Inspiration is a very personal thing. Some people hear a song on the radio that kicks their creativity into high gear. Others need quiet time alone in nature or a no-holds-barred brainstorm where no idea is off limits. Inspiration is where creativity begins, and no matter whether you’re planning a new ad campaign, planning a gala or finding a solution to a unique business challenge, creative thinking is often the key to success. The following are just of few of our favorite ideas for tapping into your creative well.
- Doodle and jot – Without thinking too much, start with one idea and let your writing instrument do all the work. Put whatever comes to mind on the paper for 15 minutes and see what amazing ideas you discover.
- Slow down and refocus – Take a step away from the project and take a walk or organize your desk. Sometimes we have too many simultaneous projects swimming around in our heads that we can’t focus on one. When you slow down and do a monotonous task, it gives your brain time to regroup and refuel for a new round of creativity.
- Play and laugh – Believe it or not, research suggests that play taps into creative parts of the brain we don’t use often enough. Play relieves stress, improves brain function, stimulates the mind and boosts creativity. And it’s fun.
- Tune in and sing along – Put on your headphones and listen to some upbeat music, concentrating on the notes and lyrics. Music can spark creativity, especially in math and science. Parag Chordia, director of the Music Intelligence Lab at Georgia Tech, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), is researching the roots of the creative process, and music is a key component.
- Browse and enjoy – Look at old ads, art, junk, kitsch, or just about anything you find interesting and inspiring. It will help you tap into your creativity.