Sometimes inspiration hits like a tidal wave as innovation spills out of you effortlessly. Other times, it’s a desert, barren of new ideas and bare of the ripe fruit of creativity.
Tomorrow is World Creativity and Innovation Day, the United Nations initiative which places creativity at the forefront of the problem-solving of global issues. The day is dedicated to harnessing creative energy in order to adopt innovative thinking as a culture.
Modern-day problems met by modern-day solutions.
At the core of creativity is knowledge. It’s an expression of information crafted to power through a problem, whether one of beauty or of practicality. Knowing the power that innovative thinking holds, it is our responsibility to equip ourselves to cultivate creativity as much as we possibly can. How do we do this? We work for it so that the tidal waves of inspiration crash over us almost consistently.
Plan Time to Just Think
Set aside a portion of your day for deep creative thinking. Engage your mind to consider problems you (or the world) may face and mull over them, thinking up new ideas, discarding them, and finding newer ones. Consider the best ideas that come from ‘flat’ time, such as in the car, shower, or gym. Foster this ‘flat’ thinking time into your daily routine. Schedule a time each day dedicated to engaging your creative mind. It’s difficult initially, but like any routine, the creativity will normalise and become a habit in time.
Store Your Inspiration
Something sparks your imagination. It gets you thinking on a brand new track, one which you’ve never explored before. Then, later you forget where you found the inspiration and it gets lost in the haze of the day’s chaos. It happens, and a lot more often than you may think. Start making note of the things that inspire you so that you can come back to them later. Save a picture, write a thought down, send an audio file of music to yourself. Whatever you need to do, make sure you ‘store’ up things that spark your creativity so when you hit a slump, you’ll have a treasure chest of inspiration waiting for you.
Trust Yourself and Your Team
If you head up a team, trust their ideas, even if you’re not in a creative department. If you can create a culture of honest, innovative thinking, you’ll have a happier team that’s willing to think differently. This often results in better, more efficient systems and a culture of enthusiasm.
Learn Something New
Ignorance, as blissful as it may be, is ultimately detrimental to your innovative output. If you have no mental or creative stimulation, odds are your creations are going to become repetitive and flavourless. Inspire yourself by picking up a new hobby, practising a skill, or dedicating your time to learning something new. Taking an Online Programme, for example, is an excellent way to focus your attention and sharpen your mind. It also has the added benefit of teaching you practical skills that you can easily implement into your day, life and career.