Isn’t it interesting how we’re willing to try almost any wacky, off-the-wall idea when it comes to increasing our creativity and amount of creative ideas, but when someone suggests doing something completely logical we tend to hesitate on it?
Yes, we’re willing to dance around in our backyards during a full moon, but no, we’re not going to get up to work at 8 am because research has found it’s our most creative hour. (That’s true, in case you’re wondering. We hope you’re a morning person.)
That’s just how creative people are.
What we’re asking of you right now is to think a little less creatively with the ultimate goal of becoming more creative. It may seem confusing, but don’t think about it too hard. Just try these tips.
Tip #1: Prepare yourself
Whether you’ve got a scene to write, a song to compose, a problem to solve, or you just need some creative ideas in general before you kick off your next big project, your first step should be to get yourself into space and situation that’s conducive to creativity. Get all of your necessary supplies in one place – notebooks, pens, instruments, post-its, even drinks, and snacks.
Don’t give yourself excuses to get up and walk away from your creative process. There’s no telling what these interruptions are costing you in terms of creativity. A blank page can only stay blank for so long if you keep yourself in front of it.
Great ideas or bursts of creativity don’t tap into your brain like bolts of lightning. Nothing, nothing, nothing then all of a sudden, boom! Very often, great ideas come after tens or even hundreds of silly, forgettable ones. In order to get creative, you have to let go of the fear of sounding or feeling stupid.
Whether you’re working alone or in a group you need to allow your brain to let loose, and not worry what anyone’s going to say about it – even your worst critic: you.
Tip #3: sleep on it
Sometimes, you’re just stuck. It’s admirable to want to keep plugging away at your work until you get to where you want to be, but there’s no telling how long that could take. And as Leonardo Da Vinci once opined, people of genius sometimes work best when they work least.
Give your thoughts and ideas from time to simmer. Chances are, your brain will keep working at it even if you’re distracting yourself with a nap, some exercise, or your favorite show on Netflix.