There is an article I shared recently that stated that creativity is the most important skill in the world and I have to agree with it. Creativity in its basic form is solving problems in innovative ways. This is something that is uniquely human, machines are not capable (at this point) in thinking outside the box in the same ways that we can. Creativity is also something that can benefit any job in the world. It helps find efficiency in work processes and looks at creative ways to fit everything into the day. So what happens if you are lacking creativity? The good news is that like any skill, creativity can be improved. Here are 4 things you can do to become more creative.
1. Try Different Things
Not all creative projects are going to be your cup of tea. The only way you will find out what sparks your creative juices is by trying out all kinds of things. Will you find joy in painting or baking or working with yarn? Maybe you will enjoy all three. The point is that you won't know until you try. Step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
I love to experiment with different recipes. I get bored cooking the same thing everyday so tend to try out a variety of ingredients and ways to cook them and then see which ones I like. This is an easy way for me to spice up the menu and bring joy into my kitchen. It also keeps my dinner guests on their toes as they don't know if what I am serving will be restaurant quality or if an emergency pizza delivery will happen.
These cinnamon bun muffins were an easy and delicious surprise, it is always nice when things turn out yummy!
2. Start Small
I know when I get excited about something, I want to jump in with both feet. The thing is, I really like to try out new things and not all of those things I will like doing and stick with. That is why it is a really good idea for me to start small. Instead of going out and purchasing a lot of equipment or my supplies in bulk, it is best to rein myself in and see what happens once I have a small taste. This could mean I sign up for a class, attend a free lecture or purchase a kit to get me started. The overall cost is a lot less but I can still see what I think. Often times once I have finished one project, I am happy to move onto something new. If I overextend myself and purchase lots of supplies, I then feel obligated to use them up. That means, instead of creating new things, I am dragging my butt on projects I don't enjoy or tripping over the boxes of materials I am not interested in using.
My daughters and I recently got into making bath bombs. It all started with a kit that Thea got from the Easter bunny (photo attached). We all had so much fun making bath bombs that we bought supplies in larger quantities. However, we did limit ourselves to only a couple scents and colours. If we use up what we have and still enjoy it we will keep going. If not, it was well worth our small investment for the enjoyment we had and we can move onto the next thing.
3. Get Messy
Part of the creative process is figuring out how to do something in a new way. That for me generally means a big mess. I can't tell you how many times I have had disastrous first projects that resulted in a lot of cleaning and more importantly lessons learned in how to do things better. The thing is that I tend to learn WAY more when I make a huge mess then when things work out the first time. When you are working on your creativity, embrace the mess as this is how you will learn to be better.
As with myself, I tend to encourage my kids to be creative through play. This means that most of the time you can tell how good a day we all had based on how messy the house is. I really believe that kids learn through play and sometimes that means the kids get to learn how to use a broom afterwards.
I should thank my parents for the thoughtful rice station for Christmas a few years ago, the kids love it.
Once you find something that brings you happiness and gets your creativity flowing, it is important to stick with it and practice. Afterall practice makes perfect. Try out different patterns, modify recipes and improve your skills. Part of being creative is that you never get yourself in a rut. It is important to continually be working on solving the next problem so that your creativity is always improving.
During the pandemic one of the things I learned was how to make sourdough bread. It started with a starter (I named mine Daryl and have become quite fond of him) and progressed into multiple loaves, each better than the last. I made modifications to the recipe, changed the baking method and gave loafs to lots of neighbours. I now have a pretty good whole wheat loaf and have progressed to muffins using my starter and would love to tackle buns and other specialty loaves including cinnamon.
We hope you enjoyed this article and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What creative projects are you working on?
We are running a creativity challenge July 20 - 30, 2020. If you are wanting to improve your creativity I hope that you will join us. Learn more.