Creativity – the term describes a skill that is important in all professions. According to Wikipedia, the property is defined as follows:
The term creativity goes back to the Latin word “creare”, which means something like “to create something new, to invent something, to create something, to produce”, but also has the secondary meaning of “to choose”. The term also contains the Latin “crescere”, which means “to happen and to grow”. This dual aspect of creativity between active doing and passive letting go can also be found in modern creativity concepts.
Creativity is a way of connecting information and thoughts and creating something new from them. Interestingly, excessive analysis and criticism are not part of it – although that is for many people (especially in Germany).
Don’t get us wrong: the critical-analytical view is extremely important because it prevents mistakes. But it also often stands in the way of creativity – especially at the beginning of the creative process. Just think of creativity techniques such as the Disney method or the DeBono hats: both have the role of the critic, but the critic may only evaluate the idea when the actual creation process has been completed.
7 tips on how to get more creative
The following tips and tricks have proven themselves in practice and can noticeably promote creative thinking. They have two primary goals:
You can end creative doldrums and droughts, and break old ways of thinking. For example, you can free yourself from a mental dead-end, overcome a writer’s block or take a new perspective.
With regular implementation, you can increase your creativity in the long term and make better use of your creative potential. Applying the tips regularly will help you develop more ideas.
However, the following also applies here: You will only realize your full potential if you regularly apply and repeat the recommendations. A little patience and perseverance are therefore necessary.
Write morning pages
This method is recommended by many authors, writers, and artists. For example, the American bestselling author Tim Ferris uses it regularly. Mark Twain is also said to have used it. Here’s how it works: Sit in the morning, ideally before reading emails or doing anything else, and write at least one A4 page – by hand. Freewriting is used to organize and stimulate your thoughts. It’s not about putting certain content on paper. The goal is simply to clear your head and stimulate your creativity in the morning.
Are you stuck with a problem, are stuck and just can’t find a way out? Then take a mental step back, take another piece of paper and – similar to a brainstorming session – collect all the terms that come to your mind regarding the situation and the topic. Whether you do this in the form of a MindMap (see graphic), on a flipchart or on a tablet PC is entirely up to you.
A close relative of this technique is the so-called Osborn method. It is based on a series of questions designed to develop new ideas.
This technique can also solve blockages of thought – but by lifting the horse from behind: For a moment forget the problem and analyze your work result, for example, the project’s successful completion. Then work your way back, step by step, through the various work steps and phases – also with colleagues – until you reach the present problem. In this way, you are able to take a fresh perspective on the problem and discover creative and unique solutions.
This exercise combines two tricks to get more creative: movement and visualization. Go for a walk and use distinctive buildings, trees or other opportunities to visualize different aspects of a problem. Integrate the surroundings consciously and try to integrate distinctive features and objects in the visualization. You will be amazed at the ideas that develop from it.
Think like a child
A childish (not childish!) View is primarily used to solve bias and traditional thinking. Behind this is a mental reset switch, in which you set everything to zero: question all established processes, accept nothing but set and ask (apparently) naively: why is that? Does it really have to be that way – or can it go away?
Leave comfort zone
Literally this time. Anyone who only ever works in the same environment and under the same conditions is less likely to come up with new ideas. Therefore, deliberately go to unknown (creative) places. This can also mean driving a different (new) way to work in the morning or going to his workplace in the office via other stairs and corridors.
Afternoon nap or a power nap is not your cup of tea? Your boss wouldn’t understand that either? Then use your breaks or a few quiet minutes for so-called daydreaming: let go of your thoughts and digress. Daydreams are primarily a kind of brain balancing mechanism that ensures that the body’s own resources and capacities are used correctly. Because if you spend too long on a task, you direct your thinking into a tunnel and cause mental blindness. The fresh air of free association is missing. But daydreaming gives the brain the time and freedom it needs to link information and thus mutate into a germ cell for good ideas.