3 Fantastic Tools That Will Exponentially Boost Your Creative Thinking Skills
Learning how to become more creative doesn’t have to be difficult, that is if you’re willing to put in the effort.
While it may seem sometimes that there are other people around you capable of creative thinking that you seemingly cannot accomplish, perhaps it would be a good idea to take a step back and consider your methods.
This popular quote wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein, but regardless of who said it, is perfect in this context:
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."
Whatever those creative people around you are doing is obviously working for them, but don’t hold yourself to the belief that their methods will have the same effect on your creative thinking skills.
Of course there are also the environmental and societal impacts on creativity that carry over with you throughout your life, but for now we’re simply going to look at a 3 incredible tools you can use to improve your creative thinking skills.
Though if you go into reading this expecting a quick fix to your creative rut, understand that though I am calling these tools, they are creative thinking exercises that double as an active tool you can use to help your creativity.
Approach these with an open mind for the best impact and results.
1- Mind Mapping
Created by English author and educational consultant, Tony Buzan, mind-mapping is an extremely effective method of imprinting small or large amounts of information in a way that you can see everything in front of you at the same time in an organized and clear manner.
The structure of mind mapping is why it’s a fantastic tool to stimulate your creative thinking skills - all the relevant information you need is there in front of you at the same time!
The information is bunched up into relevant categories and creates a colorful and memorable means of absorbing info from the lines upon lines of text that otherwise would have been written in a notebook.
What this can do for you in your journey to learn how to become more creative is to get a clearer picture of the entirety of your would-be creative project, how it all ties together; basically you get to connect everything regarding your idea in a way that can’t be achieved by writing it down on a piece of paper.
If you’re the type of person that understands things better by seeing the bigger picture, then mind mapping is definitely going to be a great creative thinking exercise for you!
2- Imagery Techniques
Sometimes words and thoughts can simply complicate your creative process by becoming a distracting background noise, keeping you from being able to focus on the task at hand.
When that happens it’s generally a good idea to try and get your mind to shut up.
One such way is to use a helpful imagery technique called envisioning the future.
You do this by getting a wide canvas, cardboard paper, or chalk/white-board, and start drawing your current creative situation on one end.
Now the point is to not use any words, you can only draw images to depict your situation.
Next, you do the same thing on the other side, but this time you draw the ideal future of your creative project.
Now hopefully you’ve left some space in the middle, because the next part is the most important; what you’ll do is draw a semi-circle bridge and draw what you need to go from your current situation to your ideal situation.
The core concept behind this technique is that when your brain sees the pictures between where you are and where you want to be, it becomes easier to create the bridge that will get you to the other side.
3- The Limitation Challenge
Oh yeah? We’ll see about that, you pretentious photograph!
Taking a different perspective is a powerful move to make when you’re unable to move forward with your creative process - and limiting yourself is a change in perspective.
Instead of trying to add something to yourself or the project to boost your creative thinking skills, try removing something from the equation; limit your creativity to create a more specialized path with less factors.
But wouldn’t that be harder, you wonder? Actually you shouldn’t really be concerned, humans have been using limitations as a challenge to do incredible - and sometimes stupid - things for as long as we’ve existed.
There’s a reason we all know the saying “with one hand tied behind my back!”
The renowned children's book author Dr. Seuss wrote one of his most famous books, “Green Eggs and Ham”, on a bet with his editor that he couldn’t write a book with fifty or fewer words.
A whole book, with a limit of 50 words or less.
And the man did it! And it became a success!
This is the power of the Limitation Challenge; you present a problem to your mind and then you go and tell it “Okay go ahead and try and solve this without this particular skill/word/technique/convenience", that sets in motion massive creativity.
So the next time someone tells you to just open your mind to be creative, try the opposite and limit your mind, and see where that takes you.
What did you think of these techniques? Did they help you boost your creative thinking skills? Let us know in the comments!
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