Being creative is much more than being good at drawing or some other art form. It is about the ability to generate new ideas, build upon existing knowledge, find innovative ways to solve problems and discover new ways of doing things with greater efficiency and better results. Essentially, it is the ability to bring ideas out of the realm of the mind and apply them in the real world.
Enhancing creativity will serve us well in all aspects of life, but one area where it will be particularly beneficial is at work. The more creatively you can think, the better you will excel at your job. You will increase your value as an employee and improve relations with customers, clients, bosses and co-workers. While some people might naturally be blessed with being more creative, it is definitely something you can cultivate on your own with a commitment to developing this valuable asset. Here are some tips to enhance creativity for business success.
Meditation is heavily associated with spiritual practice and when you think of this activity, you may picture some guru sitting in isolation in a cave in lotus position all day; its spiritual roots certainly cannot be denied, but meditation at its core, is about gaining better control of our mind and instilling inner calm. This sound pretty practical and like something all of us could benefit from, no?
If you are looking to get your creative juices flowing, consider this simple act of sitting still. Research published in the April 2012 issue of Frontiers in Cognition suggests meditation may enhance the capacity to think creatively. Researcher found open monitoring meditation—where you just sit and observe thoughts, feelings and sensations with no particular focus on breathing, a mantra, etc…– resulted in subjects performing better at divergent thinking, which involves the generation of new ideas. Generating new ideas is key to business success and this may be a good tool to have in your arsenal.
Get Your Mind Right for Creative Thought
You may not connect your overall mood and general temperament with creative thinking but they may be very closely linked. A 2006 study which appeared in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that mood impacted the ability to think creatively; the more positive the state of mind, the more creative a person was. If you need to focus on coming up with new ideas, projects, solutions or anything else for work, try to get in a good frame of mind or you may hinder your efforts. Affirmations work great for combating self-criticism since they help you change thought patterns. Meditation may also help here too in that it is able to help you become more aware of your thoughts; greater awareness allows you to detach and shift gears more successfully.
Change Up Your Routine
In some ways, a routine is good; it gives our lives structure and it may reduce stress of dealing with unknown variables. But, a life of routine from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to bed can put our brains on autopilot, where we are just moving through the day robotically, stagnating our minds. Changing up your routine every once in a while is a great way to keep your brain active and can allow for the generation of new ideas. Switch up your route to work; go to the gym in the morning every once in awhile instead of right after work every day. Examine your daily routine and look where you can shake things up a bit.
Look at the Issue from Different Perspectives
You can enhance creative thinking by looking at situations through different lenses. The next time you are faced with a problem, consider the following: emotional aspect—how does the situation make you feel, objective analysis—distill the facts, the positive aspects of proposed solutions, the negative aspect of proposed solutions, alternatives to proposed solutions, and finally, think broadly – what is the best overall solution? By looking at in issue from multiple angles, you can generate more ideas on how to solve the problem.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in content that helps people become more successful in their personal and professional lives. If you are in need of a printer to put any of your creative ideas to paper, check out Conquest Graphics for business cards, brochures, fliers and other paper products.
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