10 Tips to Boost Your Creativity
Looking for ways to unlock your creativity? We hear you. We have our share of brainstorming, problem-solving and tug-of-war ideation huddles. Here’s a roundup of what gets our creative juices flowing.
The clarity that comes from answering the who, what, when, where and why with every project provides a framework for creative problem-solving that’s unique to your audience and goals. A simple foundation helps us build digital experiences that are easy for people to use and connect with because we keep going back to those simple questions when functionality and design ideas crop up. Don’t get us wrong–simple questions often have complex answers but there are usually basic problems we’re trying to creatively solve.
We’re lucky enough to work with a hodgepodge of personalities and talents from analytical to whimsical and programming to designing. Even if your teams aren’t cross-functional, you can reap the benefits of having a contrasting perspective by bouncing ideas of people with a different viewpoint.
When you’re in a creativity plateau, it can help to shift your energy by changing your focus whether it’s shifting to a different project or taking a stroll around the block. For atLarge designer Ayelen, the best distraction is getting off the computer and making things with her hands. Check out her handiwork on her blog lanolyn.
Do you have a swipe file filled with inspiration? Start one and fill it with images, videos, writing, ads–anything that grabs you. Sure, you would expect a hefty swipe file for designers and copywriters. But everyone can benefit from curating their own swipe file. Accout guru Britt consults her swipe file regularly. Some of her favorites?
For creative quotes, visit icanread.com
For creative motivation, a little zenhabits.com
For creative leadership, there’s robinsharma.com
Silence is golden when it comes to cultivating creativity. For atLarge programmer Corey Eiseman a quite environment lets the ideas flow. Not so easy to come by at home or the office says Corey. It helps to ask for it and enjoy it when it happens. Oh, and to live alone.
It’s a deadline driven world but constantly short-changing your body (ya know… pizza and wings at the office and four hours of sleep before a big presentation) can drain anyone’s creativity. But a healthy body and mind leaves you free to explore. While you’re at it, go ahead and grab some tips on avoiding creativity burnout.
Why does work have to feel like work? Pick up an activity that caught your imagination as a child whether it’s playing music–a favorite past-time of atLarge programmer Adam or dancing like atLarge designer and salsa jedi Nathan. Even better? Turn your brainstorming meetings into gamestorming mingles and watch the creativity swarm. Project conflict? Solve it over a game of Foosball. (Want to play a little gamestorming of your own? Check out our gamestorming starter post.)
Sometimes it’s a matter of having the right soundtrack. Some of our collective favorites to help us get in the zone:
- Adam’s pick: techno tunes from Orbital
- Ayelen’s: mellow sounds from Bon Iver
- Amanda’s: smooth electric from Broken Bells
- Corey’s choice: quiet.
I like all kinds of music, but I guess if I’m trying to solve a problem I usually prefer quiet. Some times I try to convince myself otherwise but I always end up turning music off if I’m trying to figure something out or if I do listen to music its just to drown out other noises.
- Nathan’s picks: classic Chopin or indie pop Pinback
We like to squeeze natural inspiration in when we can–lunches in the park, meetings at the bayfront. Don’t know if it’s the change of scenery or the dose of sunshine, but it definitely helps break up the day.
We’re a big fan of doodling and sketching out ideas. It helps us collaborate and explain concepts both internally and with clients. And whether we’re using a drawing app, whiteboard or retro pen and pad–it’s easy.
So we showed you ours… we would love to hear your creativity tips since you can never have too many. Let’s have them.