I learned something very interesting today – apparently Thomas Edison patented more than 1093 inventions. Even though so many patents might not be necessarily a good thing, you have to admit that the number is incredible. It turns out that he made it his life goal to invent something minor every 10 days, and to make a major invention every 6 months.
How can one possibly be so creative so often and on demand, you might ask, since most of us can never imagine fast-lining the creative process. I had a very similar thought, so I decided to dig a little deeper.
Apparently, there have been numerous studies conducted on this matter, and a lot of them agree that creativity can be trained, like a lot of other mechanisms of our mind and body. So I ended up finding 5 ways that can significantly boost your creativity:
- Write things down. On the surface this one seems simple and obvious, but if you do this on a daily basis and then actually compare your ideas from different periods of time or expand on them – this can lead to some amazing results.
- Create a folder on your PC, laptop or phone, and use it to save pictures, materials, articles or brochures you found interesting, fun, enlightening or mind blowing. Albert Einstein once said that the key to creativity lies in the ability to hide your sources of inspiration.
- Add some spontaneity into your life. If each new day resembles Groundhog’s day to you, with the same commute to your job, same work routine, same dinner and evening activity, then make a change and surprise yourself. Switch things up, change your job, go to an exhibition instead of a movie, agree to a sudden roadtrip or buy something you really want on impulse. Do something different that will change up your daily routine and will add some new colours into your life.
- Even geniuses sometimes require some creative doping, and I definitely am not implying any substances here. Look for ways to expand your horizons and open your mind to new ideas. Salvador Dali, one of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, used a method of day-dreaming he developed himself. He would try to relax and enter a light sleep state, and would then wake himself up (by dropping a spoon he was holding while falling asleep on a plate). He said that this borderline state was responsible for some of his most genius ideas. Very little effort for such a huge payoff, wouldn’t you agree?
- Dare to make even minor things creative. Another genius, Leonardo Da Vinci, used a different method of boosting his creativity. He would relax and cover a piece of paper with scribbles and lines – the smallest things that came into his head. He would later study them carefully and find images in this chaos that inspired some of his works and inventions.