Creative thinking: What is it?
So, let's first determine what is "creative thinking." Creative thinking is, above all, an unconventional approach to solving problems and tasks. This is when you go beyond the accepted standards or norms and look at objects and phenomena from a different point of view. A typical example of this is the famous detective Sherlock Holmes. It was thanks to his original approach, his unconventional viewpoint and his ability to go beyond that he succeeded in cases where police officers (with their standard techniques) failed.
Of course, all people are different – some are smarter and faster, others are simpler and less clever, but despite our inherent qualities, one can always improve our skills, including creative ones, by making an effort.
Nowadays there are many good opportunities for those who want to work on their creative thinking – games, training courses, etc.
A creative approach will provide visible growth in efficiency by helping you discover new ways to solve problems and complete tasks.
Sometimes it happens that one original creative solution allows an increase in the productivity and efficiency of the whole company several times over.
So, how can we improve our creative thinking to reach a new level?
1. Go beyond your comfort zone in search of solutions.
All of us are professionals in our fields, and yet we rarely go beyond the accepted norms, standards and practices. “This mindset will never foster originality or creativity. Therefore, the first step is to go beyond the sphere of your own professional interests to learn something new for yourself. Start researching areas you didn’t pay attention to before – articles, blogs, books, etc. When you find something new and useful for yourself, it may be possible to use the knowledge gained at work.
2. Write a 500-word article without a specific topic.
Quite an interesting exercise. Simply open a new text file (or take a piece of paper) and start writing – without a specific topic and without inner criticism– just a flow of thoughts. Sometimes, as a result of this flow of thoughts, you’ll notice an interesting new idea that can be developed and put into practice. Even if nothing interesting happens the first time, it doesn’t matter; it's still quite a useful exercise for training original thinking.
3. Go to a cinema or a theater.
Whenever you go to the cinema to watch a movie, or to the theater for a performance, you immerse yourself in the new and unexplored world of another reality. Often, original or creative thoughts come to mind during such experiences, which can then be tested in practice. Even if nothing original comes to mind, it's nothing to worry about. Watching movies or plays is still a natural decompressor for the brain, which is useful for a busy person.
4. Talk to a stranger.
At first glance, it seems odd, but in fact, communication with a completely unknown person from another field, who has other interests, may allow you to take another look at everyday things (from the viewpoint of the other person), which can be very helpful.
5. Change your food habits.
"We are what we eat" is a well-known phrase. You can have your own opinion about this, but one thing we can say for sure – when we change some of the habits in our life, it’s possible we may change our way of thinking as well. Try to give your body healthy and nutritious meals and see how it reacts. Regardless of whether it sparks creativity for you, the results will be beneficial for your health.
To implement this strategy, you will need at least one partner (the more, the better). Conduct a brainstorming session together to solve a specific problem. Do not reject or ignore any ideas. Consider each, even those that are strange at first glance. Carefully analyze all the suggestions received. As has been shown time and again, out of dozens of truly unrealistic ideas, there are usually a couple of very promising and original ones.
7. Create your own rituals for inspiration.
Your trigger (to switch on your creative thinking) can be anything you like – inspiring music, a walk in the woods, some particular meal – whatever it takes to bring you into a state of dynamic thought generation. At first, it may seem difficult, but once you get used to it, this approach will help you become creative very quickly.
8. Take a course on a completely unknown topic.
Here, again, it is important to go beyond the norm. Perhaps there is an area that has interested you for a long time, but you just never found an opportunity to get involved in it – say a course in web design or computer graphics, or a practical course on growing indoor plants. Taking up a new activity for yourself will allow your brain to switch gears from your everyday routine, and this can result in interesting new thoughts.
9. Have fun with friends and colleagues.
Humans are not machines; we cannot work without rest.
If you ignore the need for rest, your work productivity may drop so much that all the work will be meaningless. So don’t hesitate to relax and have some fun. A short break with colleagues (playing ping-pong, for example, or just to chat) will allow your brain to rest, collect your thoughts, and then return to work with more energy and motivation than before.
10. Find the most productive time to work.
We all have different biorhythms, so there is no universal “optimal working time” for everyone. Some people show fantastic results by working alone at night while others are much more productive working in the morning while surrounded by co-workers.. So, find the optimal time for you – and take advantage of it.
These are our top 10 tips to improve on how to improve your creative thinking. Remember that the key to the successful development of creative thinking is to go beyond the routine. Only a fresh look at things can help you find an original solution to your problem, and there’s no wrong way to go about it, so don’t be afraid to experiment.