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7 tips and exercises to boost your creativity: follow some steps and strategies to solve any problem

1. Gather Information – You may not have enough information about your project/problem to come up with a great creative solution.

Exercise: Go to an information source you don’t normally use. When was the last time you went to a library? Are there any government agencies that have related information? How about a local community college, is there an instructor who teaches something related to your subject? Bookstore employees are often very helpful. There may be trade magazines that address your area of ​​interest.

2. Be active: yes, you read correctly. Your brain uses a lot of oxygen and doesn’t work well when you’re undernourished.

Exercise: Go do something active and FUN! This will get the blood flowing and when you’re having fun, your creative juices will start flowing. Do something you haven’t done in a long time: dance, skate, walk, ride a horse, garden, or ride a bike.

3. Change your point of view: As Einstein said: “We cannot solve problems using the same kind of thinking that we used when we created them.” The perception of it determines the path to the solution of a problem.

Exercise: Look at your problem from another point of view. What would your problem be like if you were someone else? Imagine… from the point of view of a child, a co-worker, your dog, a player, a professional athlete, etc. This may sound silly, the point is to change your normal routine and help your brain create new avenues of thought.

4. Compare and Contrast: Compare your problem/issue/project to something very different; an object or a concept. Through juxtaposition, you can find combinations that you have never seen before.

Exercise: Take a blank sheet of paper. Write your problem at the top. Next to it, write an unrelated idea, like “shoe”, “the national highway system”, “a candy bar”, “cat litter”… you get the idea! Underneath write all the ways you can think of these two things to be alike. Remember to have fun. This is just another method to change your point of view and generate more ideas.

5. Be visual: thinking is very fluid and visual, making use of symbols and images instead of words. Give your problem a color… even a smell! What shape is it? What does it feel like to the touch?

Exercise: This is best done with a large sheet of paper or a white board. Use a regular sheet of paper if that’s all you have. Draw a rectangle in the center and label it with your problem/project. Draw at least 5 or 6 radiating lines coming out of the box. Label these lines as different aspects of your project. For example, if the problem is planning a wedding on a tight budget, some of the bright lines might be food, entertainment, and a wedding dress. If the problem is Building a Team at work, some of the lines could be Collaboration, Productivity and Communication. At the end of each line, write what you think should happen to that area. This exercise can help you see the big picture, as well as help you prioritize all parts of your project.

6. Generate LOTS of ideas: You’ve gathered information, increased your enthusiasm, and looked at your problem from many angles. It’s time to get carried away by ideas.

Exercise: Brainstorm! I mean REALLY brainstorm. Don’t just throw out a handful of ideas and call it quits. Put some energy into it. Collaboration is good for this, as everyone will come up with different ideas. Give everyone a piece of paper (preferably large, that you can stick on the wall). Set a time limit. Allow enough time to get lots of ideas, but not so much time to judge the ideas that come to you (5-10 minutes). It also sets a goal for number ideas, a goal that will force you to work fast. Speed ​​is important in addition to reserving any judgement.

7. Give it to your subconscious: Give your subconscious mind another chance. You have a lot of information and ideas. It can be challenging to choose the best course of action.

Exercise: Sleep on it! Let your mind have it while you rest. For this to really work you should do a review right before you go to bed and place a notebook next to your bed so you can jot down ideas if you wake up during the night and first thing in the morning. Pretend you’ll have some answers when you wake up. As you wake up, you may need to grasp ideas in the half-awake state. The notebook is right next to you so you don’t miss any good thoughts.

Congratulations! You came up with some very creative solutions for your project.
You can repeat this process with any theme.

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