Everybody and their uncle has advice on how to be creative or tips on increasing creativity.
And I love every bit of it.
You have to try different things to figure out what works for you. Find new ways to solve old problems. Come up with alternate routes to get to a solution.
I took a class my first quarter in portfolio school that I called Finger Painting 101. I thought it was kind of dumb at the time. We wrote stories, did exquisite corpses, collages, mind maps, drawings where you couldn't look at the paper or lift the pen up. It was random, fun and seemingly useless. But I still have that book. And I use some of those techniques in brainstorming. Or just doodling. And it helps.
Moral of the story: There are many ways to be creative, try them all at least once. Oh, and finger paint.This post is taken from this weekend's Wall Street Journal article on How To Be Creative.
10 Quick Creativity Hacks
1. Color Me BlueA 2009 study found that subjects solved twice as many insight puzzles when surrounded by the color blue, since it leads to more relaxed and associative thinking. Red, on other hand, makes people more alert and aware, so it is a better backdrop for solving analytic problems.
2. Get GroggyAccording to a study published last month, people at their least alert time of day—think of a night person early in the morning—performed far better on various creative puzzles, sometimes improving their success rate by 50%. Grogginess has creative perks.
Research led by Jonathan Schooler at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has found that people who daydream more score higher on various tests of creativity.
4. Think Like A ChildWhen subjects are told to imagine themselves as 7-year-olds, they score significantly higher on tests of divergent thinking, such as trying to invent alternative uses for an old car tire.
5. Laugh It UpWhen people are exposed to a short video of stand-up comedy, they solve about 20% more insight puzzles.
6. Imagine That You Are Far AwayResearch conducted at Indiana University found that people were much better at solving insight puzzles when they were told that the puzzles came from Greece or California, and not from a local lab.
7. Keep It GenericOne way to increase problem-solving ability is to change the verbs used to describe the problem. When the verbs are extremely specific, people think in narrow terms. In contrast, the use of more generic verbs—say, "moving" instead of "driving"—can lead to dramatic increases in the number of problems solved.
8. Work Outside the BoxAccording to new study, volunteers performed significantly better on a standard test of creativity when they were seated outside a 5-foot-square workspace, perhaps because they internalized the metaphor of thinking outside the box. The lesson? Your cubicle is holding you back.
9. See the WorldAccording to research led by Adam Galinsky, students who have lived abroad were much more likely to solve a classic insight puzzle. Their experience of another culture endowed them with a valuable open-mindedness. This effect also applies to professionals: Fashion-house directors who have lived in many countries produce clothing that their peers rate as far more creative.
10. Move to a MetropolisPhysicists at the Santa Fe Institute have found that moving from a small city to one that is twice as large leads inventors to produce, on average, about 15% more patents.