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8 Scientific Ways to Get Inspired and Be Creative

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8 Scientific Ways to Get Inspired and Be Creative
Recently, I was cleaning up after lunch, struggling to come up with article pitches for our afternoon editorial meeting. I walked around the office throwing away leftovers, putting dishes in the dishwasher, and wiping my desk of crumbs, frustrated with myself.

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Take a Nap

Dreaming is a source of inspiration because your brain is working even when you’re asleep.

If you can’t seem to break through your brainstorming session, take a nap.

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Drink

People who are concentrating too hard will sometimes block the creative processes necessary for problem-solving.

A drink or two might just help calm your brain.

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Listen to Music

Music can put you into a “mind-wandering” state that’s perfectly conducive to coming up with new and creative ideas.

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Stare Out the Window

Daydreaming is linked to creativity.

The greatest insights come when we stop trying to be so purposeful.

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Take a Shower

Taking a shower is relaxing. It is also distracting, which helps your subconscious do its work. 

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Go for a Walk

Walking increases creativity.

We don't need to use too much effort into walking, we just need to leave the mind free to wander.

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Wash the Dishes

Washing dishes mindfully by smelling the soap and feeling the shape of the dishes can increase mental stimulation.

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Do Your Chores

Completing mindless chores gets you up and moving and helps make room for inspiration to flow.

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Plan the Rest of Your Day

When you don't feel like working on your tasks, take a few moments to plan your day.

Even if you do it as a form of procrastination, to postpone doing the actual work, it will help you...

Smaller Manageable Parts

Break the project you don't want to start into smaller pieces.

Breaking it down into small tasks and adding those to your to-do list isn't exactly fun, but it is less overwhelming than working. And it's also useful: When you finally do get around to starting, you've got a strategy.

Clean Something

Clean something every time you don't want to get started on a work project. Don't listen to a podcast or turn on the radio. Just clean. Make it as boring as possible, so that your mind wanders.

This does two things: it delays actually working on your project and it gives you time to think, possibly generating ideas that will come in handy whenever you get back to the project you're trying to put off. 

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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 ...

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?”

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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Freewrite

When you are feeling stuck, start writing about whatever is on your mind.

Set aside 10 to 15 minutes. It may start out as a page of gibberish, but soon ideas will start to flow.

Tackle smaller tasks first

If you feel overwhelmed by how little you have progressed, switch to working on mindless tasks that require little attention and allow the mind to wander. Wash the dishes, organize your bookshelf, or do laundry. 

By accomplishing small wins, you develop momentum and confidence to overcome your mental block.

Change your environment

The cleanliness of your workspace affects your performance and mood at work. 
  • Having a neat, organized desk will improve your productivity and focus. 
  • A messy space can enhance creativity and help you gain fresh insights. 

Play around with your home or office environment and discover what works best for you.

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