How To Be More Creative: 10 Surprising Ways

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

Creativity is mostly skill, not just a gift, and this skill can be developed.

Can anyone be creative?

Most of us understand creativity as being able to paint a stunning picture, write a bestselling book, design beautiful clothes, create delicious new recipes, or write killer computer programs. It’s a talent that not all of us have.

We cannot all be artists, designers, or the best cooks in town. Or can we?

The most creative people on the planet will admit that their work is 10% talent and 90% hard work — the practicing and polishing of their skills.

That’s right! Talent is not the major component of creativity, so you don’t need it in order to be creative. Creativity is, in fact, a skill that can be acquired and mastered at any age.

Let’s take a look at ways you can actively develop your creativity.

How To Be More Creative

There are many ways to become more creative. Some of them are easy and can be practiced every day. Others are more difficult and require a lot of time, effort, strong will, and the desire to learn and improve. You don’t have to try them all.

Pick those that inspire you and give them a shot. You’ve nothing to lose and a lot to gain.

Here are 10 proven techniques to help get your creative juices flowing!

1. Daydreaming

When you daydream, your mind is unconstrained. It means that although you cannot change the physical reality that surrounds you, you can go wherever you please in your mind.

This special and unique ability we possess, if practiced frequently, can lead to more creative problem solving. It can also help you generate more original ideas effortlessly.

You might have already noticed this in your everyday activities.

Think about the time when you go for a walk with your dog, take a shower, or stare through a window while traveling by bus or train. Isn’t that the time when you come up with the best ideas?

That’s the power and the beauty of daydreaming. So, how can you do that more often?

Well, first of all, limit the time you spend on social media, watch less TV, and spend less time in front of your laptop. Also, when you go out, don’t put on headphones or stick earbuds into your ears.

Teach yourself to think about yourself, the past and the future instead of listening to music while you’re walking or running. Practice self-awareness, and thus, let your mind rest and wander.

2. Doodling

Like daydreaming, when you doodle, you allow your mind to wander, thinking about everything and nothing at the same time.

When people doodle, their brains are occupied by other things like solving problems or generating ideas. So for many, especially artists, doodling is indispensable to the creative process.

For others, doodling is simply a relaxing or entertaining activity that also encourages creative thought.

An easy way to be more creative is to take a piece of paper and, while listening to music, watching a movie or cooking, draw whatever comes to mind.

Doodling is one of the easiest and simplest activities you can do to boost your creativity.

3. Admiring Surrealism

Surrealism, a 20th century art movement, rejects the rational world and seeks reality in imagination and in dreams.

The basic assumption is that creativity can be unleashed by letting go of the conscious and giving freedom to the unconscious by deep thinking.

It makes you question all that is real and look at the world from a different perspective.

Here, creativity is awakened.

Art inspires us and encourages us to think hence feeds our creativity. Does it mean that in order to be more creative you must go to museums more often and start buying paintings?

No, not necessarily. You can admire paintings online.

A good way to do this is to surround yourself with surrealist art by downloading pictures you find most inspirational and using them as wallpapers on your phone, tablet, or laptop.

4. Painting and Coloring

Since we are on the topic of art, let’s investigate if not only admiring paintings but also creating them has a positive effect on our minds and creativity.

The internet is stuffed with articles discussing the benefits of painting and coloring.

What we can learn from them is that creating art helps us to relax, reduces stress, and improve critical thinking. It also increases creativity.

First, when you paint or color, you need to use your imagination, pick the right colors, and combine them.

Second, it helps those who think they are not creative to discover their inner artist.

It also has a therapeutic effect.

Creating your own special piece of art will make you feel happier and more self-confident about your skills.

Thus, going forward you’ll be more likely to continue practicing your creativity and be more original in anything you’re doing.

One of the simplest ways to engage in art is to try painting a picture or coloring a black and white image.

Engaging in art will not only enhance your creativity, but also relieve stress, make you relaxed, and help you unplug from technology.

5. Learning a Language

Learning a foreign language gives you a new way of seeing the world, enhances your memory, encourages you to experiment and exposes you to new cultures and customs. All of which have a huge impact on your creativity.

When learning a language, your way of thinking will change, and so, you’ll be more open to novel ideas.

6. Writing … Anything

Writing encourages you to think deeper about your problems, work issues, or various concepts. And, when you think deeper, you start generating novel ideas.

When you write you reflect and that gives you a deeper understanding of problems and issues, thus enhancing your creativity.

It really doesn’t matter what you write. Any kind of writing can boost creativity.

A simple way to start is to journal or, you can start a blog and through blog posts and articles, share your knowledge and ideas with your readers. More advanced ways may involve writing a short story or novel.

7. Playing Video Games

A research study done by Michigan State University scholars proves that there is a relation between video game playing and greater creativity.

They examined nearly 500 12-year-old children and found that the more kids were playing video games, the more creative they were in various tasks.

Games involving strategy were most useful as they taught strategic thinking, and when you are a strategic thinker, you begin to interpret your environment creatively.

If you’re not into video or computer games, try jigsaw puzzles, sudoku, chess or connect four.

You won;t only have fun, but you'll get the creative juices flowing!

8. De-cluttering Your Space

Science has shown that too much clutter kills creativity. It leads to mental and physical health issues. It ruins your focus and concentration. It makes you stressed out, and stress kills creativity.

In order to spark your creativity, you need to clean and organize your space, especially your working space.

So, if your home is messy, you probably shouldn’t be surprised that you’re not creative.

Declutter your space and see the effects yourself.

9. Reading Absurdist Fiction

Our minds are desperate to make meaning from any experience we have.

Absurdist fiction presents experiences of characters in situations where they are unable to find purpose in life. It's full of meaningless actions and events which make us question existing concepts, truths, and values and it's full of satire, dark humor, and incongruity.

Immersing yourself in absurd stories makes you use your brain in different ways. It makes you think more deeply while stimulating your imagination.

As a result, your creativity increases.

If you’re interested in reading some absurdist fiction, check out these masterpieces;

· Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

· The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka

· A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket

· Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut

10. Being Curious About … Everything

My last piece of advice on how to be more creative — start being curious.

When you discover new things, learn about interesting facts, and investigate the world, you spark your creativity and increase your imagination.

Why do you think children are so creative and imaginative? Because they want to learn, see, and touch everything around them.

They are curious by nature and that stimulates their brains and enhances their creativity.

This thirst for knowledge doesn’t disappear once we grow up, but it certainly can subside. You can encourage your curiosity if you never stop asking questions.

How To Be More Creative: The Bottom Line

There are many ways to enhance creativity.

You can do something artistic like drawing, painting, coloring, or writing.

You can also do something that stimulates your mind like playing a video game or reading an absurdist text.

Whatever you choose, it’ll have a positive effect on your brain and mind and help you come up with original ideas.

If you have other ideas on how to increase creativity, tell us about them!

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