How to be Creative, in 59 Seconds

This is taken from 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman, a book that wants to make your life better – in 59 seconds or less. It is all based on scientific research. If you like that sort of thing.

Engage the Unconscious Mind

  1. Address a problem. What is it you are trying to solve?
  2. Do a difficult crossword, word-search, sudoku – or any other task that fully occupies your conscious mind.
  3. Now, without thinking too much about it, jot down the various thoughts and possible solutions that come to you.

The Four Ps of Creativity

Classic self-help. The X-number of Y.

Priming

  1. Work feverishly on the problem.
  2. Then do something completely different: Feed your mind with new things: museum, art gallery, flick through newspapers, go on a train journey.
  3. Leave it to your brain to make the connections.

Put plants and flowers in a room. Green is good. Don’t fake it though – pictures won’t do. Avoid red. Prime people with green objects if you want them to be creative.

Perspective

  • Imagine how a child/idiot/friend/artist/accountant would solve the problem.
  • Think about analogous situations by applying the ‘is like’ rule – how is the problem solved by the analogous entity? Can this be applied to your situation?
  • Think about doing the exact opposite to what you are doing now.

Play

Have some fun. Being too serious constrains your brain. Take a 15 minute fun break.

Perceive

  • Don’t go onto automatic pilot. Become more curious.
  • Ask yourself an interesting question each week. Try to find out the answers. Not just by using Wikipedia.

Quick Creativity Tips

Richard Wiseman has some quick tips for us. How kind *pulls desk towards himself*.

Creative Brainstorming

  • Mix groups of people up to be more creative in brainstorming sessions. Put different kinds of people together, not bunches of friends.
  • Or better, allow people to be creative alone. It makes them responsible alone for coming up with good ideas. Quality and quantity of ideas improve when alone in most cases.

The Power of Art

  • Spend a few moments describing a typical musician or artist. List their behaviours, lifestyle and appearance.
  • Look at modern art to help produce original ideas.

Creative Body Language

  • When trying to be creative, pull the table towards you. Pulling things means you are comfortable with them and comfortable means creative.
  • Cross your arms to help perseverance in the face of failure.
  • Lie down to use your locus coeruleus against rigid thinking.

What do you think?