How to Enhance Your Creative Thinking - Deepstash

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Restrict yourself

Restrict yourself

Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity.

It forces your brain to come up with creative solutions to finish a project around the parameters you’ve set.

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Re-conceptualize the problem

Instead of thinking of a cut-and-dry end goal to certain situations, creative people sit back and examine the problem in different ways before beginning to work.

If you find yourself stagnating by focusing on generic problems, try to re-conceptualize the problem by focusing on a more meaningful angle.

For example: Instead of thinking “What would be something cool to paint?” rather ask, “What sort of painting evokes the feeling of loneliness that we all encounter after a break-up?”

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Create psychological distance

Create psychological distance

Creating “psychological” distance may be useful for breaking through a creative block.

Try to imagine your creative task as being disconnected and distant from your current position/location - this may make the problem more accessible and can encourage higher level thinking.

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Daydream, and then get back to work

Daydreaming and incubation are most effective on a project you’ve already invested a lot of creative effort into.

Incorporating breaks into your work-flow can increase your chance to come up with creative solutions to problems.

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Embrace something absurd

Embrace something absurd

Research suggests that reading/experiencing something absurd or surreal can help boost pattern recognition and creative thinking.

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Separate work from consumption

We are often in two very different states of mind when 

  • absorbing an activity and 
  • when we are trying to create something.

Turn off your “work mode” and consume more inspiration in the form of reading, watching, and observing.

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Create during a powerful mood

From a new study on creativity in the workplace:

Creativity increased when both positive and negative emotions were running high. Next time you’re in a strong emotional state, try to sit down and focus that energy on creating something.

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Get moving

Get moving

Exercise can actually boost creative thinking due to its ability to get the heart pumping and put people in a positive mood.

If you’re stuck in a creative rut and want to take a break, try including exercise. 

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Ask “What might have been?”

Looking at a situation that has already occurred and asking yourself, “What could have happened?” can boost creativity for short periods of time.

According to an analysis by Jeremy Dean:

  • Analytical problems are best tackled with thinking about what could have been taken away from the situation.
  • Expansive problems benefited most from thinking about what could have been added to the situation.

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How to Kill Creative Thinking

  • Role mismatch.
  • Too much/too narrow end-goal restriction. 
  • Strict ration of resources, including insufficient time.
  • Lack of group diversity produces less creative results.
  • Discouragement. Too much criticism, endless evaluation and negative comments.
  • No positive feedback. Praise and positive feedback are essential for creative people, who thrive on having their ideas impact the lives of others.

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