My niece Sarah was in CVS and, for some reading material, she bought the TIME special issue The Power of Personality. While reading it, she discovered that I’m quoted at length in the article “The Creativity Code.” I didn’t even know about it! Thanks for texting me, Sarah! You made my day. The article quotes from my book Zig Zag: The Surprising Path to Greater Creativity. Here’s my favorite advice from the article:
- Prepare your mind for creative thoughts by continually learning new things. Why not play the harmonica or learn about how corn is planted? (just some random ideas!)
- Seek out people who are different from you. Imagine what it’s like to be someone who is not you, in profession, gender, ethnicity, or any other way.
- Consider working with others on creative ideas. My book Group Genius shows that you’re more creative when you collaborate with others.
- Set the right mood for letting your creativity flow. Getting in the “flow” state of peak experience and intrinsic motivation is associated with greater creativity.
- Stretch your creative skills by combining ideas that are unrelated. Researchers call this “remote association.” For example, draw a picture of a piece of furniture that is also a fruit!
- Go for a walk. Taking time off fosters incubation, a time when your mind wanders and is open to new ideas emerging from the subconscious.
- Build something. When you create something physical, and interact with it, you often see connections to your more abstract and conceptual problems. I carry around a bag of Legos!
- Pursue what moves you. It’s true that if you do what you love, you’ll be more effective and also more creative.
TIME Magazine, “The Creativity Code,” by Sherry Baker, pages 43-49.