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The Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Creativity

Many of us are so busy today that we neglect to make the time from which break-through solutions and million dollar companies emerge. For the sake of your business, commit to making that space and apply the following strategies to jump-start YOUR creativity today.

1. Be curious and follow your curiosity. Ask until you understand why your corporation takes certain actions. Discover why something is a particular shape. Find out why a process is designed as it is. Explore a natural phenomenon until you fully understand it.

2. Familiarize yourself with the lateral thinking techniques of Edward De Bono and practice them. Edward De Bono developed many techniques to stimulate creative thought. A random selection is The Six Thinking Hats, Provocation and The Random Input and many more. This is an unsolicited endorsement and the
author of this list has no connection with Edward De Bono.

3. Spend 20 minutes a day in a comfortable spot where you will be undisturbed and let your mind wander wherever it will. Using lateral thinking techniques we can generate creative ideas on demand. There are other creative ideas which bubble to the surface given time and quietness of the mind; they are the ones which this point addresses.

4. Try a small measure of something which doesn't harm you in any way which your preconditioning suggests you won't like. Our innate responses are sometimes adversely conditioned by the prejudices of others. Stretch yourself and discover whether your creativity has been constrained by some of these.

5. Work to music that inspires you. Classical music is usually recommended as the most effective. If this goes against your grain, stretch yourself and see if it works (see point 4!). If not, experiment to determine what type of music is most effective for you.

6. Take a break during a high intensity task when you find yourself stuck. Do something completely different, even monotonous, for 10 minutes, or if necessary commit it to your subconscious and sleep on it.

7. Actively seek different stimuli: At least once per month buy and read a magazine completely unrelated to your career or business or usual interests. You will find parallels to problems in the most unexpected places, the areas of interest may be completely different but the challenge is nevertheless the same and guess what - it's already been solved.

8. Go somewhere you have never been before. It does not have to be exotic, just different. It does not have to be a million miles away, it may be a facility in your city you've never previously visited. If you are a city girl, it may be a spot in the country and yes, for a country boy it may be the city heat and the asphalt. Don't let these ideas limit you, take the cruise anyway!

9. Do what your intuition suggests. For many of us today our intuition represents a muscle which is rarely tested. Just like any other muscle, if you don't use it you'll lose it!

10. Carry a book or a mini tape recorder everywhere and capture ALL the ideas your subconscious feeds you. Reinforce for your subconscious its own importance and it will work even harder for you.

About the submitter:
This piece was written by Martin Sawdon who can be reached at or visited on the web at

Martin has a special interest in people in the workplace and the creation of Sustainable Workplaces, corporations which are extraordinarily profitable, extraordinarily effective if public sector but get there by growing people rather than consuming them like a fossil fuel. He coaches clients with integrity and great senses of humor, who are determined to realize achievements beyond their wildest dreams.

Coaching-Works! has been featured on radio and television.

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