My whole life, I’ve thought of myself as a creative person: I was a writer, I was a reader, and I had a crazy imagination. One day all of that went away. Technology started dominating my life to the point where I had no real use for my imagination anymore. I didn’t read or write or do anything remotely creative for a while because I felt like I had such a mental block in my brain.
This semester, for my Marketing minor, I had to take Marketing 101: Creativity and Innovation. In just the few weeks that we’ve been back at school, this class has really helped me open my mind back up and let the creativity back in again.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has ever suffered from a creative block so I’m going to share a few tips that have really helped me out.
1) Stop writing boring notes
We’re all so conditioned to write our notes in perfectly straight, black inked lines. This standard formula definitely hinders creativity. In class, we were instructed to get an unlined notebook and colored pens and pencils to take class notes in. Because of this, we’re able to create colorful mind maps and it really helps think out of the box.
2) Say everything that comes to your mind (within reason)
The most helpful thing I’ve learned all semester is that you have to fail in order to succeed. That means if you have a thought, say it. This can apply to anything in life, but it will especially apply if you’re doing a group project and want to share an idea, but are afraid of sounding stupid. If you can get over your fear of failure then it’ll be a million times easier to truly be creative.
3) Turn off the electronics
Shut off the laptop, turn of the television, and step away from your phone. Instead of staring at a screen all day, read a book or draw a picture. Actively using your imagination this way is like exercise for the brain. Creativity is very “use it or lose it”. If you don’t keep your brain functioning on a high level then it won’t work when you really need it to.
Everyone is born into the world with an active imagination and the ability to be creative. This is why children have imaginary friends and can play with dolls for hours. Along the way, the rigidness of the school system, stress over every day life, and technological advances shut out the creative parts of our brain until they barely work anymore. The good news is that you can always get your creativity back. You just have to be willing to break out of your comfort zone and think outside the box. Once you achieve this, you can do anything.