Creative inspiration is all around us. Sometimes when it comes down to creative thinking and problem solving, we can freeze and feel like we’re not at all creative. That’s not true! We are born creative – it just leaves us as we grow depending on the situations we find ourselves in. We become more logical thinkers based on our life experiences. But does that mean you cannot increase your creativity and find your creative mind again? No… you can, increase your creativity by making some small changes to your daily life and routines to spark your creative brain back into action!
study after study
Whilst there have been and will continue to be plenty of studies around creative thinking, the most powerful is perhaps is Scott, G. M., Leritz, L. E., & Mumford, M. D. (2004) research – ‘The effectiveness of creativity training: A meta-analysis.’
The research showed that even adults who are in less creative environments, still show 2% creativity. However, creativity does drop between age 5 (98% creative) to age 31 (2% creative), posing the question – how do we lose our creativity? The most famous TedTalk: Do Schools Kill Creativity? makes a profound and intriguing suggestion around moving our education system towards fostering a more ‘creative culture’, rather than undermining our innate creative nature at early ages.
increase your creativity now
For adults, there are still plenty of ways to increase your creativity. The beautiful thing is that creativity can be taught and practised! A positive sign for our own personal development goals. But how do we increase our creative thinking? You’ll find an inordinate amount of ways online, but if you’re looking for fun ways to increase your creative thinking, this is where you’ll find them:
playing with Lego
Told you the fun ways to increase your creativity were here! It’s true, playing with Lego does increase creative thinking and problem-solving. Playing with Lego at an older age takes us back to our youthfulness, where we have positive and fond memories of our times playing with those bricks and blocks. We explored architecture and design, and tested multiple builds, failing and learning minute by minute. We solved problems on a daily basis and by reliving those youthful memories, we begin to remember the things we used to create.
Furthermore, the fun we’re having, of course, releases endorphins that, in turn, increase our happiness, and so focuses the mind on problem-solving, training us to think ‘outside of the box’ during the building process.
So, next time the team are preparing a mind-mapping or creative session, get the creative juices flowing, by encouraging your team to play with some Lego.
We can’t be serious, can we? Yes, adults can get creative from watching cartoons. Similarly to playing with Lego, watching cartoons release endorphins that cultivate laughter and happiness. This, in turn, inspires our creative mindset and problem-solving success.
Additionally, cartoons inspire us through showing that the impossible is possible. How often do we see young protagonists overcome adversities in order to prevail or succeed? What we take from this, is that everything is possible; attitude and hard work are the catalysts in order to succeed.
Here’s a way you could test this to see if it benefits your office. Play some cartoons in the staff room at lunch time, and have a creative session after.
to doodle or not to doodle?
It may seem obvious that drawing is a great way of increasing our creativity, however, it’s important to know how and why. ‘Doodling’ allows you to depict your imagination on paper and the more you draw, the more your imagination comes to life. This allows you to envisage your ideas more clearly.
Furthermore, by drawing your thoughts, you can communicate ideas more effectively during meetings and help people to better understand them. This helps tremendously in increasing ‘buy-in’ from your peers or managers when proposing a new or riskier idea than you have tried before.
Finally, by doodling whilst listening, we increase our ability to retain information according to University of Plymouth Professor of Psychology, Jacke Andrade. Her study found that “by doodling, we engage our minds just enough to avoid daydreaming”. Worth testing to see if you can retain boring information more frequently! This could help massively with your career development.
walking the walk
This may seem obvious, but very few of us take walks when we become stuck with a problem. Some of the greatest minds in the world take walking meetings or walks generally to deliberate and ‘think clearly’. The act of walking is the important factor – we don’t need to go and find a lush green field to walk through just to be creative. Although, that might help! The important thing is to walk more. Walking moves us away from the problem, allowing us to think with a different perspective and for those of us that work in an office, it takes us away from the monitors that fry brain cells!
listening to random music
Many people like to listen to music whilst at work, but did you know listening to your favourite music reduces your creativity? By listening to your favourite tunes, you’re focusing on the music and not your task – this reduces focus, thinking and productivity.
By listening to random music, we focus less on what we’re listening to, and more on the task at hand. Furthermore, listening to music with lyrics can often inspire us… if they’re good lyrics of course. Countless times my best ideas have come from listening to music with lyrics. The spoken words help communicate with your brain to keep you thinking and engaged with your work.
Creativity is all around us! It’s there to inspire us and help us grow our minds. How are you growing your creative minds? Drop us a comment below, we’d love to hear how you’re increasing your creativity.