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How to Enhance Your Creativity

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

What do you do, when you need to spark some creativity? Could your method be improved?

Creativity is an important skill. It can help you immensely in all walks of life; whether it be generating new ideas to impress your coworkers and advance in your career, improvising new meals out of limited ingredients at home, planning a spectacular holiday, or even crafting the perfect poem to profess your love, it’s hard to deny that creativity shows up everywhere. But it's also notoriously difficult to develop. Some theorists have even argued that creativity is not a skill at all (for instance, Plato thought that creative inspiration was literally divine intervention) or that it is in principle inexplicable. Fortunately, many modern researchers and artists have disagreed and have managed to uncover insights that can help you with your creativity. Today, we’re going to share some with you. What is creativity? 🎨🤔 The most common definition used today, in psychology and beyond, comes from the philosopher Immanuel Kant. According to this definition, something (e.g., a person or a process) is creative if it results in creative products. And something is a creative product if it is (a) new and (b) valuable (not in a merely monetary sense). Just being new is not enough, since a random string of letters can be new but probably isn’t creative. And just being valuable is not enough, since things like honesty and good health are valuable but aren’t creative. So, how do you produce new and valuable ideas, theories, arts, crafts, and so on? How do you get more creative?💡🧠 Let’s break it down. One useful framework thinks of creativity as a disposition that involves the motivation and the ability to produce creative products. From this, it argues that people can improve their creativity by enhancing either their motivation or their ability. Enhance your motivation Enhancing your motivation by yourself is a daunting task. The fact that you're reading this article indicates that you don't have zero motivation, but how can you cultivate the motivation you have, keep it alive, and stay on track? We have tools that can help!

  1. Our Achieve Your Goals tool, will help you create a personalized, step-by-step plan for your chosen creative goal and set a regular schedule of reminders so that you can keep track of the milestones that you achieve.

  2. Our Daily Habit Ritual tool builds you a custom habit-formation strategy in three simple steps, so you can change your daily routine for the better.

Setting up mechanisms like these can keep you engaged with your creativity and lessen the likelihood that your motivation ebbs away with less practice. Enhance your ability So you've got the motivation, but how do you enhance your abilities? Research has uncovered some helpful insights. For instance, it is common for models of creativity to emphasize the benefits of:

  • Imitating other creative products

  • Practice (although some evidence suggests that practice is much better for creatively synthesizing ideas than for creatively generating many new ones)

  • Free association of ideas / brainstorming

  • Learning good heuristics (aka rules of thumb)

There also appears to be "weak to moderate" empirical evidence that acute, moderate-intensity physical exercise can help with creativity. However, it's not all about things you do; it's also about your context: studies have indicated that knowing your creative products will be evaluated can hinder your creativity, while being in nature can have some positive effects. Also, collaborative contexts may help with some kinds of creativity (such as music). If you want to dig deeper into this topic and get some help with being more creative, we have developed the perfect tool for you! It will teach you simple techniques that can help you form new creative habits and applications:

This tool usually takes ~20 minutes and will involve some writing and self-reflection.

Final Tips ✅ Finally, we leave you with some more practical tips to enhance your creativity. These come from Georgia Shreve, a composer, fiction writer, playwright, and poet who appeared on the Clearer Thinking Podcast to discuss creativity:

  • Set time aside for interrupted and dedicated creative work and hold it sacredly in our schedule.

  • Experiment with different stimuli (music, movement, a hot shower).

  • Be patient, creativity is not efficient. Take your time and avoid the tyranny of perfectionism.

  • Take short breaks during your creative work (seven-minute breaks should be enough).

  • Simplify your creative environment by keeping it free of distractions.

  • Choose the right criticism at the right time (here is a tool to help you to effectively seek criticism).

You can help us spread creativity by sending this article to a friend!


Jul 29, 2023

Thank you for the interesting resources. One question: It says "here is a tool to help you to effectively seek criticism", but where is the tool?

Jul 31, 2023
Replying to

Hi Adriaan,

Well spotted! It looks like we didn't link that tool where we meant to. I've updated the post now, to include a link to our 'Seek Effective Criticism' tool. Thanks for your comment.

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