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Six Keys To Unlock Creativity

20/04/2017 12:13
Marek Uliasz via Getty Images

Creativity is one of the most desirable skills in today's working world, with some CEOS - like 60% of those polled by IBM - viewing it as the most important skill of all. While it makes all the difference in business, it can have a monumental effect on our personal growth too. A glance at the mass of research available reveals creative expression can promote short and long term happiness, self-satisfaction, and even aid mental health issues too.

Inevitably when the discussion of creativity comes up, there are those who are adamant that they're not creative in the slightest. Of course, that isn't strictly true. While there are those with a natural penchant and talent for certain creative skills, it doesn't mean those that don't possess those gifts are devoid of creativity altogether. Creativity isn't a skill or an elusive ability; it's a state of mind - one that absolutely anyone can have. It's just a case of being able to unlock it.

1. Prime your day

If you wake up and have a bad morning, it can have a really negative effect on your productivity for that day - and at worst, the entire week. The same goes for creativity. So it's important to set yourself up to create - and that means being well rested, well hydrated, and well fuelled. As difficult as it can sometimes be, always make the time to look after yourself, and accept your wellbeing as the ultimate priority.

2. Declutter your mind

If your mind is clogged up with stress and worries, then there's no room for creativity to flourish. Meditation is an excellent tool for clearing your mind, and completely zoning out for a few minutes each morning and night can make all the difference to your mental wellbeing. Think of your mind as a desk and your meditation as a clutter clean-up. It can clear the way for creativity and really boost your focus.

3. Feast on inspiration

This seems incredibly obvious, but those that struggle to find inspiration are sometimes looking in the wrong places. Naturally the internet provides a goldmine of inspiration for innumerable areas of creativity, it's just a case of finding the right vein for you. Getting out and about is also a fantastic option, and not just to art galleries or architectural marvels. Inspiration can be found in the most unobvious places, so walk without purpose and make a conscious effort to soak up your surroundings.

4. Imagination cardio

Every adult that claims they're not creative was once a child that enjoyed make-believe games and drawing pictures of castles, monsters, or princesses. Your ability to create is still there. You've just

forgotten how to use it because you're less in touch with your imagination. Imagination is the foundation of creativity, so giving it a good workout is important. Try to daydream on the bus to work. Or make up a story in your mind about a passer-by while you sit in a café. It might seem like an unusual exercise, but by reigniting your imagination you're paving the way for creativity.

5. Focus less on the result

When you want to get creative make sure it's something you think you'll enjoy. Whether it's well received or profitable shouldn't be your driving force, because that kind of mind-set can kill creative energy before you even have a chance to summon it. Realise that the process is where creativity thrives, not the finish line.

6. Do something

Sometimes it's more effective to just dive straight into a creative project, without any aim or direction. Challenge yourself to spend just 30 minutes doing something creative. If it's drawing or writing, use a dictionary or online word generator to find a completely random word to use as your starting point - and then see where it takes you. The beauty of this exercise is that the outcome is completely irrelevant and free from judgement (it doesn't have to be good, it just has to happen), allowing you to kick-start your creative mind in a free, uninhibited way.

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