Even if you don’t think you’re the “creative type,” don’t assume you can ignore this skillset, or that you can’t become creative too.
60% of CEOs polled by IBM agreed that creativity was the most important skill to possess in a leadership role, because can help us solve problems and respond to challenges.
The seeds of creativity live in everyone, but our daily habits can either nurture or constrain them. Here are 3 daily habits that will ignite your imagination and encourage your mind to think outside the box:
Even creative people need a schedule
It’s a gigantic misconception that creative people need to live wild and completely unstructured lives to produce great work.
That might work for a one-in-a-million rock star, but having a rigorous schedule is truly how to boost your creativity. Stephen King, for instance, has attributed his 350 million+ in book sales to his intense writing routine.
Psychologist William James described the impact of a rigorous schedule on creativity by saying that this can “free our minds to advance to really interesting fields of action.”
I’m not saying that you should hole up in your office the entire day, but you do need to pencil in the time for creativity daily. For starters, consider setting your own innovation schedule by spending 20 minutes daily on creative thinking.
Creativity is contagious
Albert Einstein once said, “Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.” And science backs up Einstein’s point that creativity is incredibly contagious, especially if you’re a leader.
It might seem scary at first, but you need to expose yourself creatively. Ask a co-worker for feedback on your new ideas. If you’re a business owner, set up team meetings to debate creative projects. Even though feedback can be painful (especially on something personal and artistic) it can propel you and your team’s creativity to new heights.
Why do you think Google employees are encouraged to play beach volleyball and go bowling while on the clock? It’s been proven that having fun engages the creative side of the brain. Additionally, “play” can decrease stress levels, increase optimism, boost motivation and improve overall concentration.
It might seem silly and counter-productive, but play and be spontaneous daily, especially if you’re in a rut. If you’re an entrepreneur, encourage the whole team to put down their work for a few minutes to play ping-pong or tell jokes – I know I do .
Creativity aside, it’s always important to make the time for fun.
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If you liked this article, you can find more tips in my column for Inc. Magazine.