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How to Enhance Your Creative Thinking

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Enhance Your Creative Thinking

How to Enhance Your Creative Thinking

https://www.sparringmind.com/creative-thinking/

sparringmind.com

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Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

Embrace something absurd

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

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.

Create during a powerful mood

From a new study (2007) o 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.

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. 

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.

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:
The 2 goals of effective brainstorming:
  • Defer judgment (don’t get upset when people say bad ideas).
  • Reach for quantity (come up with as many ideas as possible).
Obstacles to an effective brainstorming:
  • Fear of judgment from people in positions of power;
  • Extroverts take center stage;
  • Groups hate scary ideas, even it they're great ones;
Steps of the creative process
  1. Preparation: individual study to focus your mind on the problem;
  2. Incubation: the problem enters your unconscious mind and nothing appears to be happening externally;
  3. Intimation: you get a “feeling” that a solution is on the way;
  4. Illumination: your creative idea moves to conscious awareness;
  5. Verification: your idea is consciously verified, expanded upon, and then executed.
Creative Thinking Defined

Creativity is not just reserved for artistic tasks such as writing, painting or composing music.

Creative thinking is the ability to consider something – a conflict between empl...

Top Creative Thinking Skills
  • Analytical. Before thinking creatively about something, you first have to be able to understand it.
  • Open-Minded. Setting aside any assumptions or biases you may have, and look at things in a completely new way.
  • Problem Solving. Using your creativity to solve important issues.
  • Organization. Being able to structure a plan of action with clear goals and deadlines is vital.
  • Communication. Strong written and oral communication skills to communicate your solutions effectively.
Examples of Creative Thinking
Generally, anything that involves an “aha” moment is considered creative.
  • Artistic Creativity. You don't have to be an artist for your work to have an artistic element. For example: Composing a new fundraising script for volunteers or devising a lesson plan that will engage students.
  • Creative Problem-Solving. For example: Coming up with new procedures to improve quality or suggesting a way to improve customer service.
  • Creativity in STEM. For example: Constructing a research model to test a hypothesis or devising a computer program to automate a billing process.
Brainstorming

It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy. Some of these ideas can be crafted into original, creative solutions to a problem, while others can ...

Brainstorming for problem solving
  • It brings team members' diverse experience into play. It increases the richness of ideas explored, which means that you can often find better solutions.
  • It can help you get buy-in from team members for the solution chosen – after all, they're likely to be more committed to an approach if they were involved in developing it. 
  • It helps team members bond, as they solve problems in a positive, rewarding environment.
Why individual brainstorming might bring better results
  • groups aren't always strict in following the rules of brainstorming, and bad behaviors creep in
  • people pay so much attention to other people that they don't generate ideas of their own – or they forget these ideas while they wait for their turn to speak. 

On your own, you don't have to worry about other people's egos or opinions, and you can be freer and more creative.

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Creative Thinking is a habit

Creative people are creative, not as a result of any particular inborn trait, rather, but rather through an attitude toward life. They habitually respond to problems in fresh and novel ways...

3 basic factors
  • opportunities to engage in it, 
  • encouragement to go after such opportunities, 
  • and rewards for doing so.

Creativity is no different from any other habit, good or bad.

Creative people do this habitually
  • Look for ways to see problems that other people don’t.
  • Take risks that other people are afraid to take.
  • Have the courage to defy the crowd and to stand up for their own beliefs.
  • Seek to overcome obstacles and challenges to their views that other people give in to.

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Early History

The connection between genius and possible insanity was first documented in 1891 in the Italian physicians’ book The Man Of Genius.

In 1869, this was taken up by the cousin of Charles Darwi...

Genius and Heredity

In a 1904 study by English physician Havelock Ellis, a list was made of 1030 individuals through extensive research, examining thoroughly the intellectual distinction people had by the various factors like heredity, general health, and social class.


These works established that genius minds are often hereditary.

Genetic Studies Of Genius

A body of work of Stanford psychologist Lewis M. Terman, was an in-depth multi-decade study of gifted individuals, and an attempt to improve the measurement of genius and its association with the degradation of mental stability. This also included an enhanced version of the French IQ (Intelligence Quotient) test.

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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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Constraints vs Obstacles

Constraints are viewed as obstacles. The common wisdom regarding obstacles suggests that we have to remove all constraints.

We tend to believe that by getting rid of all rules and regulations...

Embracing Constraints

New research suggests that managers can innovate better by embracing and working with constraints, instead of viewing them as a hindrance to innovation.

The Mind Needs A Challenge

When there are no challenges in the creative process, complacency comes in, and people tend to go for the most intuitive and easy ideas rather than investing in the development of better but difficult to implement ideas.

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The Better Mind Map
The Better Mind Map

Combining the Mind Map Technique with the Creativity Triggers Technique.

The novelty of The Better Mind Map is in the custom triggers tailored to a specific challenge. It is a t...

How The Better Mind Map works
  • Write your design challenge or problem in the center of a blank piece of paper and circle it.
  • Add the following five Topic Areas around the central challenge: User needs, Inspiration, Constraints, Commercial drivers, Service design triggers.
  • In the Service design triggers Area, Pick 3 triggers from Entertainment, Simplified/light, Adaptable, Economical, Integrated, Durable.
  • Consolidate what you know about each topic area into 3 triggers each.
Sketching ideas
From your mind map:
  • Divide a piece of paper into six sections.
  • Dedicate each section to a sketched idea, based on a single trigger from your Better Mind Map
4 Stages of Creative Control
  • Preparation: you’re learning everything you can about the problem.
  • Incubation: you’re allowing your unconscious mind to work on the problem.
  • Illumination: ...
Creative work categories
  • Prioritize: The clearer your priorities, the more focused you can be on the task at hand. 
  • Generate: Build a creative habit. Make a daily deliverable, whether it’s 100-words a day, a 30-second song etc...
  • Explore: When you Explore, you collect the raw materials for the insights you’ll have when you Generate.
  • Research: To solve a creative problem, you have to learn whatever you can about that problem.
  • Recharge: When you rest, you allow your unconscious mind to work on your creative problems.
  • Polish: A great idea won’t work if you don’t execute it well.
  • Administrate: make it all work, so you can keep doing what you’re doing.
Becoming a perpetual creativity machine
  1. Build a tiny creative habit: Find the time of day with the best creative energy and make your daily deliverable so small, you can’t stand to fail.
  2. Take time to Prioritize: Once you’ve established a habit, dedicate an hour a week to a “weekly review”.
  3. Rest with a purpose: Establish times during your day and your week when you’ll do something that Recharges you.
The right side of the brain
The right side of the brain

Creativity isn’t the preserve of one side of the brain, and it isn’t a talent confined to people with a special kind of brain. If you’re human and you’ve got a brain, you’re capabl...

The “Eureka!” moment

This myth encourages the belief that creativity is a passive process. It suggests you have to wait and hope that you’ll make a breakthrough.

That Eureka moment is actually the last step in a long, involved process and not the only step. For this to happen, your unconscious mind needs material to work with. You have to put in the hard work of studying and mastering your field and exposing yourself to different perspectives.

The lone, eccentric geniuses

In reality, creativity is a team sport.

The lone genius myth is a stereotype and it’s unhelpful because it suggests the route to innovation is to cut oneself off from colleagues and collaboration. You need a modest amount of intelligence to be creative, but extremely high IQ is neither sufficient nor necessary for being an innovator.

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