Become an idea collector to inspire creativity. Maybe you heard something funny of the street or saw an inspiring image, write it down before you forget! Everything you see, hear, and experience can spark a new train of thought.
When you come across quotes, pictures, and other snippets that inspire you, write them down, cut them out, or seize them in some other way. Amass these ideas where you are able to browse through them from time to time for inspiration. Some individuals put them in binders, some pin them to bulletin boards, and other go all arts-and-crafts and create a scrapbook-style theme book.
Any collector recognizes they need a place to store the things they collect. Idea collectors are no different.
Here are some strategies to collect your ideas for use when you need them most.
Write them down! Carry note cards so you can jot down an idea anytime.
Make lists. Do particular brainstorming on a topic, project or program to boost your collection. Seize all of the ideas. When doing this don‘t cross any off when you find them impractical. By leaving them on the list there‘s the chance to spur other ideas.
Keep notes from reading. When reading any book (particularly non fiction) seize ideas you get when reading. Jot notes in the margins, use your highlighter. Then return and transfer the gems to your journal. That extra effort will exponentially increase the value you receive from reading the book.
Refer back to notes. Review your idea lists. You never know when one of those ideas you put down will have application. This is one of the reasons for collecting them in the first place!
Take action. The collection becomes valuable to the degree that you attempt some of your ideas out. Set a timeline, make a plan, and try something out! It’s with this final step that your ideas truly become valuable to you.
You won‘t utilize every idea you capture and not every idea you capture will be good. Cast your net wide and accumulate as many as you are able to in as many ways as you are able to. While you’ll never be able to display your ideas on the wall of your home, your collection and the results gained from application of selected parts of your collection will be among your most valued possessions. Get going now a happier more productive future awaits.
Use Free Writing
This exercise allows you to come at your challenge from a different direction. When you free write, you let your thoughts flow as they will, putting pen to paper and putting down whatever comes into your mind. You don’t judge the tone of what you write and you don’t vex about style or any surface-level issues, like spelling, grammar, or punctuation. If you can’t think about what to say, you write that down—truly. The benefit of this technique is that you free up your inner critic and allow yourself to write things you may not write if you were being too self-aware.
When you free write you are able to set a time limit (“I’ll write for a quarter-hour!”) and even use a kitchen timer or alarm or you can set a space limit (“I’ll write till I fill four full notebook pages, regardless what tries to disturb me!”) and just write until you achieve that goal. You may do this on the computer or on paper, and you are able to even try it with your eyes shut or the monitor off, which encourages speed and freedom of thought.
The all important point is that you continue writing even if you believe you’re saying nothing. Word must follow word, regardless the relevance.
When you’re done with your set number of minutes or have accomplished your page goal, read back over the text. Yes, there will be many filler and unusable thoughts but there likewise will be little gems, discoveries, and insights. When you find these gems, highlight them or cut and paste them into your draft or onto an “ideas” sheet so you are able to utilize them in your paper. Even if you don’t discover any diamonds in there, you’ll have either quieted some of the noisy.
Break down the topic into levels
Once you’ve something in front of you, you may brainstorm:
-The general topic
- A particular subtopic or required question
A exclusive term or phrase that you sense you’re overusing
Viewing something from different perspectives helps you see it more wholly—or at least in a completely different way, kind of like laying on the floor makes your desk look very different to you.
How You Can Use Music to Increase Creativity
Music has been proven to help boost creativity for a variety of reasons. Initially, music has the ability to change your state of mind, and even aid you experiencing a range of emotions. Different tones and sounds evoke an emotional response that can help you think about a problem differently. In addition, music can cause a switch in brain waves, which can alter our awareness and state of consciousness. Try listening to different types of music when you work to see what motivates you, inspires you, boosts your creativity, and helps you focus.
Have you ever noticed the affect that music can have on you? Or did you know that certain types of music can help create a balance between the more logical left brain and the more intuitive right brain—a dynamic interplay thought to be the basis of creativity.
Music can be a very powerful way to change your mood, channel inspiration and tap into creativity.
Music can create emotions or change your state. Music can alter or change your mood or state—for example, there is certain music that makes me feel more creative (lately it’s been Beats Antique), music that gets me in the mood to work out, music to relax to, etc.
Music can be a powerful anchor—you can “anchor” in your creativity with music. Can you think of
certain songs that brings you back to a particular moment, experience, or person? You can use songs to create anchors that link up certain feelings with a certain song.
Here’s a quick tip on how you can anchor yourself to creativity and music. For example, anytime you have a brainstorming session, start playing music that gets you in a more creative or innovative space. And then continue to play that music anytime you brainstorm. After doing this a few times, you will become anchored so that anytime you hear that music, you will be in a more creative or innovative state.
Music has a physical affect on you—both consciously and unconsciously. Sound is composed of a variety of characteristics: wave length, decibels, hertz, timber, pitch, vibration, tone, etc. At the most basic level, vibrating sounds form patterns and create energy fields of resonance and movement in its surrounding space.
We absorb these energies and they subtly alter our breath, pulse, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin temperature and other internal rhythms. Depending on their wave forms and other characteristics, sound has a variety of impact on us.
In 2011, Finnish researchers found that when our brains process the timbre of a song, our default-mode network (associated with mind-wandering mode) is activated, inspiring creativity. Such mental rewards don’t only apply to those in the arts: Even computer programmers have been shown to benefit from the positive, relaxing mood that music can induce.
Μusic is one of the greatest ways to enter “mind-wandering mode,” which can unlock creativity.
You’re so creative.
Don’t deny it. Whether or not you consider yourself a creative type, the truth is that you’re constantly creating ideas.
Mindfulness and these techniques invite you to be aware of this constantly flowing river, and offers an opportunity to choose to sit beside it rather than swimming in it. By watching the ideas from that calm riverbank (your inner being), you can more clearly see the ones that float to the top and sparkle in the sun.
But mindfulness is more than just mind watching mind… it is the techniques here. When we are engaged in the process of creating–whether that’s words, numbers, music, art, or movement–without getting swept up in the concept of where it might be leading, that is a very pure form of mindfulness.