Tapping into our creative side can be harder than we’d like to admit. After all, everyone in some way, shape, or form considers themselves to hold some ounce of creativity, but getting that out ourselves can be difficult. We’re not always sure why this is the case, which when it comes to generating new ideas or passion projects, mustering up the energy to pursue them is half the battle.
However much we struggle to get the creative juices flowing, there are some proven ways to get the ball rolling. While some of these might sound like a significant dedication of time, I promise they only take up a few minutes a day. And trust me, by doing so, you’ll be in your inspiration zone in no time.
Perhaps one of the quickest and most fun ways to boost creativity is by learning to play an instrument. Whether it be guitar, bass or even , learning an instrument helps train your brain to think in a different way, allowing you to become a more effective problem solver.
It’s no secret that reading can be a great source of inspiration for any aspiring creative, but it can also help get you in the creative process. According to a study by The University of Sussex, reading was proven to reduce stress levels above any other tasking, clocking . So, if you’re feeling in a rut creatively, picking up a book could be an excellent way to get those juices flowing.
While not everyone can afford to go abroad, there’s a lot of amazing benefits to traveling anywhere. As compiled numerous studies on the subject, researchers from Columbia University note that travel boosts cognitive flexibility, which is your brain’s way of bouncing between ideas. This is imperative to your creative process, so it might not be a bad idea to try to come up with a few places you can go to get out of town.
In another instance of working your cognitive muscles, meditation has been found to help tremendously as well. In on the impact of mindful meditation and creative ability, researchers found that meditating can reduce cognitive rigidness, or thinking about things in one similar way. Plus, this is a great way to relax as well, giving yourself the right time to recharge.
While it’s been said plenty of times before, exercise can do some incredible things not just for your body, but for your mind as well. In research conducted for , it was found that exercise not only helped with short term mental bursts but residuals effects that lasted long-term. This indicates that when it comes to creativity, a little bit of exercise can go a long way.
One of the biggest reasons people throw in the towel on their creative endeavors is because they aim too much for the pursuit of perfection. While it’s wonderful to be meticulous about your work, understand that amazing work takes time, and not everything you produce is going to be incredible. Take the time to hone your craft, and the rest will follow.
I’m not talking about just reading an interesting fact or keeping up with current events but rather taking the time to take on a new skill. As research compiled by The New Yorker , incrementally picking up on a new skill every day can have tremendous benefits in boosting creativity by increasing cognitive function.
This is an obvious one, but also something incredibly important to note. Doing what scares you is going to be a great motivator into pushing the boundaries of what you’re capable of. Tim Ferriss has a great TED Talk on this behavior that I highly encourage watching .
While it may sound silly, committing a solid amount of your day to creativity is going to be vital in picking up the practice. This a big contribution as to why companies like Google have been so successful, especially considering it’s a required practice to of your time on personal creative efforts while working there.
As most of us know, we’re going to dread any obligation that comes our way. It’s just the nature of having to do something you don’t want to. Not only is this going to harbor your creative potential, but it could possibly lead to a decreased mood. As a study by the Social Market Foundation , those that are having fun at work increase productivity tremendously, meaning for whatever you want to take on, it better be considered something you find enjoyable.
Learning a new language doesn’t just keep your mental skill sharp, but it teaches you an entirely different way of thinking. As noted in by Sussex University, learning a new language shifts your thinking methods based on the words you’re using. In short, language provides perspective, which can showcase other elements of your thought process.
Make no mistake, listening to classical music genuinely boosts creativity. In 1996, a study was conducted on SAT takers. Those who sang or listened to classical ended up scoring 51 points higher than their counterparts, with a slew of proving this notion as well. And if you’re looking to get in the creative mood, I highly suggest throwing on some Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, or whatever other classical tickles your fancy.