4 Ways to Maintain Creative Thinking

By Katy Reid Posted January 21, 2021

 

Being a creative thinker is necessary in all aspects of one’s life, especially in one’s career. In any industry, possessing problem-solving skills and being able to deal with uncertainty is critical to success. Creative thinking opens the mind and promotes innovation to bring clarity to your hectic day-to-day life. One of the main points of keeping your creativity sharp is maintaining a clear consciousness. Thinking about the various responsibilities you might have can cause your brain to become jumbled and cloudy, bringing your creativity to a grinding halt. We all know that sometimes stress can become overbearing, leaving no room for the promotion of imaginative thinking — using these four strategies will ensure that your mind stays fresh and the creative juices keep on flowing.  

  

Stay Organized   

Getting organized is the first step in any task. It might seem like an obvious answer, but when people are stressed and scrambling, you'd be surprised how much this vital step is overlooked. How do you expect to keep a steady stream of thoughts with a cluttered workspace? When there is clutter on your desk, there is clutter in your mind. Start and end each workday by clearing off your desk of any old materials, trash, and putting things back in their designated place will help you to start and end each day with a clear head encouraging new ideas. 

A different aspect of being and staying organized includes scheduling and prioritizing. Looming deadlines can kill the creativity cat, but what people don't understand is how to use them to your advantage. If you plan your work at the beginning of each week, according to your deadlines, then you can free up space in your mind to think more creatively and not just about what you need to get done and by when.  

 

Be Active  

People often think creativity correlating to being active is a myth however, getting outside for a quick walk or taking breaks intermittently to stand up increases blood flow in your body. Most importantly, to your brain. According to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, it has been proven that people who are more active daily score better than someone who isn't active on creativity tests. In particular, scientists noticed that customary exercise is by all accounts related to improved disparate and united reasoning, which are viewed as the two segments of imaginative reasoning; the previous includes thinking about different answers for one issue, while the last includes considering one answer for an issue. Not only this, but it promotes proper brain function in general by encouraging nerve cells to bind to one another, which is necessary for learning new information. 

Getting your blood pumping, therefore getting the creative juices flowing, makes the perfect recipe for creative thinking. Often when people are stressed out or need to think, they go for a run. Exercise promotes clear thinking, ridding your brain of useless information and freeing up essential space for creativity.   

 

Experiment 

Experimentation is permitting yourself to think outside the box, asking yourself, "what has and hasn't been done before?". It is said that the best ideas come when you least expect them, so don't burn yourself out trying to think of a new concept using the same ways you've gotten your ideas in the past. The first step is taking a break and coming back to it later. Spending time away from a task that clearly isn't coming to you easy, will reset your mind so that when you come back to it, all your thoughts on ways to solve it are fresh and new, leaving no room for frustration.  

Another experiment is collaboration with your team or other coworkers to keep a steady stream of new ideas. No two minds are exactly alike; bouncing ideas off one another is a sure-fire way to keep your conscious clear and gain insight into new perspectives. Putting two or more heads together could end up in one big solution to everyone's problems.  

The last example of a creativity experiment is simplifying. It is said that if you can't explain it to a 6-year-old, then you don't understand it yourself. Now and again, the actual demonstration of figuring out some way to explain a complex issue in basic terms brings about an inventive arrangement. 

 

Write Any & Everything Down  

study had shown that the average person has about 6,200 thoughts per day. How can we curate to make sure we remember the good ones? Write it down! Using sticky notes or the notes app on your smartphone or even computer to jot down your speculations can help you remember every idea think up. Then when you've gathered the time to interpret them, you could even physically arrange the notes to integrate your tiny thoughts into a larger concept that you didn't see at first. All of these little notes have the potential to be great ideas that you can put together like a puzzle to create something bigger. This will aid in concisely composing your creative ideas, with minimal work required.  

This method not only helps with keeping creativity wandering but also with efficiency. Writing down reminders for yourself to complete small tasks will ensure their completion. Writing everything down helps keep your brain sharp and organized; any thought is still a thought. It might seem useless to you at first, but coming back later with a fresh perspective might change your mind.  

 

Looking Forward

Equally important to all the above, give yourself a creative assessment each week. What were things you did that worked? What didn't work? When were you the most hardworking? Where, when, and how did you get your idea? This is especially important so that you can replicate the routine that has provided you success in the past. Don't forget to compare each week's results to stay on top of your successes as well as keep the defeats far behind you. 

As you can see, there are a myriad of ways to keep your brain generating a constant flow of creativity. When working from home, this is no easy task; no coworkers around to bounce ideas off of, the same scenery every day, and the many distractions of home life. But now, we are all no stranger to adaptation, and continuing to modify your mindset to allow yourself to think clearly and imaginatively will benefit your brain and its ability to stay creative. 

 

What are other ways you practice creative thinking?

 

Katy Reid

Katy is a member of the Integrify Marketing team and writes on a variety of subjects for the Integrify blog as well as managing Integrify's social media presence.

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