Wednesday, June 26, 2024

3 Ways for a Small Business to Become More Creative

 By Sharon Lee

Have you ever wished you could be more creative?

Modern culture often labels creativity as a gift, something we are born with. Yes, there’s some truth in that. In my opinion, though, every single one of us can become more creative. You simply require the right stimuli, tools and environment. Creativity is a skill to be learned, practiced, and developed, just like any other. Juggling takes practice, as does surfing, coding, and driving a car. Creativity is no different. The more you make creativity part of your daily life, the more it will grow.

So, how can we be more creative? Here are three suggestions:

1. Stretching the Vision

Letting your mind wander outside the box, can help fuel your creativity, especially when you’ve already invested a lot of time and energy on a project—daydreaming for as little as 12 minutes was shown to improve creative thinking in a study published in the Journal of Psychological Science.

Alternatively, if you feel too busy to daydream, consider interspersing tasks that demand more creativity with less mentally-intensive ones, as this has been shown to be beneficial too.

And, if you still feel guilty about visualizing during the work day, consider that studies have shown that visualizing so improves working memory (the kind of memory that enables us to think about multiple things at once) so you will be more proficient at multi-tasking.

2. Test Yourself

Many of us take the path of “least mental resistance” when forced to solve a problem, according to research by the Institute of Education Sciences. In other words, we resort to solutions that have worked in the past.

In contrast, we are often at our most creative when facing limitations—one of the most famous examples of this was Dr. Seuss producing Green Eggs & Ham after being challenged by his editor to produce an entire book in fewer than 50 different words.

Try restricting your work in some way and you may see the benefits of your brain coming up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve set.

3. Build a Playful Environment

Consider keeping toys such as Play-Doh, Lego and origami paper at your desk—building something physically with your hands, as opposed to typing on a keyboard, can give you just the creative jolt you need.

Be open to reading books, viewing artworks and watching movies that are surreal, even absurd, as these can help boost pattern recognition and problem solving. A study at the University of Southern California, Santa Barbara showed that participants were more creative after reading Franz Kafka and Lewis Carroll because surreal/absurd art puts the mind in “overdrive” for a short period while it tries to understand what is seeing.

Lastly, don’t overlook the relationship between your creativity and your emotions. I know that I’m the most innovative after a rest. An open and positive mood are the best place for me to be creative in  and more importantly, being influenced by other designs and looking at what other people are doing makes me want to create something more original. Reflect on what type of moods works for you and, when you find yourself feeling that way, focus that energy on creating something extraordinary. 

Thanks for reading. 

I'd love to know what you think of this article - leave me a comment with your thoughts or suggestions.



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