There are days when we are brimming with ideas for our next social media posts, and the ones when we are aimlessly staring at the blank screen and wondering what to post next. The internet is full of articles on how to get your creative juices flowing, but what works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. That’s why we made a list of creativity sparking strategies that are backed by science. So the next time you find yourself without any good ideas or you just need an extra boost of creativity try one of these powerful and simple methods that are proven to have a big impact on your ability to think creatively.
1.Take a Walk
According to the study conducted at Stanford University what matters when it comes to creativity could be as simple as the act of walking. The study of 176 Stanford students discovered that the ones who were walking, instead of sitting or being pushed in a wheelchair, consistently gave more creative responses on tests commonly used to measure creative thinking. It didn’t matter is they were indoors or outdoors – all that mattered was that they were up and moving around. Further research discovered that this activity is better for tasks that require fresh perspective (such as brainstorming sessions) than for the ones that require focus or single answer. So next time you are in need of some fresh ideas just follow the example of late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, who was known for his walking meetings – get up and start walking.
2. Don’t Work in Silence
According to the New York Times, there’s a reason why Starbucks is always packed; it has the ideal decibel level for brainstorming. In the experiment conducted by researches from the University of Illinois participants were requested to brainstorm ideas for new products while exposed to varying levels of background noise. It turned out that they performed best when the sounds were at about 70 decibels, or that of a coffee shop. Extreme quiet (around 50 decibels, like in many offices) is good for projects that require concentration and focus, while noise of around 85 decibels is too distracting. So, instead of looking for a quiet place to work on your next big idea embrace the noise of a local coffee shop or simply visit websites like ASoftMurmur and bring some noise to your headphones.
3. Keep Your Desk Messy
In a study conducted by a psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs and her fellow researchers at the University of Minnesota, students met in either messy or an organized room and had to complete standard test of creativity (come up with new ideas on how to use ping pong balls). Judges rated ideas, without knowing which group came from which room. It turned out that the group from the messy room had more interesting, innovative and creative solutions. It is believed that embracing a clutter and working in a messy environment actually encourages people to break free from tradition, produce fresh insights and try new things. What are you waiting for, go out into a world and make a mess!
4. Find Some Blues
The University of British Columbia conducted a study where 600 participants had to perform cognitive tasks on a computer with blue, red or white background screens. It turned out that blue screens encouraged participants to produce twice as many creative outputs during brainstorming tasks as other screen colors. On the other hand red screens proved to be best when someone needed to focus and pay attention to details (proofreading or memory recall tasks). According to the author of this study, Juliet Zue, colors can result in different motivation because of our learned associations: "Through associations with the sky, the ocean and water, most people associate blue with openness, peace and tranquility…The benign cues make people feel safe about being creative and exploratory. Not surprisingly it is people's favorite color”. I guess it doesn’t hurt if you decide to keep few blue items on your desk or surround yourself with blue-toned pictures or posters. Just in case
5. Create When You’re Exhausted
It sounds counterintuitive but night owls may be more creative in the morning while morning birds may think more innovatively late at night. This idea of better creative performance during “off-peak” times came from a research conducted at the Michigan State University and Albion College. According to their results once your mind becomes less focused due to exhaustion or “brain fog” you also become less inhibited, your mind starts to wander and you end up coming up with better ideas. So, save creative writing projects for your off-peak times and give it a shot. Results may surprise you!
We are looking forward to test these methods on our next brainstorming session but what about you? Do you have a secret formula for creativity? Or will you try one of these? Let us know, we would like to hear from you!
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