5 ways to turbocharge your creativity, as explained by a psychologist

Author: Evette Cordy

Do you think of yourself as a more creative or more analytic thinker?

Too often we think it’s an either-or situation and cast ourselves too quickly into one bucket before we give ourselves a chance.

But creativity is essential to success regardless of what industry you work, mot just in the arts, said registered psychologist and innovation specialist Evette Cordy.

It’s also the skill you want to cultivate to future-proof your career it’s what will set you apart from robots, who can’t easily replicate creativity, she added.

And there are concrete ways you can boost your capacity for creativity. Here are five ways to bring your creative best to the table:

1. Warm up

“Research has suggested that undertaking a creative warm-up such as improvisational games or watching a funny video fosters a positive mood that in turn enhances creative thinking, both in terms of the quantity and quality of ideas,” she said.

“Just like athletes warming up their muscles to perform well, we can warm up our brains to enhance our creative thinking.”

2. Don’t kill your own ideas

Our inner critic is often our harshest. “One of the biggest obstacles to creative thinking is our tendency to self-edit and to kill potential creative ideas before we even verbalise or write them down,” Cordy said.

“To enhance your creativity, resist judging yourself. Let all of your thoughts flow and systematically capture them.”

3. Quantity, not quality

Your one brilliant idea will probably be found amongst a heap of shoddy ones – but you have to come up with the high volume of ideas in the first place before you get to that ‘eureka’ moment.

“Significantly more quality ideas occur in the second half of the idea generation process,” Cordy said.

“Your capacity to think creatively will be enhanced if you can give yourself space to generatively explore all thoughts and options.

“So, if you are looking for 10 possible solutions to a problem, push yourself for 30.”

4. Mix with unfamiliar faces

Of course, you’ll become more creative if you stretch yourself and put yourself out of the comfort zone. One way to do that is to put yourself in situations where you’re forced to mix with new people.

According to research by Carnegie Mellon professor Sunkee Lee, sitting next to unfamiliar colleagues can lead to innovative solutions to a problem, Cordy pointed out.

“Your unknown neighbours expose you to new knowledge, which allows you to connect your ideas in novel ways,” she said.

“Try sitting next to someone you don’t know or have a coffee with someone you have never met before.”

5. Connect the dots

Great thinkers will see relationships where no one else does and make connections “between random observations” that will lead to new solutions, according to the psychologist.

And this is an ability we can train. “If you want to improve your capacity to think more creatively, you need to be willing to surround yourself with new stimulus to make new connections.”

However, expanding one’s creativity must not be thought of as just a one-off activity or event, Cordy warned.

“It’s a daily practice, a way of living.”

Original Post: https://au.finance.yahoo.com/news/5-ways-turbocharge-your-creativity-explained-by-psychologist-210000218.html

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