15 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Creativity
Creativity is not a gift bestowed to a select few before birth. Everyone is creative. It’s just that for some of us that creative spark may be buried under piles of bills, boring tasks, routines and responsibilities. Creativity needs to be nursed, cultivated and practiced. And there are many simple—and fun—ways to let your creativity loose, whether you’re interested in nurturing your hobbies or your business. You can apply creativity to any endeavor or craft.
- Surround yourself with creative people. Hang out with writers, musicians, poets and artists. Often, just being in a creative environment will inspire you and refresh your creative mind.
- Expose yourself. Not after too much vodka. Expose yourself to new art – books, music, paintings – all the time. If you’re a rocker, listen to funk. If you’re a crime writer, read fantasy. If you’re a productivity writer, read something about slacking off.
- Develop a “morning ritual” that puts you in the zone – whether it’s stream-of-consciousness such as in tip 2, or a series of non-spectacular everyday actions in sequence that tell your brain it’s time to get in the zone. Perhaps you drink a coffee while watching the news before going for a morning walk – if you repeat the same actions before doing creative work for long enough, it eventually creates an association that tells the mind to get in a particular zone.
- Imitate the real world – find beauty (or the ugly, depending on what inspires you) and try to extract the essence of it into your work. This may lead you to what you need to create, or it may just warm up the muse.
- Do something new. Play chess. Read a book if you watch television and watch television if you read. Go outside. Sing in the shower.
- Don’t be too precious about your work. Being inspired by ‘the muse’ is important, but if the doctor and the garbage man can do their jobs every day, then those in a creative line of work can too. Change your attitude towards your work.
- Based on the theory that everything that can be created has been and creation is simply a process of combining existing ideas, consume information by the bucket load. The more you know, the more you can create from that knowledge.
- Meet new people from different walks of life. Gain insight into their perspectives on life. Strike up a conversation on the bus.
- Shut out the world. Instead of sucking in new information, sit quietly, go to sleep, or meditate. Stop thinking and clear your mind so that the clutter doesn’t get in the way of your thoughts.
- Carry a camera with you and look for interesting things in your every day scenery. Hadn’t noticed that crack in the path before? Then it’ll do. Set a quota and force yourself to make it. Don’t go to new places to do this – force yourself to find new perspectives on old knowledge.
- Remove obstacles to creativity. That friend who calls to complain about their life can wait until you can afford to get stressed about their problems.
- Keep a journal. It can get your mind working, and in a month, or a year, when you’ve gained some distance from what you’ve written it can give you new ideas.
- Don’t be a workaholic – take breaks. Your mind needs a chance to wind down so it doesn’t overheat and crash.
- Treat creativity like an enemy in a strategy game; if one thing isn’t working, don’t keep trying until you give up. Try a new strategy. Run through the whole list, not just the first tip.
- Exercise every day, before you sit down to be creative. If you exercise afterwards you’ll get the creative burst – just too late.