Creating Room to Spark Creativity
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Everyone has the ability to be creative. Granted there are those that have a more natural ability to tap into that creativity at any point at time. This does not mean that creativity does not exist in you somewhere. There are times at work, home, school, and life where we need to be creative. This may be to express emotions, come up with innovative solutions, or write a newspaper article. I was having the most difficult time deciding on what to write about for this article. Maybe you have been in a similar situation. You have a project or task you are working on. You have carved out time to work on the project. As you sit down to complete the task though, nothing comes. You have hit a wall and there are no ideas flowing at all. This happens to all of us. From those who have natural creative capabilities to those who believe they do not have a creative bone in there body. We have all hit the wall. This article will discuss methods that create room to spark that creativity. I hope they will assist you the next time the dreaded wall appears.
Check your environment
Take time to assess the environment you are in to see if it supports a creative mindset. Start with your work area. Is it orderly, chaotic, or somewhere in the middle? We each have a level of organization that we are comfortable with. This will look different for everyone. Take time to organize your work environment that is comfortable for you.
Another tactic may be to change environments to spark creativity. If it is possible, move your work outside for a while. This does not have to look like pushing your entire computer desk outside, although that would be nice sometimes. Rather, grab a pen and notepad to take outside and jot down any key ideas that may come up to help you work on this project at your working station. Other spaces you may try include a library, community center, or park.
Explore the dynamics in working in proximity to others or working in solidarity. If you are used to working in an environment with others around, it may be helpful to find a place alone to work to get new ideas flowing. In contrast, if you work in an environment that is isolated, working in closer proximity to people may inspire new ideas as well. Being in an environment that supports your creativity is one way to spark the creative process.
Check your mental space
Take a moment to assess your mind and see if you have space for creativity. Sometimes our mind tasks list are full and they may not be able to handle coming up with new ideas until other items are taken off the list. For example, if you are worried or anxious about another area of your life, it can make it hard to focus on being creative. When this happens, it is best to acknowledge the feeling and address it with a healthy coping mechanism. There may be a more physical task you accomplish on your minds tasks list such as making a shopping list or accomplishing a chore. In these instances, it may be better to make the list or complete the chore so it is not on your mind and you can focus on being creative. When assessing these things, be mindful of creating additional tasks that take you away from your creative session on purpose. Creative sessions take a lot of brain power and your body knows this. This is why sometimes when we are working on a project that is difficult, we decide that it is the perfect time to polish silver or clean out the attic instead of focusing on the project. While taking a break can be beneficial, pay attention to why are you taking the break. Is it to avoid the activity or to actually rest your mind and come back renewed?
Activities that may help spark your creativity
On a sheet of paper, write down a title for the task you are trying to accomplish. Write down as many ideas that come to mind about this topic. No matter how weird they sound. No matter if the idea has been done before. This can be expressed through words or pictures. You may set a timer if you so choose. Once you have exhausted the brainstorm list, go back through your list and see if you notice any patterns are a new way of looking at your topic. Hopefully, this will inspire new views and designs.
Line of questions
On a sheet of paper, write down a title for the task you are trying to accomplish. Write down as many questions that come to mind about this topic. Some examples could be, “What does the project accomplish,” “Who is the target audience?,” “How do I want the affected population to feel?,” “How will I know if I succeeded?” Asking questions to spark creativity allows you to venture down a different road to see how to accomplish your goals. Once you have exhausted the question list, go back through your list and try to answer some of these questions. Hopefully, they will inspire new thoughts and ideas.
Go be creative!
Remember that creativity is a process. Encourage this process by assessing your environment and making it productive for the creative process and by assessing your mind to see if you are ready to produce those wonderful ideas. For more information and resources on brainstorming creative solutions, contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Yadkin County. N.C. Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity provider.
N.C. Cooperative Extension of Yadkin County
As seen in the Yadkin Ripple, June 24,2021