Sunday, March 04, 2007

7 Ways to Juice Up Your Creativity

Looking for ways to get your creativity in full swing? Invite your fertile mind out to play with these no-nonsense tips to enliven your creativity:

1) Get Away From it All. A vacation can be highly productive. Taking time off from the daily grind rejuvenates your body and mind, allowing fresh thinking and extra creativity. Even if you can’t travel, “get away” by allowing yourself to dream. Spend some quiet time reflecting on your life and wishes.

Ask yourself: What would I do if I had no chance of failure?

2) Use Your Body. We spend so much of our lives THINKING, reasoning and over-engineering our decisions. It’s surprising that smoke doesn’t come out of our ears! Let the innate wisdom of your body stimulate your creative mind. Swim, hike, dance -- or whatever does it for you -- and feel new ideas flow.

Tune into any physical sensations you have with the ideas you get. What do those sensations tell you?

3) Make a Creative Vision Board Use old magazines and found objects to create a collage that represents what you want in your life. Choose pictures, items and phrases that really resonate with you.

Keep your creative vision somewhere you can see it for daily inspiration.

4) Play With Children or Pets. Pets and kids have the most refreshing take on life. Play with your loved ones and let your uninhibited creativity roam. What possibilities are there for you if you don’t have to be productive or care what others think?

Rover won’t tell!

5) Mind Map. Draw a mind map as you are thinking through an issue to help stimulate your creative thinking. A mind map helps you see possibilities and connections between thoughts.

To do it: Write your idea in the center of a large piece of paper, then “brain dump” using branching lines, colors, key words and sketches to capture related ideas. The resulting picture shows clusters of ideas branching from your central issue.

6) Explore Seek new experiences -- new places, concepts, people. You’ll start to see connections between ideas you hadn’t previously noticed. Each week have a date with your creativity. Go to the bookstore to browse publications you wouldn’t otherwise read. Visit a hobby shop or garden center. Check out a new museum, or show. Fresh experiences bring fresh thinking.

What's new for you? Challenge: Go explore something new in the next 24 hours!

7) Be Gentle With Yourself. Nothing squashes creativity faster than a harsh inner voice criticizing your ideas. Doesn’t your inner critic need a vacation too? When you hear that voice, visualize sending your inner critic away. Maybe it will miss its flight home!

Happy Creating!