Creativity may seem as if it springs from nowhere, but the truth is, you’ve got to work at it. Here are three tricks from the Creative Boom website to get your imagination into shape:
1. Develop a ritual. Don’t just sit around waiting for ideas to strike. Train yourself to think creatively by developing a routine. A painter might set up his or her paints and pencils, doodle for a bit, then start on a new work of art. Other people take baths or showers before getting to work; some focus on simply making the perfect cup of tea. Whatever you do, make creativity a deliberate habit.
2. Look for bad ideas. Looking for the perfect solution often means sorting through imperfect ideas first. Instead of focusing on what will work, start by figuring out what won’t work. Generate bad ideas and analyze them to find out why they’re bad. You may be able to eliminate the flaws and find the diamond underneath. (You’ll also get rid of your fear of failure by embracing the worst ideas you can think of, knowing you’ll eventually find something better.)
3. Think like a child. Children have no assumptions or preconceptions about how the world works. To tap into your inner child, remember the kinds of ways you used to play when you were young—and then do them. Fly a kite, build a sandcastle, make paper airplanes, play a game, or whatever strikes your fancy. You’ll loosen up your mind and see the world in a different light.