Creativity is essential in your career, from putting together an eye-catching cover letter/resume package to dreaming up your next marketing campaign. But, believe it or not, it doesn’t really just come naturally to most people. It needs to be developed just like any other skill in your toolbox.
The below list was inspired from this larger list on How to Boost your Creativity
Chances are you are far more creative than you give yourself credit for, but you just don’t write down your ideas when you think of them.
Just like going to the gym, or getting an education, making creativity a part of your everyday life is a necessity. Setting goals, finding mentors and setting aside time on a daily basis to work on it is important.
2. Make Time
Part of committing is officially setting time aside every day, or at least every week, to work on a creative project. If your creative project consists of writing, you might consider setting aside time first thing in the morning. According to The Best Time of Day for Creative Thinking, the prefrontal cortex is most active after first waking, and subsequently, so is creative thinking. Analytical thinking, and skills such as editing, fire up as the day goes on.
3. Keep a Creativity Journal
Keep a small notebook on hand to journal all those great ideas that pop up in your head. Chances are you are far more creative than you give yourself credit for, but you just don’t write down your ideas when you think of them. And we all know inspiration strikes at weird times: on your morning commute, eating lunch or even in that weird time right before as you are drifting off to sleep (a favorite for yours truly). Write it all down. You never know what will stick.
4. Create a Mind Map
A mind map is note-taking on steroids. It starts with writing down a central topic or word and then linking related terms around that topic, so you can visually see how ideas are related. And, it turns out we remember visuals and text six times better than just text alone, according to How to Use Mind Maps to Unleash Your Brain’s Creativity and Potential.
Need ideas on how to get started? Check out Learning Fundamentals for all things mind mapping.
5. Try the “Six Hats” Technique
This technique involves looking at a problem from six different perspectives, so you can generate ideas from many points of view.
- Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
- White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
- Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
- Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
- Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
- Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?