How to Become a Creative Person: 5 Super Ways
Modern work and life require non-standard solutions – creativity has become the emblem of a whole social class. We will tell you how to develop creative thinking and curiosity in order to become an interesting conversationalist and creative employee.
Do the familiar in a new way
If you walk the same route to work, the route becomes so familiar that you no longer need to keep track of where you are going. You can listen to music or an audiobook, talk on the phone – your legs themselves carry you along the usual path. Likewise with ideas. If we get used to creating something according to the model – “as usual”, “as shown”, “as it was in the example”, or “if only the management approves” – we ourselves limit the list of new mental routes.
Behind this lies a complex mechanism of how the brain works. When we perform an unfamiliar, unfamiliar task, new synaptic connections are formed between neurons. The more often we come across it, the stronger the ties – the task is easier. This is also true in order to learn how to improvise in dance, write poetry, come up with birthday contests. The more synaptic connections, the more our brain can transmit signals between neurons, process and compare more information, helping to find unexpected connections between different spheres of activity. Therefore, it is useful to do something new for the development of creativity.
Making small changes to your daily routine is a good start. Go to work with a new route, exit at any metro station and walk around the city without a map, with your eyes closed, try the dish and guess the ingredients, listen to different music, go to a work lunch alone, or, if you haven’t done this before, on the contrary, with colleagues, make a new salad, brush your teeth with your left hand, take a bath instead of a shower, go to a movie or museum without companions.
Take a break while working
“Illumination comes only when you stop invoking it,” writes American journalist and science popularizer John Lehrer in Imagine. How creativity works ”. He talks about the politics of diffuse attention used by the 3M corporation. It encourages regular breaks from work, during which employees can freely walk around the campus, play pinball, or take a nap on the sofa by the window.
Despite this approach to problem solving, it is difficult to blame the company for the lack of new ideas and products. And her policy has a scientific basis. When we are focused on a task, we pay maximum attention to details, and minimum attention to what is happening outside. This is useful if a solution requires an analytical approach. But waiting for inspiration in this mode is useless. In a state of intense attention, intense mental work, the alpha rhythm, one of the types of brain activity on the EEG, is inhibited. The alpha rhythm is especially pronounced when we dream or fantasize.
Therefore, it can be more useful to get distracted from work than to work another half hour. Take short breaks: take a walk, make coffee, warm up, eat a piece of chocolate. Snacks can also unload the brain. According to a study by chocolate maker Alpen Gold Mondelez, 8 out of 10 millennials (77%) view a snack of their favorite snack as an opportunity to escape from the hustle and bustle and relax psychologically.
Traditionally, before solving difficult problems, we are advised to eat a chocolate bar, arguing that the brain supposedly works better after a portion of calories. It’s a quick way to recharge. Fatty acids improve brain function in the long term, and saltwater fish, eggs, nuts, and vegetable oils are good for creativity. But chocolate is not as simple as scientists have found out: the desire for new discoveries in us wakes up not only from its taste.
Cocoa has a high content of flavonols – natural antioxidants. They stimulate oxygen saturation of the brain, help to better cope with tasks for mental mobility, improve memory and perception of visual information. According to the result of a meta-analysis, which was carried out by Italian scientists, the greatest effect is the regular consumption of flavonols in small portions.
Watch out for children and advertisements
Why is it useful to run, how does an apple turn out from a seed, why does a hare have ears upright, and a rabbit hang? Children’s questions are often funny, but they are part of lateral thinking. This is how the British psychologist Edward de Bono called thinking free from templates. Someone who thinks laterally can look at a question from the point of view of another person and question even the obvious facts. This is exactly what children do, who have not yet gone through many stages of the educational process and have not absorbed with it stereotypes of thinking about the categories of bad and good, useful and harmful.
It will also be useful to learn from the experience of those for whom lateral thinking is part of their daily work. We are talking about PR people, marketers and advertising creators. They need to find new approaches to everyday things in order to get the audience’s attention and talk about the product in a way that makes them want to try it.
Watch new commercials of major brands, pay attention to banner ads, rate them. What turned out to be trite, and what looks fresh, clings, makes you look to the end. Maybe a new combination of colors, metaphors in the words of the characters, an unusual shooting angle? Keep a diary where you will write down such details, and refer to it when it is time to come up with something.
Open up to new things
Try to do something new that differs from your interests: listen to classical music, learn to distinguish Bach’s compositions from Beethoven, attend an art evening, paint on an easel, go to a rock concert, compliment a stranger, sign up for a workout where have been before, go to a lesson in a pottery workshop, keep a diary of observations, listen to organ music, dress in a new way.
Creative expert Michael Mikalko recommends meeting a quota of ideas every day in his book Rice Storming and 21 More Ways to Think Creatively. Set a bottom line for yourself, such as three ideas a day. They can all be devoted to, say, your work, or, conversely, touch on a variety of topics, from global warming to seedlings. The main thing is to overcome the threshold of the first days and come up with ideas every day.
You can start with the simplest topics. Three new ways to make pasta, combine clothes and accessories, and party themed with friends – ideas don’t have to be about human issues. On the contrary, if they are related to your daily life, it will be easier to implement them, experiment, notice when exactly the most successful ones come to you. And gradually move on to more serious topics.
It is also recommended to read specialized literature:
- “Give me an idea. How to make others fall in love with what you have invented ”;
- “Steal like an artist”;
- “Hacking creative”;
- “Games for the development of systems thinking”;
- “The Artist’s Way”;
- Super Thinking;
- Design Thinking in Business;
- Zen in the Art of Book Writing;
- Made to Stick;
- “Breaking the template”;
- “How to generate fresh ideas”;
- “Creativity Code”;
- “101 Techniques for Creative Problem Solving”;
- “Rice assault”.