Cognitive psychologist Robert J. Sternberg generally defined creativity as “the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile.” Boosting creativity is one of the main motivations behind the desire for companies and focus groups to escape the familiar office setting and stretch their mental legs, so to speak. A fresh environment allows for new inspiration to be found and for creativity to flow freely, without being stifled by the often suffocating everyday routine. Creativity is about finding innovative ways to problem solve and discover new approaches to everyday situations. To help boost your creativity, here are some useful tips for opening your mind, based on knowledge from the top psychologists of today.
Devote yourself to developing your creative skills. Set goals and consider them seriously, no matter how out-there they may be. Creativity is all about potential and possibility.
2. Surround yourself with creative people
Whether you’re a group working on the same project, or a group all working individually, it is important to surround yourself with people who will inspire you and encourage your creative freedom. Debbie Downers and idea-stiflers are not welcome!
3. Reward yourself
It is a grave misconception that creativity and curiosity are indulgences akin to daydreaming. Having bold ideas is never a bad thing! Rather than reprimanding yourself, reward yourself for your curious notions and let yourself explore new topics and thoughts freely. There is no harm in dreaming big!
4. Take risks
If you’re going to think inside the box, you might as well stay in the confines of your cubicle. Let your ideas be as limitless as the views from SoHoSoleil’s floor to ceiling windows. Though the dreams you have may not come true or be award-winning ideas, you will be building a skill that will serve you very well in the future. Fight your fear of failure!
5. Make the time and use it wisely
It will be difficult to develop your creative talents if you don’t make time for them. Dedicate a time specifically for creative thinking, however, don’t put pressure on yourself or enforce a deadline. You may have a time limit, but creativity does not.
Brainstorming is all about the volume of ideas produced. Use brainstorming tools and techniques that boost creativity, like snowballing or creating a flow chart, a mind map, or a journal. Jot down as many ideas as you can possibly think of, without judging whether or not they’re brilliant ideas. After giving yourself a break, go back through your list and narrow down the best ideas with a clear head.
7. Remember that there can be more than one solution
When narrowing down your brainstormed ideas and thinking of new solutions to problems, try not to get stuck on finding which one is the best. The truth is, there is not always one finite, be-all-end-all solution. Problems can often be solved through many different paths, sometimes all of equal worth, value, and success.
8. Constantly look for new sources of inspiration
Creative ideas can come from anywhere at any time, but you shouldn’t expect creativity to always simply happen. Look for motivation and inspiration from books, museums, and music, and keep your mind open to new things. Fresh experiences create new ideas. Leave the old boring stuff at your cubicle.
9. Try the “Six Hats” technique
Based on the knowledge of some of the most groundbreaking research on creative psychology, the “six hats” technique is all about looking at a problem or situation from six different perspectives. This allows you to come up with fresh solutions.
1. Red Hat: Look at the situation from an emotional perspective. Trust your emotional instincts and see what they tell you.
2. Yellow Hat: Be positive. Think of which elements of your solution are most likely to work.
3. White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. Follow the facts and use them to your benefit. Be confident in what is concrete.
4. Green Hat: Think alternatively. What are some outside ideas you haven’t thought of; let your mind wander.
5. Black Hat: Use the negative. Think of which elements will definitely not work. Try to think of them without being too harsh. This isn’t about a negative attitude, but realizing what isn’t going to be beneficial or problem solving.
6. Blue Hat: Think broadly and generally. Pinpoint what the best solution would be overall.
10. Keep your environment in mind
Last, but certainly not least, it is of the utmost importance to find a space that promotes creativity. Dark and dingy is not the way to go. Instead, find somewhere open, welcoming, and calming to get those creative wheels churning. If you’re unsure of where to go, look no further than SoHoSoleil Locations. Sit back, enjoy the view, and get creative!