To be creative you might have to step outside of your comfort zone, to become smarter or expand your vocabulary you should read more books. Don’t limit yourself on how you’re going to help your creative outlook, you need to step outside of your comfort zone in order to grow. Turn yourself into idea machine, that means that every single day you have to come up with at least 10 original ideas and write them down. By this way your creativity is given a chance to expand in ways that you had not realized before. Thinking outside the box is making new connections.
- Switch up your Routine
You are in need of some inspiration, what are the chances you are doing the same think you are now than the last time you needed inspiration?
Changing the scenery and switching up your routine can be perfect way to come up with new ideas. Go for a walk, drive a new way to home, listen to different music, move things around at your desk. Smallest things can make you feel like you are entirely different person. Think of these as a breath of fresh air, they’re helpful ideas to help you to get back on your feet.Training your brain is as important as training your body. It takes practice, repetition and exercise. Even then you must challenge yourself in order to get ahead.
Fostering Creativity at Work: Rules of the Garage
Follow these simple rules and you will foster a culture of creativity and innovation: These were defined by HP, which in fact started in a garage.
Believe you can change the world.
Work quickly, keep the tools unlocked, work whenever.
Know when to work alone and when to work together.
Share – tools, ideas. Trust your colleagues.
No politics. No bureaucracy. (These are ridiculous in a garage.)
The customer defines a job well done.
Radical ideas are not bad ideas.
Invent different ways of working.
Make a contribution every day. If it doesn’t contribute, it doesn’t leave the garage.
Believe that together we can do anything.
-1999 HP Annual Report