Five Ways to Jumpstart Your Creativity
Struggling to make a change? Have writer's block? Blanking on a creative solution to a problem? Try one or more of these tips to shake things up and get in your creative flow.
Run, dance, climb, stretch, or shadowbox. Put your body in motion in whatever way it craves. When you get into your body, you get out of your analytical, often hypercritical head and connect instead with your intuition.
Listen to your body for cues as to what kind of movement you need. Where are you feeling tense? That part of your physical self is likely storing stagnant energy that, when released, will catapult you out of your rut.
Are your hips tight? Grab a hula hoop and let loose. Shoulders tense? Put on some music and roll them around to the beat. Feet restless? Go for a walk around the block.
Move for at least ten minutes. Notice the shift physical movement creates in your mood and mindset.
Playfulness is at the root of creativity. Through play, we more easily reach "flow state," or the mental state you experience when you're so absorbed in an activity that you lose track of time, and things just "flow." Play can activate this flow state, as it puts you in the present, pushes your inner critic aside, and opens you up to your intuition.
Children are great reminders to play. Say "yes" the next time your three-year-old daughter or nephew asks, "Will you play with me?" Get out those Legos, color in a children's coloring book, play dress up, or build a fort. Watch your imagination wake up.
As in, your space. When you create space in your physical environment, you make room for opportunity, new energy, and fresh ideas.
Start small: Pick up the clutter from the living room floor. Toss or file all the loose papers on your desk. Clean out the kitchen junk drawer. Pick five items from your closet to donate (be ruthless).
Observe what happens next. If the urge to purge overtakes you, go with it. You're making room for the "new" in your surroundings and in your life. Empty spaces are places to create what's possible.
4) Try something new.
To generate a fresh perspective, do something you've never done before. It can be as significant as signing up for a juggling class or as simple as taking a new route home from the office. When we try new and different things, we think different thoughts and have different feelings.
Try that mysterious-sounding dish on the lunch menu. Download the #1 song in the genre of music you listen to the least and play it on full blast. Observe the sensations created by your new experience. What is different as a result?
[Related: The Sisterhood of the Traveling (Work) Pants]
This one may seem counterintuitive, but in order to allow creative ideas to germinate and flow, you need to give your intellect a rest. Allow your subconscious mind time to marinate new ideas. Doing nothing (i.e. spending time with no specific activity or outcome in mind) is a great way to make these things happen.
Keep electronic devices, books, and music out of reach. Give yourself permission to lie on the couch and stare at the ceiling for an unspecified amount of time. Better yet, lie in the grass at a park and stare up at the clouds. Let everything go.
Over the following days, watch out for any resulting insight or change. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is nothing.
Next time you want to bring about a shift in your thinking, creative work, or life, try one of these jumpstarts daily for a week. Comment below on your experience. I look forward to hearing about what happens!
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Personal Leadership Coach
Create With Fire
I create dynamic opportunities for people to learn, lead and live their potential. I coach, teach, design curriculum, plan instruction, develop and evaluate programming and manage cross-functional projects. I've also collaborated on manuscripts for professional publication, hold a Master's in Education, am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and am credentialed with the International Coach Federation as an ACC. Continue Reading