1. Listen to music. I listen to music every morning while I’m getting ready for work… and pretty much any other time at my apartment, while I’ll working, in the car…but more on that later. (By the way, I have a slight addiction to Pandora, and I think it’s COMPLETELY worth it to pay $4 a month to be a subscriber).
“Every child is an artist, the problem is staying an artist when you grow up” – Pablo Picasso
2. Make a point to be aware of each of your senses – SIGHT, TOUCH, SOUND, TASTE, and SMELL.
“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett
3. Recognize your “default” expectations for people and circumstances and then push yourself to think outside of them.
“Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas” – Donatella Versace
4. Work harder.
“Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today” – Thomas Jefferson
5. Take 5 minutes to be still sometime during your day. Just breathe. Bonus if you sit in the sunlight to do so. Double bonus if you sit in the sunlight while getting fresh air.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You simply must do things.” – Ray Bradbury
6. Play with children’s toys….and I don’t mean video games (although I still thing the original Mario Bros. is the bees’ knees). Bounce a ball. Build a tower. Color with crayons.
“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
7. Leave something undone – Sleep on it. Fresh perspective has value. You’ll be encouraging your tomorrow-self to look at whatever that task is with new eyes. And yes, I know this contradicts number 4 a wee bit, but there’s something to be said for balance too.
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
8. Brainstorm – Let your mind wander. Pay attention to your stream of consciousness. Consider keeping a journal just for your brainstorms.
“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!” – Dr. Seuss
9. Exercise – it’s good for the WHOLE body – including your brain. I’ve gotten lots of good ideas on the treadmill.
“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.” – Stella Adler
10. Doodle. There have been some pretty great ideas that were first sketched on napkins!
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
Oh, and P.S. The above are just my 10 favorite ways to get my brain going in the creative direction. (along with some inspiring words of wisdom from some pretty cool people)….If you want some more inspiration, here are a few links to some more ideas:
Lauren is a Sr. Designer of Product Graphics for an international manufacturing company by day and a creativity crusader, designer, planner extraordinaire, artist and blogger in her “free” time. Follow her and The Olive Shoe on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram! Please subscribe to receive emails, of course, come back and visit again soon!