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20 ways to improve your creativity

Feeling creatively challenged? Sometimes it’s hard to come up with a new marketing idea or a fresh approach to a project or message. Remember – we’re all creative, but sometimes need some help to get started so…

Here are 20 tips to encourage your creativity:

1. Eat breakfast. Numerous studies have linked eating breakfast with being more productive.

2. Leave your desk regularly. Walk around, sit in a different room, go outside – change your perspective…

3. Exercise in the middle of the day. According to the Daily Mail, over 70% of people who do reported improvements in time management, mental and personal performance.

4. Use your holidays. A study by Ernst & Young showed that the  longer the vacation their employees took, the better they performed. Taking time off gives us perspective and renews our energy.

5. Travel. Go to new places, meet new people, experience different cultures; different ways of living. Expose yourself to new and varied ways of doing things.

6.  Turn yourself to the dark side. Really. In an article on Wired.com, journalist Jonah Lehrer considers two studies which imply that anger and sadness driver creativity. Anger encourages unstructured thinking and idea generation while sadness increases our persistence. Read the article here

7. Ignore everybody. The more original your idea, the less sound advice people will be able to give you.

8. Be persistent. “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Thomas Edison.

9. Get past the pain barrier. If it hurts, you’re probably growing. Just like marathon runners, if you hit, “the wall,” the only way to succeed is to get past the pain and keep going.

10. You were born creative. “Ever­yone is given a box of cra­yons in kin­der­gar­ten… then when you hit puberty they’re taken away and replaced with books on algebra etc. Being hit years later with the creative bug is just asking for the crayons back. “ Hugh MacLeod

11. Don’t try to stand out from the crowd  – avoid crowds altogether. Don’t follow others, like a sheep – be an individual and do something new.

12. Don’t compare your inside with somebody else’s outside. You are unique – and who’s qualified to judge that? Be confident in yourself and the unique set of gifts that you have.

13. Change. the only way to do differently, grow or discover something new is to be able to change. Let go of old ways and habits that could be holding you back and embrace the new!

14. Employ your passion. Find the thing you love that keeps you up at night, missed a meal because you forgot the time or just couldn’t let go of. Find that thing, follow it and use it!

15. Sing in your own voice. “Picasso was a terrible colourist. Turner couldn’t paint human beings worth a damn. TS Eliot had a full-time day job. Bob Dylan can’t sing or play guitar.” (Hugh MacLeod) Find your way and try it!

16. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself. Everybody’s too busy with their own lives to care much about what you’re doing. That’s a good thing – you can stay focused on what you’re doing and stop looking over other people’s shoulders!

17. Don’t worry about failure or a lack of creativity. Worrying about either of these things will block the opportunity for new things to come to your mind and could consume your thoughts entirely. In fact, don’t worry about anything. Relax,  believe you’ll succeed, go with the flow and see what happens…

18. Have a personal brainstorm. Write down all your thoughts about a topic, remembering that no idea is a bad idea!

19. Don’t think in stright lines. Instead of organising your thoughts in a list, try a mind map instead.

20. Find associations and connections between things that create something new.

And finally here’s a great video about How To Improve your Creative Thinking from Tony Bezan, the creator of mind maps.

Thank you to the Behance Team at the99percent.com and Hugh MacLeod for some of the tips above.

Need some help applying your creativity to your marketing or fundraising?

Talk to Phil and let’s get creative!




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