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How To Boost Your Creativity The Einstein Way-With Combinatory Play

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https://blog.trello.com/combinatory-play-boost-creativity

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How To Boost Your Creativity The Einstein Way-With Combinatory Play
If you often get stuck in a rut, exercising combinatory play can give your brain a boost. It was one of Einstein's favorite tactics to make a breakthrough in his work. Follow these tips to improve your creativity with this genius approach.

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Combinatory Play

We’ve all experienced that flash of insight, that fleeting moment when a solution we’ve been grinding away at reveals itself in an unexpected place.

Einstein, for example, was known...

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Steve Jobs
“Creativity is just connecting things.”

Steve Jobs

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How The Brain Works

The brain’s building blocks are neurons: nerve cells that receive and transmit signals along neural pathways. Certain pathways are forged at birth. Others can be manipulated by learning.&nbs...

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Comfort In Familiarity

Your brain is continually striving for predictability, and it can get pretty set in its ways. When a novelty appears, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) part of your brain is wired to ...

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Seeking Patterns

While applying old lessons to new situations can limit your creativity, the brain’s inclination for seeking patterns can encourage innovation, too.

This will serve you well in creative think...

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Cross Train Your Brain

Try a new activity within your field or related to it; you’ll expand your neural connections and strengthen your brain overall.

If you’re a novelist, try your hand at poetry. If you...

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Do Some Other Mundane Activity

Doing something boring, like showering, doesn’t require substantial cognitive effort, so our brains are free to wander. 

And a brain “at rest” isn’t really resting at all. Mind-wa...

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Sleep On It

If you’re feeling stuck on a problem, try going to bed. You just might have a more creative solution in the morning.

When we’re in REM, our brains are better able to integrate unassoci...

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Indulge Your Inner Copycat

Get inspired by someone else’s creations:

  • If you’re suffering from writer’s block, buy a pack of word magnets and rearrange them until you come up with creative phrases on your fridge.

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If You Need A New Way Of Thinking

... use combinatory play to give your brain a boost:

  • Participate in creative cross-training to expand your brain’s neural connections.
  • Let your mind wander by doing something mun...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Creativity

The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a sim...

The 5 Step Creative Process

  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.

Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.

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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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The 'Eureka' moment

Eureka moments may seem unpredictable and unreplicable. But there are ways to coax these inspired ideas from their hiding places. One of the best is to take a break fro...

“When you’re completely stuck on a problem, setting it aside can lead to new ideas or even flashes of insight.” 

“When you’re completely stuck on a problem, setting it aside can lead to new ideas or even flashes of insight.” 

Mental Break

A 2019 study titled “When the Muses Strike” found that many physicists and writers had creative insights while they exercised, showered, gardened, or engaged in other predominantly physical activities which gave them a mental break.

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