According to a certain portion of the world, I could write this article with only three words: Buy a Mac. But that does not really solve the problem. Sure, I remember when I got my first iPhone, I immediately felt my “cool-factor” increase by 37%, but that’s beside the point.
Creativity is more than equipment. It is more than typing or clicking. Creativity encompasses more than all of that. It is a mindset… a way of life, if you will, that includes both the approach as well as the execution.
Below are five ways to jump start your creative process.
1. Be Strategic
I know this may sound counter-intuitive. But the left-brain and the right-brain need to work together. You need to have a plan. Define what you are trying to accomplish and what methods you need to use. I am not saying you need a spreadsheet to chart out the ramifications of varying font sizes, but I am saying that it needs to be thoughtful and intentional.
2. Don’t Think About a Box
Many people say to think outside the box. Some people say they need to think inside the box. FORGET THE BOX! Dream. Find the best solutions given your parameters (you should have figured some of those out in point 1). And if you have to use a box… sometimes the best way to think outside the box is to think inside the box.
Good creative ideas can come from the strangest places. Sometimes by getting your mind off of a project for a while and focusing on something else (or nothing at all) a solution will present itself. It allows the subconscious to percolate and bring that inspiration to the top.
I get a lot of my ideas when I’m getting ready in the morning.
4. Continue Learning
Always keep up on the latest trends and thought leaders in your specific area of expertise, as well as some areas that you do not specialize in. By continuing to always learn, you become well-rounded and an even greater asset to your co-workers. Because we know that a great idea can come from anywhere (see point 3), you may be the catalyst that sparks another person’s creativity.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
No creative solution will take place without first taking a leap. It may be the best idea or the worst idea, however, you will never know until you try. And if it is the worst idea… EVER (I’ve had a few of those)… it becomes a learning experience (see point 4). And sometimes “this” idea will spark “that” idea which will spark another idea to inevitably bring about the final solution. And yes, there will be those times where the final solution will also fail. Do not let it bog you down and stifle creativity. Pick yourself up and move on to the next project.
While not nearly an exhaustive list, keep these things in mind the next time your creative process needs a little jump start.