In a creative slump? Can’t get over that block of a writer? (Sorry poor pun, just for fun). Here are some creativity hacks that can get your creative juices flowing again.
Roll your eyes
Quickly darting your eyes from corner to corner sends information to both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, stimulating the corpus callosum (the thick band of fibers between our brain lobes that is responsible for creative output). In Rita Carter’s Mapping of the Mind, Carter explains that the level of communication between the left and right brain is associated with creative drive.
So go ahead, roll your eyes at the corny joke your co-worker keeps trying to tell. You may need to thank him for your next big idea.
Brainstorm when you are half asleep
Tap into your unconscious when you are not fully awake.
The state of just waking (or falling asleep) is the nexus point between your conscious and unconscious. This window allows us to dip into the unconscious mind where most of our greatest ideas are incubated.
Write down your ideas early in the morning, late at night, before nodding off in that meeting. You may surprise yourself with what ideas you come up with.
Use your grogginess to your advantage!
Carry a notebook everywhere! (notes on your phone work too)
You never know when (or where) you will be inspired! Keep a notebook handy to jot down all your million dollar ideas. I have found inspiration in the most unlikely places like driving home from work and in line at the grocery store. I have also found inspiration in calming places such as a quiet beach, on a stroll before sunset, or anywhere steeped with nature.
Our brains can’t keep up with all of our random insights, so instead of straining your memory muscle, carry and use your notebook.
Read topics you are interested in. Read topics you are not interested in. Become a sponge for content. Your brain needs fodder for your creative plans. Online, fortune cookies, billboards, oh yeah and something old timers use for reading, I think it’s called a book. Here is my physical reading list, a collection of old and new.
When you hit that creative wall, your brain is telling you that you need a break. Go outside, take a walk, get some fresh air! A Stanford study cites that just the physical activity of walking (either on a treadmill or outdoors) produced 60% higher creative output in students over the control group of students who only sat in the lab. Don’t worry; your subconscious will be coming up with some creative ideas while you are on your five.
Imagine that you are seven years old
Can you ever reclaim the creative wonder of a child? According to Konnikova and a group of psychologists out of North Dakota State University, the answer is YES. You just have to close your eyes and imagine you are seven years old.
Konnikova’s study asked college students to write about what they would do if school was cancelled. For the experimental group, an additional sentence was added to the instruction: You are seven years old.
Which group did better at the creativity tests afterward? You guessed it! The group that adopted a childhood mindset. This group came up with more original and innovative ideas at solving problems and inventing new uses for everyday objects.
*Ferris Bueller would be the exception to this case study.
Write down all your ideas
No idea is a bad idea when brainstorming. A very wise person once told me “The dumber, the better.”
Sometimes the dumbest ideas can be the best ideas.
When the concept of the hashtag was pitched to Twitter’s founder, he thought it was the nerdiest idea ever. Now the hashtag is social media’s first language (emoji’s being the second language) #hashtag #hashtag =-) smiley emoticon.
I remember when there was some skepticism around the first iPad. “Where’s the keyboard?” What, there’s no USB port? Where do I plug in the mouse?” “Looks like an oversized iPod touch.” Little did they know that the iPad would smash the tablet industry and revolutionize the way we interact with technology.
" Sometimes the dumbest ideas can be the best ideas"
So remember, write down all your ideas! Even the seemingly “dumb” ones.
Hope you find these hacks helpful. I’d love to hear what creativity hacks have worked for you!
Click on the image to grab the embed code to share on your site!