6 Ways to Be More Creative

6 Ways to Be More Creative

Whether your career resembles the plot of Office Space or you’re in a supposedly “creative” career, we all run low on creative energy sometimes. Blame the 9 – 5 grind, blame the fact that even the most creative paid projects require some amount of the “buckle down and get ‘er done” mentality—whatever. But life (and career!) without creativity is life (and career!) without joy, so it’s of the utmost importance to restock that creative juice. Here are 7 solid tips for doing just that.

1. Doodle

It turns out that when you’re bored, your brain goes on the hunt for stimulation, making you restless and annoyed. Doodling focuses your brain, and gets those ideas flowing in a refreshing manner. It’s like meditating…but way more interesting. In fact, just working in a different medium will get you thinking in a different way, making it much easier to return to your everyday tasks.

2. Work on a Group Project

Picking a unique hobby or experiment and connecting with other people around a shared goal can be both stimulating and inspiring. Just try not feeling a little more energized after a power-brainstorm session. Even better, each member of a group brings a unique set of skills, multiplying the number of cool things you can do. Solve a world problem, or make an art mural; just work towards a common cause, and you’ll inevitably feel refreshed.

3. Get Moving

There are a few things more stimulating to the brain than blood. No, seriously, just ask biology. Whether it’s a big run to start off your day, a few yoga stretches at lunch, or a power walk around the block with a friend, a little physical activity will engage your muscles and your mind in a different way, letting your brain reset for the rest of your day’s tasks. You’d be surprised how often just thinking about something different will actually help you think of new creative solutions for the problems you’re already trying to solve, just by letting your subconscious brain work. So pump those legs, and get going!

4. Seek and Collect Inspiration

Inspiration doesn’t come at a set time. In fact, the most creative people spot inspiration throughout their daily life adventures, something that requires an open, observational mind and a good system for cataloguing what you find. At Alt Creative, we use Pinterest as an easy way to snag and collate our favorite things. We know writers who use idea lists, and many people who collect found objects in boxes. Just thumbing through photos, ideas or objects can be the creative jolt you need to produce something entirely unexpected.

5. Start a Journal

Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a writer, keeping a journal or starting a blog can be a wellspring of creativity. Write about a leaf, write about your toes, write about how angry you are at your friend, write about aliens invading from space. Reflect on your day, or simply log your activity. Just writing whatever comes to your brain without any mandated outcome can be incredibly liberating, and you’d be surprised how good your work can be.

6. Get Curious

There’s no getting around it: the real heart of creativity is curiosity. You simply can’t be creative without a sense of wonder and a love of the question, “What if?” Don’t let stale conceptions of who you are limit yourself. Pick a continent you’ve never been to before and buy a plane ticket. Try a new hobby. Take a class. Join a MeetUp group that puts in you contact with people with whom you’d normally never hang. Do what you have to do shake up the routine and adopt a new perspective, and watch the creativity flow.

The Takeaway

Let’s face it: creativity can be hard when we’re in our everyday, checklist mentality. No matter who you are, no matter what your career and interests, creativity is something that needs to be actively nurtured. How will you grow yours? Let us know in the comments below.

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