Creativity is an important trait to have. Even if you’re not an artist or writer, there are many areas of life that require creativity. You might have to think creatively to come up with a new business pitch or draft a unique cover letter for your dream internship. You can even use creativity when you’re planning your outfit for the day.
Trying to be creative is hard, though. It’s easy to feel burnt-out and frustrated. Rather than staring at your laptop screen or sketchpad and trying to make something happen, you can naturally build up this skill over time. Exercising your creativity in small ways every day can make you more creative!
Here are some simple ways to improve creativity — try these easy creativity exercises for yourself and you’ll see.
Doodling might not seem like a big exercise of creativity, but a little drawing can go a long way. Many of the presidents doodled! The best part about doodling is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. There are lots of opportunities to doodle – in the margins of your notes, on the back of a receipt, on a napkin.
Not only is it a way to exercise your artistic talent (at whatever level it exists) but doodling shows how your mind is working – whether you’re drawing clouds and trees or stick figures or words in bubble letters. It’s a way to examine how your thought process works and get to know yourself better as a creative thinker.
If you’ve never really been a doodler and don’t know where to start, try a doodling challenge like Johanna Fritz’s 365 Doodles!
Writing every day is the best way to improve your writing skills. Just ask any of the great writers out there! However, it can be hard to get into the habit. That’s why I love microfiction.
A microfiction is an extremely short story, normally just a few sentences long. It can even be one sentence long! Having to build an entire story in one or a few sentence(s) challenges your creativity because of the length limit. There are lots of examples out there.
If you realize that you like writing or enjoy the story you’re creating, another route is to write one sentence each day and then add on to it.
Even if you don’t like to write fiction, writing a little every day helps increase your creativity in other areas of life. For one thing, it makes you a better communicator. Communication is an important part of any job you may hold, so upping your communication skills can’t hurt.
This idea combines some of the aspects of the last two. Journaling is a good habit to get into, but it can be hard to keep up with for an extended period of time. A bullet journal is different. It’s for keeping track of things. And it’s one of the easiest ways to improve creativity.
You can use a bullet journal to track what you did every day, your diet and exercise plan, what movies you watched in a month, or nearly anything else you want. (Here’s a bullet journal example from a fellow CF writer, and here’s our guide to setting up a bullet journal for beginners.)
The layout of your bullet journal can be spruced up with some different patterned tape, fun ink colors, and artful lettering. (Here are our favorite pens and highlighters for note-taking and journaling.) The best thing about a bullet journal is that it gives you a routine and is customizable to whatever’s going on in your life.
A mind map is crazy useful for remembering events or exercising creative thinking skills. The way to start a mind map is to write a topic in the center of a piece of paper. Then, you circle it and draw lines extending from that topic. From there, you write words you associate with that topic. Then from there, you draw lines from those secondary topics and write words/phrases you associate with them.
A mind map can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. It can have lots of different colors and drawings or just focus on the words. It can be on paper or digital. (Here’s a great online mind mapping tool to try.)
How do you use mind maps? I find mind mapping is a good way to process my thoughts about anything from a trip I took to deciding what I want to do for a class project. In the above photo example, a mind map is used for note taking. You can also use mind maps to come up with ideas for blog posts or Youtube videos you want to make, or to set goals for yourself (make nodes for “Personal”, “Interpersonal”, “Financial”, “Home”, etc.).
What do you think?
For more on this subject, be sure to see our guide to the best creative hobbies around.
Do you consider yourself creative? What are some other ways to improve creativity? Anything you personally do every day to be creative? Let us know below!