Creativity can be elusive. Sometimes you feel the creative spark and other times you stare, for what seems like hours, at a blank page or screen. Creativity doesn’t just happen; it is something we have to cultivate. What are you passionate about? What inspires you? These are the things that feed your creativity and just as we nourish our bodies, we must nourish our creativity. We also have to adjust our perspective. Creativity isn't generally considered practical or productive. However, it’s vital because not only does it enable us to perform, paint and write, but it aids us in making decisions and solving problems.
resources and articles
What you need to fuel your creativity:
Time and brain space
We are so busy and have so many things to keep track of, we often don't allow ourselves time to just sit and think or daydream. Daydreaming has a bad rap. It tends to get lumped in with inattentiveness or laziness. But we need time to allow our minds to clear some space and function outside of the structure of agendas and tasks. Our time is often over-structured and overbooked which inhibits clear and creative thinking. Walking or meditating are great ways to clear your head. Most of us at Marbles HQ have Bucky Balls or some sort of creative toy on our desks. They are great tools for helping you take a step back from what you are working on.
Our brains crave it! Novelty keeps us sharp cognitively, helps us with learning and memory and also feeds our creative spirit. Being stuck in the same routine can be detrimental to all of these things. When you add something new into your life it can give you new perspective. Try something new and change up your routine. Doing this can spark a different way of thinking and bring about new ideas. You can change things up in small or big ways. For example, take a different route home from work, try a new restaurant or take a class in something you have always wanted to learn. Sometimes we think that if it’s not directly related to our career or a project that we are working on, other activities are a waste of time. But we need that variety to stimulate our brains so we can perform at our best.
We tend to associate play solely with childhood. Kids are supposed to play, but when adults play it is often viewed as “goofing off” or being unproductive. However, play is highly beneficial to our brains and can ultimately improve our creativity and productivity. In his book entitled Play, Dr. Stuart Brown explains that play stimulates nerve growth in the amygdla (the area that processes emotion) and in the prefrontal cortex where executive decisions are processed. He also states that play promotes new connections between neurons. In play, “we create scenarios and systems that we can test out without fear of failure or severe consequences”. As a result, we set up the neural pathways that will help us navigate through real life situations.