Creative thinking is essentially perceiving something in a different way and looking for patterns that may be imperceptible. Problem solving, visual art, communication and writing are some of the creative thinking skills. Creative thinking can lead to novel or unorthodox solutions that are different from past or current solutions.
Creativity is characterised by the ability to perceive the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena, and to generate solutions.
Creative thinking can be unleashed by using either structured (eg-lateral thinking) or unstructured (eg-brainstorming) processes.
7 ways to pursue creative thinking
Here are a few ways you could develop the habit of thinking creatively so as to outshine yourself and to bring radically new solutions to the table. Creative thinking is your pathway to becoming a thought leader, in an online space as well as offline.
Break free from routine
Routines can be deadning, so it is important to step away from the humdrum. Shake things up and do them differently. It could be as simple as changing around the things you do on a daily basis. Try going to the gym in the evening if you usually go in the mornings or prepare for your morning chores the night before.
Have an idea notebook
Ideas are like a steaming cup of tea. Get a sip of them before they go cold. All of us have moments in the day when we get brilliant ideas but mostly these moments are fleeting. Capture the ideas in a notebook that is especially dedicated to it. Or take notes on your phone.
A multidisciplinary collaboration opens up your mind to new possibilities. Work with others who are different from you in both ideas and way of execution. The learning could be immense in terms of looking at things from a different perspective.
Let your subconscious work for you
Our subsconcious minds can be a treasure trove of innovative ideas. When you need a different approach or are simply feeling stuck, enlist the help of your subconscious. Before going to sleep, chart out your project and list out the ways in which you wish to move forward. Sleep over it. In the morning, do a brain dump by writing in your journal of possible solutions.
Another way could be to let an idea stew in your mind for sometime. Let it be at the back of your mind while you go about doing other things. Let the subconscious mind make connections and interpret it in different ways.
Sometimes you can’t see the complete picture when you are working on something. You need to trust the next step. An even better way could be to work backwards from your goals. Work out the end result and then figure out what resources, time frame and skills would help you reach there.
Gift of uncluttered time
Give yourself the most precious gift of time where you do not have deadlines or you are not multitasking. Don’t do this only when you are stuck but on a regular basis take out time to do nothing. You could go for a walk, be aware of your surroundings, connect with nature and relax into ‘being’. Uncluttered time and mind are good crucibles of creative thinking.
Practice being non judgemental of your own or others’ ideas. Good solutions may come after a few mistakes. Recognise those mistakes as part of the process, rather than thinking that you are not good enough or letting your mistakes derailing you completely.
Nurturing your creativity is self care and self development that can reap good fruits over time. On the journey of blogger to thought leadership through #LeaderChatter all April. Come back for more!