Entrepreneurs thrive on creativity. It is what breathes life into their businesses and helps them remain competitive. Unfortunately, nobody has an endless supply of creative juices. Sometimes, you have to discover new ways to stoke the fire. And what better way to boost creativity than by studying what your peers are doing?
When you think about famous creative minds – like Picasso, Steve Jobs or Michael Jackson – it quickly becomes apparent that the most innovative people in the world are often willing to defeat the status quo and do things differently. You will ultimately have to do the things that work for you, but the following ideas should get you thinking.
Surround Yourself With Art
For years, the approach to business has been rather clinical in nature. In other words, everything involves following the book and never deviating from the path. Unfortunately, this is very restricting when it comes to creativity and innovation.
“There is a real tendency to opt for sanitized, lean workspaces, designed to encourage staff to just get on with their work and avoid distraction,” psychologist and researcher Dr. Craig Knight says. “If you enrich a space people feel much happier and work better; a very good way of doing this is by using art.”
Albert Scaglione, Founder and CEO of Michigan-based Park West Gallery, agrees with these sentiments and has seen firsthand the role art plays in igniting creativity.
“Art facilitates the work of being free to think about something never done before,” he explains in a post published by T-Brand Studio in The New York Times.
For entrepreneurs, being surrounded by art is considered a good way to find inspiration.
Change Up Your Office Design
If you spend the majority of your time working in your office, then it is entirely possible that your immediate workspace is having a constricting effect on your creativity. Every now and then, it’s a good idea to change things up. Put the desk in the middle of the room. Reposition some light fixtures. Give the walls a new paint color. Altering various elements of your environment will force you to see things in new ways. This will ultimately have an impact on how you view business decisions.
“A change of scenery can completely alter how you get through a day,” says Deborah Sweeney, a proponent of switching offices on a rotating basis. “Maybe you work best when working by a window, or you need to be in the back of the room where it’s less noisy and there’s less foot traffic.”
Spend Time Outdoors
You may be able to spark some creativity by spending more time in the great outdoors. There is something about being surrounded by trees, water and blue skies that makes entrepreneurs more receptive to new ideas and creative thoughts. If you feel like you are unable to get out of your own head, go for a walk.
Don’t assume that you have to wander through a national park to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors. Even a walk around a crowded city block can yield fantastic results. The point is that you are getting out of your bubble and stimulating your senses.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
The nemesis of creativity is your comfort zone. So, if you want to ignite creativity, you must move beyond your comfort zone. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. By nature, we are creatures of habit. We prefer to do things that are safe and familiar.
Make time for getting out of your comfort zone. Schedule weekly networking events. Meet with people who are different from you. Find something that scares you and chase it. This is how you stumble upon new opportunities.
Keep a Creativity Notebook Nearby
As you know, creative thoughts are few and far between. For some of us, we're most creative when we first wake up and get a cup of coffee coursing through our veins. For others, innovative thoughts come in the middle of the night. The important thing is that you’re always prepared to record these ideas.
One tangible tip is to always have a creativity notebook nearby. This is a physical notebook that serves no other purpose than scribbling down ideas. By training yourself to put ideas on paper as soon as they appear, you can ensure you don’t overlook anything.