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Four ways to increase your creativity

If you’ve been struggling to generate fresh ideas at work, try using these four methods to increase your creativity.

Learn something new

Nothing boosts creativity like enhancing a skill or embracing an entirely new one. Broadening what we consume and learn about can trigger all sorts of creative processes. The key trick is to learn outside of what your direct interests might be: for instance, engaging with history, the arts, or toolkits on specific hobbies.

You might not think hat-making or the guitar has an awful lot to do with running your business, but you could be pleasantly surprised at the impact stretching your brain can have.

Set yourself challenges

In addition to learning new skills, setting yourself challenges can be a fantastic way to unlock the flow of ideas. Where learning triggers creativity by providing you with new input, challenge setting encourages you to draw deep into the knowledge you already have.

These challenges can be based around any concept: if you had to design a house, how would you do it? What would the perfect computer look like? How could you solve a problem that’s been plaguing your country?

No matter how big or small, stretching your mind with theoretical challenges can help you draw together concepts and knowledge you might not have connected before. These connections can then be applied to other industries and projects: the key goal is to get into the practice of thinking critically, analytically, and creatively.

Change up your horizons

It sounds simple, but something as basic as going for a stroll in a new neighbourhood or changing up the pictures on your workplace desk can help boost your brainpower. When we’re only exposed to the same scenes day after day we struggle to generate new ideas: this was clearest to me as a child, when after every family holiday I had a new idea for a short story based on what I’d seen.

If you’re feeling stuck and unproductive then changing your surroundings can be an incredibly effective way to broaden your scope of thinking.

Keep track of your ideas

The final trick to maximizing your creativity is documenting it: when you have a fun idea, a bizarre idea, or a brilliant idea, take the time to job it down. The art of writing can help us make even further connections between themes and concepts, and the process of writing with paper and pen can help us recall our thoughts with more accuracy. In addition, journaling has been proven to be meditative, so take five minutes a day to jot down what you’ve been thinking and where you’re at in the ideas process.

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While thinking creatively can be intimidating, it’s a muscle which – like any other – can be strengthened over time. Which methods do you use to boost your creativity?

- Lena Klein

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