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Tips for Being Creative and Innovative
By Barbara Bray November 7, 2012 -- 11:12 AM
Anyone can be creative because we all possess mental processes that include decision making, language, and memory. All we have to do to boost our creative potential is to break down the established ways we view and interact with the world. Allowing yourself to see things differently encourages creativity and looking for ways to be innovative.
Observe: When you are trying to come up with a new project or idea, study how others do something similar and the problems they might be having.
Become an Expert: Focus on something you are interested in and learn as much as you can. Then share what you find.
Step out of your Comfort Zone: Do something outside of the ordinary for you. Sign up for a class doing something you always wanted to do, read a different type of book than you are used to reading, learn a new language, go on a trip to somewhere you never thought you would go to. New experiences change your brain and might open up ideas you never thought of before.
Be Willing to Work Alone: Sometimes working in a group and brainstorming stops the creative process. If you focus on your ideas and play with them, you just might come up with something yourself. Then share it.
Play and Have Fun: Balance in your life is good for you. If you only work all the time, you will start resenting what you are doing. If you stop and play, you can come back refreshed and maybe have new ideas to work on.
Daydream: It is amazing how the mind works. It doesn't stop even when you sleep. Take a nap in the middle of the day. Pause and reflect on what you have been doing. Then imagine things that are just almost impossible.
Reflect: Keep a journal or write a blog. You never know what ideas come to you as you start reflecting on your thinking. Then share your ideas in social media. It might be interesting to see if any of your ideas are retweeted.
Share your Ideas: If you come up with something novel, share it. Find others who will give you constructive feedback. They may give you ideas that go in a completely different direction that will make your ideas even better. You may get ideas that will not help you at all but confirm the direction you are going.
Challenge Yourself: Sometimes you are onto something and just keep doing it because you started it. Stop! See if this direction is going to work. Maybe you need to stop and start a new project or idea and put that other idea to rest for a little to come back to later.
Express Yourself: Take a break to sing a song, dance a dance, or draw a picture. If that doesn't get you going, then just get up and move. Go for a walk. Your brain works best if you move and stimulate both sides of your brain.
These are my adaptations of tips shared in Scientific American Mind July/August 2012 and added a few of my own.