After a year research, interviewing dozens of people from creative industries, and run few Creativity Lab sessions, I have put this list together that I hope, help to improve creativity… of course this is not the ultimate list, and I am sure there are other ways which may help to improve creativity and intelligence which I am unaware, however the purpose of research was not to find ways to improve creativity and intelligence, my hypotheses was that creativity and intelligence is not genetic and can be learned and improved, and the environment and the person activities had greater effect on its condition.
A list of activities that can help to improve creativity and intelligence
- Increase the diversity of your information input….read different magazine, book, music….
- Increase the diversity of transformation…diversity meaning…look into things from different angle and perspective
- Increase the diversity of output
- Improve the condition of your physical support system…physical condition, more exercise… and improve your environment…keep fit…
- Remove or reduce the environmental factors which inhabit your intelligence… that prevent you to express yourself…such as religion and other behaviour belief
- Increase the factors that support your intelligence, such as good friends, support community… Brainstorm
- Surprise Your Mind. Don’t limit yourself to ideas that other people consider “sane,” “reasonable” or “logical.” The best and most creative ideas stem from silly ones. When you’re in a creative mode, you’re suspending judgment on ideas you generate. You simply list them all down and never worry whether they make sense or not. Allow yourself the freedom to think outside the box.
- Aim for Quantity. Generate loads of ideas for you to go through later. It’s normal that your first few ideas won’t really be fresh. The gems will come out later so it’s important to keep going. With a large list of ideas, you’ll have more to choose from, adapt or combine. Creativity is not coming up with something new from nothing; creativity is the ability to create something novel from ideas/things that already exist by combining, improving or refining them.
- Be Playful. A relaxed and playful attitude fosters creativity. Those creative juices flow best when you’re not restrained by your logical, left brain. Toy with ideas and forget about being too careful. Be a child again and play.
- Believe that everything has a Solution. An optimistic outlook always leads to solutions, no matter how impossible a problem or task may be. Often when a solution can’t be found, all that’s needed is for the problem to be redefined. Or when you think you’re stumped, surprise your mind with silly solutions then work backwards, leading to the original problem. Cultivate an attitude of continuing search for solutions.
- Let Go of Your Fear of Failure. Don’t expect to do something perfectly for the first time. Thomas Edison tried about 1800 things for the perfect filament for the incandescent lamp. Fear of failure is one of the major factors that can hinder your creativity. Instead of looking at failed attempts negatively, look at your failures as learning opportunities. Failing isn’t fun, but neither is doing nothing.
- Take time for yourself each day. Overscheduling is an enemy of creativity, so make sure you give yourself some down time and allow your creativity to break through.
- Record your ideas…
- Use of SCAMPER technique
- Put to other purposes
- Free write
- Invest time in art activity
We run the exercise on a group of creative studies students for a year, the finding was surprise as almost all students improve their creative portfolio and they feel all more creative at the end of program, but the most vital part was many of them even improve their intelligent test score by the end of the year.
Anyway I hope this list can help you with your personal development however if there are things that you think can be added to the list, please send me a email, I am always happy to hear from you.