Whether you’re just starting to think creatively or you find yourself coming up with new and interesting ideas on a regular basis, it’s probably time to start investing in your creative skills. Creative thinkers are rare and valuable—and they’re not just needed by those who work in artistic fields. Creative thinkers are needed by everyone, because creative thinking is an essential skill that can be used in all areas of life. Creative thinking is a way of looking at challenges and problems in order to come up with new and original answers. It can be hard to see the forest through the trees, but if you break down complex challenges into simpler ones, you’ll increase your chances of finding solutions. New ways of looking at things can open up whole new avenues for exploration and innovation, so let’s take a look at some practical ways that you can use creative thinking every day.
1. Step back and think objectively
At the end of the day, all of your ideas are just ideas. They’re not reality, and trying to force them into reality will usually end up being counterproductive. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of one idea and get caught up in the momentum of trying to force it into existence. This is a dangerous trap. You have to remember that you don’t have control over what ideas come into your head. So when an idea comes to you, don’t rush to force another one to come into existence. Take a step back and try to look at your idea from the perspective of an outside observer. Analogies can help you do this. If you’re having trouble seeing an idea from the outside, try comparing your idea to something else. For example, if you want to start a business, try taking an inventory of what other businesses do and how they do it. This can help you think about your idea from a more objective perspective.
2. Use a wider lens
When you’re trying to come up with new and original ideas, it can be easy to fall into the trap of rehashing old ideas. This is especially common for people who spend a lot of time thinking about a certain area of interest. If your way of thinking has become too focused on one particular idea, it can be hard to look at things from an outside perspective. That’s where a wider lens comes in. A wider lens is just a new way of looking at a problem that helps you think in a fresh and original way. Try approaching problems from a new angle and seeing things from a different perspective. For example, take a problem that you’ve been thinking about, like “How do I find more free time?” Ask yourself what problems or challenges you’re facing right now that could be solved with more time. What are you really passionate about that isn’t currently getting enough attention in your life? What are some of the problems facing the people around you that could be solved with more time?
3. Question your assumptions
Everyday assumptions are what keep us from seeing new and original ways of thinking. If you don’t question these assumptions, you’ll keep jumping from one idea to the next without actually examining each idea. Let’s take the idea of time as an example. Most of us assume that time is linear. That is, we assume that time goes forward from the present to the past and then the future. However, this is an assumption—it’s just a model that we’ve come up with. In reality, time is more like a spiral that doesn’t move in one direction. You can change the way you experience time by changing your perspective. Imagine that time is more like a cone. It starts at the present and angles out as it moves into the past and then into the future.
4. Diversify the source of your information
Information overload is one of the biggest threats to creative thinking. You have so many options when it comes to information sources, but if you don’t take the time to diversify your sources, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. In the same way that you can’t control what information comes into your mind, you can’t control what sources you use for information. That’s why it’s so important to diversify your sources. Look online for information, but make sure you diversify your sources. Try looking at different websites, reading different articles, and listening to different podcasts. This will help you avoid information overload.
5. Draw to help you think visually
If you find that you’re coming up with a lot of ideas, but they’re not actually forming into anything concrete, drawing can be a helpful way to visualize your ideas. Try drawing or painting your ideas or putting them into written form. This can be a great way to visualize your ideas and help you organize them in your head. If you find that you’re jumping too quickly from one idea to the next, drawing can force you to slow down and think more visually.
6. Exercise improves cognition
If you’re looking for a way to boost your creativity, then you should consider training your brain. That’s right—a good dose of cognitive training can actually help you become more creative. There are a ton of different types of cognitive training that you can do, but all of them have one thing in common: they train your brain to be more creative. Cognitive training is usually a series of exercises designed to boost creativity by trying to break down complex challenges into simpler ones. For example, when trying to think of new ideas, you can try breaking your problem down into its simpler parts.
Creative thinkers are rare and valuable—and they’re not just needed by those who work in artistic fields. Creative thinking is an essential skill that can be used in all areas of life. This article provides you with practical strategies to boost your creativity. Remember to step back and think objectively, use a wider lens, question your assumptions, diversify the source of your information, draw to help you think visually, and exercise improves cognition.