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Creativity is not just reserved for artistic tasks such as writing, painting or composing music.
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Research suggests placing self-imposed limitations can boost creativity.
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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?”
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.
... or moving the goalposts, it happens when problems never seem to go away because people keep changing how they define them.
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These comparisons often use less energy than absolute measurements. For e.g, it’s easier to remember which of your cousins is the tallest than exactly how tall each cousin is. Human brains have likely evolved to use relative comparisons in many situations because they often provide enough information to safely navigate our environments, with very little effort.