How to boost creativity

Science suggests two strategies for boosting creativity.

Do a thing differently to boost your creativity.

Do an activity differently to boost your creativity.

Perhaps you are problem solving, or looking for a great new idea, or the subject of your next blog post, never fear science can help you in boosting your creativity.  Once a forbidden zone creativity is now in the spotlight of science who are now measuring and revealing the secrets of creativity.  I watched the findings of science on creativity in the BBC science documentary Horizon recently.  Horizon offers two techniques to boost your creativity.

1. Do new things, or the same thing differently.

Will boost your creativity 10 to 15% according to the scientists.  Why? The brain is forced to use new brain pathways which means new potential connections are made.

2. Go for a walk or other low demanding activity.

Interesting experiment asks three volunteers to suggest different actions one can do with a brick over one minute.  For two minutes one volunteer is asked to sit doing nothing, a second volunteer to sort lego bricks into same colours, the third volunteer is asked to build a house using the lego bricks.  After the exercise each volunteer is asked to suggest more ideas to do with a brick within two minutes. The lego house builder is unable to think creatively, the volunteer who did nothing for two minutes also unperformed, the volunteer who sorted lego brick colours flowed with creative ideas of what to do with a brick.  Apparently this test shows that low intense mental activity like a bath, a walk or gardening dampens certain parts of the brain but allows the creative parts to continue to work and make new connections, which is a reason for those eureka moments.

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12 responses to “How to boost creativity

  1. I have discussions with Lixo P. Cat, a low demand activity. I ask his advice, and take ‘meow’ for a yes.

    AV

  2. I can attest to gardening bringing eureka moments. That’s where I sometimes have my best ideas. Almost any activity which I call ‘brainless’ will give the same result. Brainsless being things like washing dishes, vacuuming etc. Since you don’t have to think about these activities, it leaves plenty of room for other thoughts.
    For some reason I cannot get your like button to load,but I like.

  3. We saw that Horizon programme and, as you say, it was fascinating. Reminds me of something I wrote about ages ago, that resting the brain for 10 minutes a day contributes to a healthy and creative mind.

    Underlines that old saying that less is more, doesn’t it!

  4. How interesting… thanks for the share… no wonder when I’m heavily concentrating and trying to write help files.. a short break walk in the garden cuppa tea and smoke .. seems to put me back on track…

    • In my experience rest is part of a process of success. I used to train for a marathon, the rest days were vital for muscles to repair and recover or the risk of injury rises fast. I have never been injured during the five year period of road racing I did, where I was racing nearly every week.

  5. This rings very true. Perhaps it is why when I wash dishes, take walks around the block, or sweep the floor, my ideas seem to flow more freely.

  6. cooking helps and it has the benefit that you can eat it.

    • It appears each individual has their own strategy which helps bring out their creativity. I like the idea of effort that results in something good to eat 🙂

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