6 tricks to inspire creativity

One of the main factors in having success in what we do is creativity. It does not matter if we are creating a work of art, organising a date with a girlfriend or submitting a business proposal. Our success relies on our creativity.

I have in the past failed to realise just how much difference creativity can make. It can affect every decision we make throughout our lives. Creativity is not just used when thinking up new products, it is used everywhere. For example, in a business creativity can be used in every department:

Thinking up new and creative marketing strategies
Implementing creative cost cutting strategies that will allow products to have a lower price
Human Resources
Finding new and creative methods to find the most talented candidates for a job.

With creativity playing such an important role in everything we do, how can we encourage our creativity?

Having an idea

The best way to have new ideas is to stop thinking the same way and think outside the square. To do this we need to change what information our brain has to work with. New information equals new ideas.

So the question is now: How do we give our brain new information to help inspire new ideas?

Try something new
Trying something new lets our brain get out of its regular thought pattern. Something as simple as taking a different route to work can help us think about new things.
Change your surroundings
New ideas need new inspiration, and by changing our surroundings we get new things to inspire us. The new sights and new sounds are both key aspects in inspiring new ideas.
Try hiking up a mountain or taking a notebook to a park and sit by the duck pond. Even something very different like sitting on a roof can help inspire a writer or artist.
Change your schedule
If you always try to think up new ideas at the same time each day, you may find yourself coming up with the same results. Before lunch your ideas will be more food related and at the end of work your ideas will be more travel or home related.
Become a comedian
Comedians have a different way to see things. They twist the way they see things to such an extent that the outcome is ironic or implausible. Try to train your mind to look at things from the comedian's view point.
Assumption Challenging
While we are trying to think up new ideas to solve a problem we tend to forget that we have made some assumptions about what we need. By writing down and challenging these assumptions we can allow ourselves to consider the widest range of possible solutions. An example is a store looking to get more customers into the store. They need to stop and think "Does the store really need more customers?".
Random Presentation
Random Presentation is the act of trying to associate two unrelated items. While traveling to work or waiting for something pick items at random. Ask yourself how each item could be connected or applied to your current problem. A helicopter overhead might make you think about a way to track where the car goes when you loan it to your kids. A palm tree may lead to a new design for patio umbrellas.

When an idea strikes

When you do have an idea, you want to make sure that you do not lose it. The only way to do this is to write it down. Keep an idea journal where you can keep all of your ideas for later. Writing down the ideas is part of the creativity process. When you write an idea down you do not have to remember it and instead the subconscious part of your brain can work on improving the idea. You will find that once you write down one idea, suddenly you will have more ideas.

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