Kick-start the Creative Process

You need to come up with an out-of-the-box solution – fast. Here’s how to get your brain into creative mode  

Credit: Flickr/Jacob Botter

Brainstorming is crucial to creative work

Easy ways to get your brain in gear and think more creatively

Are you having trouble stifling internal criticism of your ideas, thinking in new ways or otherwise coming up with creative solutions? Try these tips and see if you don’t start seeing ways to tackle old issues in a fresh new way.

Tips for Getting Creative

Anything goes. Brainstorming is crucial to creative work. If the ideas just won’t flow, challenge yourself to come up with five ideas, the crazier the better. Try setting a timer — the arbitrary deadline will focus you on the task at hand.

Creativity is contagious. Need to find an out-of-the-box solution to a work problem? Try sketching the scene in front of you, belting out an aria or composing an impromptu interpretive dance. As ridiculous as these activities may feel, they’ll free up your wilder side when you turn back to the task at hand.

Take a risk. Emulate a toddler by balancing on a railing, try doing a scary-but-safe flip off a platform or challenge yourself to race a car on your next bike commute. Activities that get your heart pumping with perceived risk will heighten awareness and allow you to make unexpected connections quickly.

Talk it over. Bouncing the question off a sympathetic listener can help you reframe it in different ways, and her feedback may allow you to see things from another viewpoint entirely.

Get out of critical mode. If you can’t think of a creative idea without your internal voice jumping in to explain all the ways it won’t work, don’t fight it. Simply tell the critical side of your brain you’ll allow it to nit-pick later. It’s crucial to keep the nay-saying at bay when you’re trying to get creative. Editing your presentation, say, while you’re still writing it can freeze up the creative process, leaving you stymied.

More Creative Solutions

Want more ways to get creative?  Check out this tongue-in-cheek blog.