It’s generally accepted that few people possess a talent called CREATIVITY. But for me, creativity is not something to be confined within the domains of talent, rather it is a skill possessed by every human. It just needs enhancement with regular mental and creativity exercises.
When your body needs strength, you build muscles through lifting weights. When you want to boost your flexibility, you go for stretches. When you want to expand your creative ideas, you opt for the same idea of exercising. The only way to keep the creative strings of your mind fresh and active is to engage yourself in some super amazing creativity exercises.
There are plenteous benefits of thinking and acting creatively-not only in the realm of work but also in our everyday lives. The theory of cognition holds this stance that creativity is the essential requisite of human life. Creativity brings with it a whole new world of happiness, health, mood, and skills. It exerts unending influences on everyone not only on those who think of themselves as the sole “creatives.” Whenever you are given the liberty of being creative, whether at work or in the personal segments of your life, you can bloom in the most exceptional ways.
“Creativity is not just for artists. It’s for businesspeople looking for a new way to close a sale; it’s for engineers trying to solve a problem; it’s for parents who want their children to see the world in more than one way.”–Twyla Tharp
Creativity surpasses all the hurdles as it seems to know NO LIMITS, NO BOUNDARIES! Creative thinking involves a little bit of element of a structure, organization, and ample planning. The primary step of any creative process is to get yourself acquainted with a clear intention. It will allow you to keep your thoughts on the right track. Creative intention gives you the confidence to recognize yourself and see that you are good enough to spread creative sparkles.
Creativity is a muscle, the more you use it, the more strength it gains. Following are some of the creativity exercises that can polish up your artistic muscles.
1. Place a chunk of free creative time in your routine:
Creativity strikes you in the most unexpected ways. It is not always in your firm’s control. And if you put extra pressure on yourself for yielding creative ideas, the results will be unproductive instead of being prolific.
A good idea is to schedule out some time to open the creativity gates of your mind. Think of it as your creative “workout session”. When you keep all the work, clients’ requests, project deadlines, and family commitments at bay, you enable yourself to hit creativity in some innovative ways.
Take out some hours from the grinding week and let yourself explore the vast zone of your creativity without any parameters. Don’t keep your mind focused on a specific area such as design etc. Warmly welcome every creative idea that comes to your mind. You can do doodling, sketching, or painting. You can even try some new ideas by stepping outside your comfort zone. You can play the guitar, you can write some captions or you can even go for some DIY activities. Take off your anxiety and let your creative muscle buckle you up. Every creativity exercise will boost up your artistic mind.
2. The magic of restrictions:
This exercise seems to be antagonistic to the above-mentioned creative exercise. While the above exercise was practiced in a constraints-free setting, this one exercise finds its implementation limited environment. Sometimes, set boundaries can impede your creativity. But other times, they can facilitate your creativity, enabling it to reach the zenith of thriving ideas.
Set a timer for a few minutes and push your mind to generate novel ideas. It allows you to focus on a specified problem and keep your mind away from wandering thoughts. You can design anything within a limited time. The strict deadline will allow you to go for some new ideas to flourish your art.
“The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.”- Igor Stravinsky
3. Make yourself an idea-generating machine:
If you are a good runner, you will always focus on the exercises that maximize your running. But that’s not the right case! You need to put all the fitness exercises in the blender like cardio, weightlifting, etc., and mix them properly. These exercises not only enhance your physical fitness but also make you a pro-runner. So, it’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
The same rule goes for designing. Shake your mind to generate artistic ideas with creative exercises. If you want to excel in every field of creativity, then shuffle various ideas and add different kinds of creativity exercises into the amalgam.
“The idea machine” concept was coined by author James Altucher and its super simple-generate ten new ideas a day. You can select different topics each day. They might be related to your personal interests-like “10 ideas to use recycled items” or “10 ideas for winter’s clothing”. Or they may have some relation to your work “10 requisite tips for every pro-designer” or “how to write proficiently as a freelance writer”. You are free to extend your ideas to any field.
Although you won’t utilize all of your ten ideas, that’s not the fuss to be worried about. The only thing that matters is to make a linking pattern among all your ideas. Enable yourself to think outside the box with new perspectives. Your creativity will glimmer in new ways!
4. Uncover meanings in the humdrum:
Everyone’s life is treading on a monotonous track. Several days pass by and no surprising event happens between them. We have become habitual to the ordinary happenings of the day. This has made us blind to many simple actions and observations. We fail to see the strange elements in the common things.
So why not help your mind to exercise and find meanings in the humdrum. It will enable you to have a broader scope of your observation and notice every detail of the simple actions. Go to a library, park, or any crowded area. Bring a keypad or a laptop with you. Allow your visual perception to observe everything around you. Try to make notes. Give an attentive eye to the things that we usually ignore in our lives. Some of the ample questions may be:
- Is the gentleman wearing sunglasses even though he is indoors?
- How is she holding her juice glass?
- How attentive is he to his online lectures?
- How is the shop assistant helping the customer?
Write about the actions of the subjects that you have observed. Put them in the form of a sentence. Then go for some abstract statements as they will lead to concrete meanings on the actions.
“Concrete”- The shop assistant was helping the customer to buy a beautiful flowery jumpsuit. She was looking curiously at every dress. The other dresses in the shop appeared untouched by her.
“Concrete + Abstract”- The shop assistant was helping the customer to buy a beautiful flowery jumpsuit. She was looking curiously at every dress. The other dresses in the shop appeared untouched by her. She held onto some flashes of hope that this jumpsuit would save her friendship with her best chum.
“The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be.” — Joseph Campbell
5. Enhance your learning by exploring the book store:
Just like Learning some new exercises in the gym can add golden stars to your workout regime, learning something innovative can take your creativity to another level. What do you think is the best place to explore something new? YES!!! It’s the bookstore….
Plan a tour of the bookstore or library and go for the section that is entirely different from your work area. Take a book and give a good read to it. Make sure the book belongs to a new realm of knowledge and learning. If you have been working as a designer, you can pick up a book about expressionism in graphics or fashion trends.
Why remaining in the shell of confined learning, when you can broaden it to another level? So, expose yourself to new learning challenges and ideas to keep your creative instincts alive.
6. Challenge yourself with the simplest things:
Sometimes, the simplest things pose the greatest challenges. The learning and experiences gained from the simplest things remain unmatched. As a simple exercise in the gym can make you sweat fast, a simple design can open greater prospects of creativity.
Place a few design constituents before yourself and try to make something new from them. How can you wield your creative instincts to make something by utilizing only circles? Or squares? Or just a few-colors palette?
Simplification is the key to greater goals. It enables you to have a deep insight into the simpler elements to which we usually pay no heed. You will be able to examine each element in the most effective manner.
7. Freewriting – creativity exercises outlet:
What’s better than jotting down your thoughts on a paper? Writing can be one of the best ways to help you unleash your creativity. Don’t bound yourself by any constraint, just write down your thoughts when it seems feasible to you!
Freewriting (as the name indicates) is simply to sit down and write your ideas. Instead of thinking about every word that comes out of your pen, just WRITE, WRITE & WRITE.
“Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down.”-John Steinbeck
Set a timer for yourself and write within the confined time. Bundles of thoughts come out of your head and help you to divert your attention from the overpowering worries. It enables you to trace your creative ventures in the bold pages of your freewriting. Write your crude thoughts and aptly chase them.
Witness some amazing results with your creativity exercises!!!
We all pass through many phases in our life. There are some days when we feel super inspired while on the other days, we feel ourselves drowning in our mental worries. But with this creativity regime, you can always keep yourself surrounded by an inspiring atmosphere!