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Whether it’s corporate gift ideas or a 3-D printing business, innovative ideas come in many forms. Unfortunately, they aren’t always easy to come up with. How can you ensure a steady stream of creativity? The seven unconventional strategies below are a good place to start.
Your brain’s right hemisphere is largely responsible for your creativity, imagination, and intuition. One simple way to activate that creative hemisphere is to stimulate your left hand. Hold a squishy ball in it and squeeze repeatedly for about a minute. Then, begin your creative task and note down any effect it had.
Although it may sound odd, widening your field of vision might allow you to notice more possibilities and associations. It’s worth a try nonetheless. All you have to do is lift your eyebrows as high as possible. Hold them there for a few seconds while reflecting or looking at the problem or challenge you need to solve creatively.
The subconscious mind is a rich source of creativity and insights. One of the easiest ways to access it is through sleep. As you drift off into dreamland, your subconscious takes over. To harness its power, write down a problem, question, or creative challenge you’re actively working through. Place it by your bed. As you fall asleep, repeat what you wrote down to lodge it in your mind. When you wake up, write down any fresh insights or perspectives that arise.
Creativity is made up of divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking is when you actively generate as many different ideas as possible, while convergent thinking is when you bring those ideas together.
To stimulate divergent thinking, look at a photo that’s mostly a group of similar people or objects yet has one significant difference. For example, a group of cats that are all orange with one white one. As you look at it, brainstorm all the ways—apart from the obvious one—that the white cat is different.
Although unconventional, this type of visualization can turbocharge your mood and creative performance. It starts by closing your eyes. Then, imagine yourself going on a date with someone you find attractive and want to impress. Visualize in as much detail as possible where you are, what you’re talking about, how you feel, and any other sensory details. Spend a few minutes in that space, then open your eyes and work on your creative project.
Despite many people viewing video games as a waste of time, playing them can improve your memory, attention, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities. Additionally, they can spark your imagination and prompt you to create your own in-depth stories.
However, those benefits depend on how engaged you are, so be sure to choose a game that appeals to you. Then, set a limit for how much you’ll play each day.
Whether it’s the sound of medieval libraries, rainstorms, or coffee shops, putting on some ambient noise is a great way to stimulate creative thinking. Unlike other forms of music, ambient sounds pose a very moderate level of distraction which many find helpful in breaking out of old habits and exploring new ones.
To find the right tracks, scroll through YouTube channels, search the mynoise.net website, or purchase an album by a famous ambient musician. Then, put it on and see where it takes your mind.
Innovation emerges in surprising ways. Give the above tips a try to see where they lead.