We are all faced with problems every single day that can range from projects at work, to buying a gift for a spouse or friend, to deciding what step to take next in our life’s path. All of these problems can at time weigh us down and trying to find solutions to life’s little mysteries is physically and psychologically exhausting. Finding a creative solution to a problem can consequently seem almost impossible.
However, whether you want to write a cover letter for a new job, finish a project for school, or figure out a good date spot for that special someone, there are ways to enhance you creative juices that are fun and productive. Rather than letting the stress of the dilemma overwhelm you, consider the following six techniques for boosting your creativity right now.
There’s a reason this strategy was covered in grade school: it works. Literally take some time to think about the problem and jot down (or type up if you prefer) your ideas.
Don’t be concerned about organization or even the sense in what you are writing, just get it out. You may be surprised with what you come up with on the fly.
- Carry a Notebook
Sometimes ideas can come at the strangest of times and it is important to be prepared for a fleeting thought while at a red light or washing your hands. Make sure that you always carry a notebook or scrap of paper around for just such an occasion.
Famous writers have done this from the dawn of time and even if 99% of your ideas are hideous when you really look them over, it’s worth the 1%.
- Change the Scene
If you’re really stressing over a problem it’s best to just let it sit and walk away. Go outside, play with the dog or the kids, do something other than think about the difficulty at hand. Sometimes the best solution is none at all for the time being. Taking time to concentrate on something else, preferably something that you enjoy can recharge your energy and clear your mind.
Sometimes you only need to walk away for a few minutes. Other times, like when working on a large project for school or work, it’s best to get a good night’s sleep and revisit the project in the morning.
The more you read, the more you learn. Reading challenges your mind in ways that television never can because you need to process words, create images and follow logic. Reading fiction helps spark creativity as much as non-fiction. The more you learn the more likely you are to come up with a solution to problems that arise in the future based on that knowledge.
- Ask “Why?”
“Why?” is not just for the toddler set any more, though paying attention to little kids can be handy in this sense. Toddlers are curious as they begin to navigate the ins and outs of daily life and want an explanation for everything that we adults take for granted.
Sometimes, if you take the time to not just think about what you are doing, but why you are doing it, and why you are doing it that way, you will find that the solution is self-evident.
Consider it this way: Why are you buying a gift? Because it’s mom’s birthday. Why do we buy gifts on birthdays? Because it is a way to show that person that you care. And so on…
- Make a Visual
There are several option here including more grade school favorites like as mind mapping and flow charts. Unlike brainstorming, which is all very random, taking time to draw up a organized schematic of your problem and solutions, the “whys?” from tip 5 and your knowledge of the situation may reveal more ideas as well as a possible solution.
Especially in the modern era of television and the internet, humans are increasingly visual learners and thinkers. By taking time to make your problem visual you can literally “see” solutions that you may not be able to think up alone.
I hope these tips come in handy as you tackle the next hurdle, be it major or minor in your life. There are so many distractions in our lives today with media and technology that taking the time to sit and think and really “work out” a problem may seem old-fashioned. But if you get the right answer in the end, it will all be worth it.
About the Author
My passion is trying to make creative things functional. If you look at any people search engine here, you’ll realize that it’s made having simplicity/functionality in mind.
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