4 Extra Ways to Become More Creative

In our previous post, we wrote about how you can easily increase your creativity with five simple ways, which you can read over here (link). And I've also debunked the misconception that creativity is a "either you're born with or without" trait. In case you haven’t read the previous post, here’s a sneak peek - creativity is something you can train to become better at.
Since then, I had many responses on how some of the methods have helped them in their work. A client of mine from a financial institution, Julia, had even tried one of the techniques on her children and the results were almost instant. Rahim, a coaching client of mine, has also incorporated the 20-minute daily walks (method #5) into his routine and has even taken the next level by augmenting it. Rahim now takes his walks without his phone (so he won’t be interrupted) and in its place, a small notepad and a pen, so he can write down ideas that came into his mind during the walk. Genius!
Watching such positive responses just thrilled my team and me and over the past few weeks, we have also researched and personally tested some new techniques and we are going to feature the best four of them (other than the previous five) here today.
After all, there’s no harm in getting more creative, yes?


1. Tap Into Your Peripheral Vision Mode.

This came from one of my past participants, Sunil, who had the benefit of living slightly farther from the bricks and metal and glass of the city. Growing up on a farm (and he still lives there), he shared with me how watching the sunrise had a fantastic effect on his mental state. He described how it helped him become more grounded at the start of the day and it’s often during those few minutes of the morning that he enjoyed the greatest peace of mind (a great start to the day by the way) and credited his most brilliant of ideas from that exercise.
Now, I understand you may not have the privilege of witnessing the sunrise from such a natural setting everyday. Which is why upon further research, I realized that it’s actually the process of expanding the “peripheral vision” that gave Sunil the benefits he described. You’d probably have experienced it when you look out at the horizon, like the vast ocean, endless fields or even forests. Doing that simply widen your gaze, allowing you to take in more of your surrounding.
And expanding your peripheral vision is something you can do even in a windowless office! It merely requires you to look forward, while you raise both your hands to your eye level. Start “wiggling” your fingers as you slowly move them apart, while keeping your gaze forward. You will realise that even as the gap between your hands expands, you can still “see” the wiggling of your fingers in your vision. And there you have it! You have just expanded your peripheral vision.
Bonus tip for parents: If you have a child that is hyperactive, simply help them do this and over a few exercises, watch your child become calmer and focus better.

2. Enjoy Live Music

In the previous post, we talked about how listening to Baroque music can help you expand your creativity and calm your senses. This step takes it to the next level.
You see, when you immerse yourself in live music (preferably something classical, instrumental or acoustic), you are priming your sense of sound and allow it to take over the visualization process. This is why most music aficionados will close their eyes as they enjoyed music and it will enable them to capture even the tiniest of details in a live music environment.
Simply put, it’s like switching off your visual senses (something we use almost 100% of the time when we are awake) and allowing your sense of hearing guide your imagination. While putting on a pair of top-notch headphone can give you that effect too, nothing beats the ambiance and atmosphere that comes with live performances.
Don’t believe me? Swing over (preferably alone) to a restaurant with live music and give it a shot. You'll thank me for some of the creative ideas or even clarity of mind that comes with it.

#3. Stop Watching TV

Ah, this may sound like a common nag from your parents but you know the old adage of how the elders eat more salt than you eat rice? I have to surrender and agree with them on the TV warning.
You see, when you are watching TV, while it engages your visual senses, it actually drones out your focus and mental state. A good friend of mine from the advertising industry even admitted that TV ads and commercials are designed to turn off the “logic” part of the mind so that the marketing messages can be absorbed unconsciously. This is also why some of the smartest companies would choose to show their ads late into the night, because the sleepier you are, the more subjective you will be to what they have to say.
While you may argue that some movies do stimulate thoughts and give you wild solutions to a problem at work, let’s be honest, how often does that really happen? Which is why it’s good to be deliberate in choosing your movies and what you watch, rather than just “stumbling upon” them as you surf the channel.
Remember how we mentioned doodling and sketching on pieces of blank paper? Try doing that the next time when you have the urge to switch on the TV to see what’s on.
Oh yeah, one more thing. You know how some of your friends would say a movie adapted from a book is never as good as the book itself? Listen to them; read the book.

4. Play With Kids (Even if they are not yours!)

Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
"I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.”
Children are the authority when it comes to creativity and if you just watch them play, you will realise there is much truth in that statement. They would naturally color outside the lines, use unusual color and shape combinations for their “artworks” and most importantly, are never tired of asking the “Why?” question.
As you play with them, switch between observation and enrolment mode. You can even have a conversation with them about a problem you are having at work and watch as they sometimes come up with the kind of answers that you would initially would brush aside, but later realised “hey, why didn’t I think about that?”.
On that note, I believe kids are here in the world to remind us that life is fundamentally simple, despite our continuous efforts to complicate it.


And there you have it! Four more ways to boost your creativity. While some of the recommendations may be different from what you normally would do, give them a try. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years of working with clients, the solutions to our problems are often just a few steps outside our comfort zone and just by changing our angle in which we see them.