Wednesday, May 8, 2013

How to stimulate your creativity!

The book I'm reading at the moment is the very interesting:

The book explores what motivates people to do things like work harder. Dan Ariely has some really interesting and fun studies to share seeing for example whether bigger and bigger financial bonus really do make people work harder and harder.  What effect do people's reactions to what we produce at work have on our productivity or desire to work more or less.
All of this is 'behavioural economics'. Now if you'd mentioned that title to me I would never have picked up this book.
But reading about the experiments he has done and how people have reacted in them is fascinating!
I discovered this author through this Youtube video where he talks about what motivates us to work. It's 20 mins long - but well worth a watch if you have the time!

Anyway - how this brought me to creativity was this 'thought experiment' mentioned in the book...

"What if I paid you a lot of money, say $100,000, to come up with a very creative idea for a research project in the next 72 hours? What would you do differently? You would probably substitute some of your regular activities with others. You would not bother with your e-mail; you wouldn't check Facebook; you wouldn't leaf through a magazine. you would probably drink a lot of coffee and sleep much less. Maybe you would stay at the office all night. This means that you would work more hours, but would doing any of this help you be more creative?"

This made me think about my 'creative' blog and that my goal is to make it into a business that makes me a decent financial income.  I am in effect doing this 'thought experiment' but without the time constraint.  
I know that plenty of people have made more than $100,000 from their blogs and take the attitude that if someone else can do it then so can I. - I just have to figure out how!

However can financial gain as an incentive make you more creative? Perhaps it is more likely to stifle your creativity by putting pressure on you to come up with ideas?

But it does pose the question..

How do you stimulate your creativity?

Do you have something you do to help get your creative juices flowing?
Personally - I like to get some good music on and do tasks that don't require me to think about them - like exercise or sometimes housework!  
Exercise I find particularly good as it wakes me up, gets the blood flowing and if I do it in the morning it motivates me for the day. I've solved a few 'problems' and come up with lots of ideas when running!

I Googled - "how to be more creative" - and here's a selection of the ideas I found:

Let your mind wander

Do things differently

Walk in the rain

Stop watching television

Block out interruptions

Listen to music

Eat with your hands

I'm not sure why eating with your hands would stimulate creativity, but I'm willing to give it a try!! 

I also tried to look up which colour might enhance or stimulate creativity - but found several different answers - blue, grey, purple and turquoise.  Who knows - perhaps if I'd looked for longer I could have found more colours mentioned!

I guess it's all a personal choice - and finding what works for you.

After my post last week -

I really want to look at ways that might encourage creativity in myself and also my kids.

Perhaps some kind of creativity challenge - does anyone have any suggestions? - perhaps I will work one out for next month - a small creative challenge each day? 
Would anyone be interested in joining in with something like this?

Any and all suggestions welcome!

What do you do to stimulate your own creativity?


  1. Wow, what a great post, Jill! You're talking about themes I am thinking about a lot, lately!
    So... I could try joining you on your challenge! Maybe I won't be able to finish every week (no free time at all, as usual), but maybe could help me shake my creativity!! And I'll have an excuse eating with hands ;)
    I'll try to think to some suggestion/ideas...
    hugs x

    1. Thank you! I definitely like the idea of a creativity challenge - I'm trying to figure out some ideas and a timescale too! Will post when I've figured it all out!


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