It all starts with the stimulation of divergent thinking. Simply put, generating many different ideas about a concept. To me, it’s thinking without boundaries, unlocking your mind and simply thinking outside the box our routine has put us in. In order to wake up your divergent thinking, you need to practise and practise and then practise some more. Here is my quick and very simple guide to make yourself more creative.
01. Do something creative daily
This one may sound silly to begin with, but it’s the simplest rule. The more creative you the more creativity you produce. Allow yourself to brainstorm on a daily basis and create something new. Whether that’s drawing, decorating, writing a song or a poem you name it!
02. Try something new every day
It could be something big or something small. From trying out a new food or spice, to listening to a different genre of music, or simply changing your route home or daily walk. Be open to new experiences – the more experiences you have, the more creative you’ll become.
03. Mess up your daily routine
This one is my favourite and always work like magic when i need to refresh myself. So let’s say your morning routine includes getting up from the bed, drinking coffee while going through Pinterest and then having a shower. Why not having a shower first while turning on the volume to some uplifting music and then having a cup of coffee on the balcony? It could be something simple but will make the day feel a lot more special and exciting.
04. Exercise one divergent thinking every day
Here is where you need to invest some time in order to move to the next level. There are quire a lot of different exercises to make yourself more creative, all super simple and super fun. Here are four of my very favourites.
Divergent thinking exercises
THE ALICE IN WONDERLAND TEST
You might have caught me talking about this one on posts a few years ago. “Sometimes i believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. No wonder Alice in Wonderland was so creatively bonkers! Lewis Carroll had it right. In order to unlock your brain, you need to start thinking differently. So why not six impossible things every day? You’ll find yourself inventing more and more odd things as days go by! The “What If” exercise is along the same lines.
You can take a step further and give more examples of that one impossible thing. For example.. “What if… our feet had wheels?” – 1. We would never be late on our dates. 2. We would be covered in bruises 3. Showering in a bath would be painful 4. Pedicures would dry faster 5. Walks on beaches would be more fun 6. We would take dancing to a whole new level
Alternate Uses Test
Another easy and favourite one! My favourite thing about these tests is that you can do them anywhere and as many times in a day as you want. In this test, you are asked to list as many possible uses for a common item. You can either set a timer and count as many as you can, or set a limit of lets say find 10 different uses as fast as you can. As countdowns stress the hell out of me, i do the second one.
Try to think outside of the normal way you would use this item. For example: How else would you use a newspaper (reading it obviously doesn’t count as an answer).
1. Make a confetti out of it 2. Make a crane origami 3. Warp a bouquet of flowers 4. Make a basket with some glue 5. Newspaper bunting 6. Recycle 7. Basket balls 8. Make a cone and put pop corn in it 9. Give a box full of newspaper to my cat 10. Clean the window glass with it (our grandmas used to do that)
The Torrance Test of creative thinking
And for last, the one and ultimate creativity test. It’s a test of creativity that with simple shape tests of divergent thinking scores you for fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration. The basic idea here is to complete simple shapes and visualise beyond the expected. Have someone or yourself, draw one two or three shapes or lines on a piece of paper. On that paper, use these shapes to draw something that comes in your mind out of these shapes.
Try to think the unexpected and create a story with your drawings instead of drawing simple shapes and ideas. A triangle, could be a part of a hilltop where skiers are skiing, or the roof of a cabin on a snowy mountain. You can either use the shapes as they are, combine them in a picture or complete partial pictures.
Focus on the fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.