If you’re ready for a boost to your creativity then you’re in luck, because January is International Creativity Month.
Created by Randall Munson, the purpose of International Creativity Month is to find time to explore creative ways to re-energize yourself and your colleagues, family and friends. This can include creatively improving communications skills, arranging group thinking sessions or setting creative challenges.
Randall Munson says that we were created creative, giving the example of how creative young children are: “A center for creative learning studied the creativity of children and found that during the first five years 90% of children are highly creative. The next two years, ages six and seven, the percentage of highly creative children dropped to 10%. By age eight or nine, the percentage of highly creative children fell to only 2% and stayed about that level from that time on,” said Randall.
Setting up the International Creativity Month was an opportunity to inspire people to unleash the creativity that they were created with.
Celebrating International Creativity Month could be as simple as acknowledging the importance of creativity for developing new ideas, which filters across many different sectors. However, the most beneficial way to celebrate is to use this month to explore what your own creativity could produce.
Harnessing your creativity
Creativity is defined as the use of imagination or original ideas to create something, but you may be wondering how to harness your imagination to come up with those ideas.
We’ve prepared some tips for generating original, fresh ideas and capturing them as soon as they come to light.
Just get started
The best way to ignite your creativity is to get started in whichever direction is easiest. Stop thinking, forget about processes and procedures and unleash your stream of thoughts.
Whether that’s adding some words to a mind map to see where it takes you or painting some brush strokes on a canvas, many people are able to inspire themselves by simply getting started.
If you struggle with finding inspiration, you could even start collecting images or terms that you think could help fuel your creativity at a later date.
Take a break
When you feel ready to, take a break. Creative thoughts come to us when we are relaxed. Neuroscientists have argued that creativity can take place better when our minds are at rest and it has been proven that our brains are more active in times of leisure.
Going for a walk can stimulate creative thinking. Many famous, successful business people have been well known for walking meetings, including Mark Zuckerberg and the late Steve Jobs.
Movement can be particularly effective for stimulating those first few creative thoughts, so next time you feel far away from bright ideas, walking might just take you a few steps closer.
Find inspiration in your environment
Environmental factors can have a huge impact on an individual’s creativity and productivity. Finding the right environment for you may be a trial and error process, because a particular noise, lighting or color could stimulate creativity for some people, whilst sabotaging it for others.
Even changes to the vibrancy or shade of one color can have an affect on us, so it’s worth trying different environments to find your creative sweet spot.
However, the fast-paced world that we live in has more distractions than we can digest, so there’s another important point to come.
Avoid digital distractions
We love the digital space, and whilst we embrace the capabilities of the hyper-connected modern world, it is important to also recognise its drawbacks.
Although the Internet is fantastic for inspiration and problem solving, digital distractions are often the reason that procrastination triumphs over productivity.
Don’t be afraid of mistakes
When exploring your creativity, it’s a good idea to improvise and keeping moving forward. Don’t edit and don’t worry, free yourself from perfection. You can amend and refine any ideas you want to develop at a later stage.
Vincent van Gogh famously said, “I dream my painting and I paint my dream,” and losing yourself in your creativity is not bad advice.
At Mind Doodle, we believe that you can achieve increased focus by freeing your mind. It may sound counter-intuitive, but until you give it a try, you won’t see the benefits of freeing your mind and unleashing your creative potential.
Find your flow
Try to find your creative flow. Spending a few minutes exploring new ideas in a totally free-flowing way could ignite your passion and before you know it, you’ll be effortlessly creative.
Mind mapping is a great way to practice this because it supports lateral thinking, helping you to solve problems through an indirect and creative approach.
Capture your ideas
Your best ideas could come to you at any moment. Using Mind Doodle from a computer, tablet or mobile, you can capture these ideas and harness your creativity in a mind map.
You’ll find that certain ideas can seem to grow almost by themselves and seeing this happen visually in a mind map can be very powerful.
Share your creativity
If you use Mind Doodle to help you celebrate International Creativity Month, invite a friend to your mind map or share it on social media and tag us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.