5 tips for getting creative

Finding good ideas for projects, businesses or even for solutions at work can sometimes be a struggle. Some of us are more creative than others, and even for the most creative ones it is not often possible to force yourself to come up with creative solutions. I want to share with you some tips I’ve picked up along the way.

How to get creative

It’s always easier to get creative about things that interest you and that you’re passionate about. However, here’s some general tips.

Tip #1: Have some beer

“Write drunk, edit sober”

This advice is often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but might not be his advice (se discussion: reddit). Now, I’m not saying selfmedication is the way to go to get your creative juices flowing. However, beeing drunk or sleepy makes your brain less focused, which seems to make it easier to connect thought and gain new ideas. You can read more about that here: http://www.wired.com/2012/02/why-being-sleepy-and-drunk-are-great-for-creativity

Tip #2: Take a nap

As with the first tip, the moment when you’re about to fall asleep thoughts are more prone to making new ideas. Allegedly, Einstein and Dali took powernaps while holding a keychain. Thus, when they were about to fall asleep, they would drop the keys and wake up from the noise. More info here: http://www.fastcompany.com/3023078/leadership-now/how-dali-einstein-and-aristotle-perfected-the-power-nap

 Tip #3: Lucid dreaming

This is not something I’ve tried myself, but good ideas often come to people in their sleep. This programmer dreams in code: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBXZWB_dNsw. Here’s some more information on lucid dreaming: http://www.creativitypost.com/pop-culture/hacking_creativity

Tip #4: Sparring with a partner

Good ideas often come when discussing with a friend or colleague. When I attended TEDxStavanger, one of the key points was keeping an “Yes, and…” mentality. This basically means that instead of limiting or declining ideas, you accept and build on them. Refinement comes in a later part of the process.

Tip #5: Necessity

What could be better than to actually solve a problem? Try to figure out what people really needs, or where you can improve on what already exist. The easiest way to do this is probably just to observe, listen and ask.

Bonustip: Write stuff down!

This should be a no-brainer, but to avoid forgetting what you thought about it is good to write it down. I almost always keep a small notebook with me, even when I’m at home. Get one with a soft back so it won’t break the first time you sit on it, toss it at a tree or drive over it with your car.

Here’s mine:

Picture of my notebook

And here’s a sneak peek on one of my notes:

Sneak peek in my notebook

Do you have any tips on how to get the creative juices flowing? Let us know in the comment section below!

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