We all have responsibilities that force us to think critically. We are constantly put into situations where we need to think about what the best way of doing something is. Is this the most efficient, correct, and safe way to complete this task?
We usually only have a few minutes to consider the answer before we have to move on to the next situation which requires us to restart this whole process of critical thinking. This process of thinking can be stifling to a creative person. Creativity requires creative thinking, and when we live every day and use our brains in the most practical way, it can be difficult to flip the switch and start thinking creatively.
What is Creative Thinking (vs Critical Thinking)
Critical Thinking is when you look at things in a logical way using analysis. Critical thinkers evaluate the most correct way to solve a problem.
Creative Thinking is when you look at ordinary situations in a new way – thinking outside the box so to speak. Creative thinkers are good problem solvers who use a lateral way of looking at things. They don’t usually solve a problem in an obvious way.
One of the main skills creative people posess is Creative Thinking. Without it, there wouldn’t be the unique ideas and creations creative people produce and come up with.
Sometimes creative people need some help to inspire the Creative Thinking process. Here are 10 ways to help encourage Creative Thinking:
- Try something new often -Go outside of your comfort zone and explore other creative interests that you never would have thought to try before.
- Free-Write/Free-Draw/Jam/Art Play – Whatever you do creatively, do it freely and without structure or rules.
- Change your environment – Go somewhere new to do your thinking or to be creative. If you usually work in your studio or office, try going to the park or a coffee shop.
- Give yourself limits – Sometimes giving yourself a limit of some sort will help you think of other ways to accomplish things. For example, Dr. Seuss challenged himself to write Green Eggs and Ham using only 50 words!
- Ask yourself open-ended questions – Challenge yourself by asking a closed-ended question (a question where the answer is either a simple yes or no) in an open-ended way. For example, instead of asking yourself ‘are you in a good mood?’ ask, ‘what are things that may be contributing to you being in a good mood?’.
- Daydream – Allow your mind to wander off into dreamland.
- Exercise – Physical movement can definitely be a proponent of Critical Thinking. Moving your body helps your brain more than you think!
- Write while reading – Write down anything that comes to mind while you are reading a book. You wouldn’t believe what your brain will come up with while you are reading someone else’s work.
- Collect inspiration – Photos, newspaper articles, magazine clippings, short stories, doodles, etc. Examples of things that interest you can help your brain allow for your own creative way of thinking.
- Allow for failure – Trial and error is sometimes the best idea generator. When something doesn’t work out, try, try again. That’s precisely what Creative Thinking is all about!
Without a doubt, these 10 tips will help encourage Creative Thinking so you can be the best creative you can be!