The Calculated Creative

5 Habits of Highly Creative People

Adopting habits that stimulate divergent thinking patterns enables the generation of more imaginative ideas.

Creativity is a skill that can be developed like any other.

While some people may naturally be more imaginative than others…

Everyone is capable of boosting their creative thinking with the right habits and mindset.

Highly creative people from artists to inventors to scientists all share certain habits that keep the creative juices flowing.

Here are 5 habits shared by highly creative people:

1. They observe everything in granular detail

Highly creative individuals are exceptionally skilled at observing the world around them in minute detail.

They tend to notice subtle patterns, textures, colors, sounds, scents, and ideas that the average person easily overlooks.

Creative people make a habit of carefully and intentionally observing their surroundings.

Always searching for novel inspirations.

They find fascination in mundane objects and unexpected sources.

An app designer might find inspiration for a new interface in the vein patterns on a leaf or the swirling colors in soap bubbles.

A writer might discover the perfect metaphor from gazing at how light filters through a window.

Make a habit of becoming an observer of the world.

Examine common things closely and from different angles.

Look for areas in your environment to explore for creative inspiration.

2. They frequently daydream without censorship

Daydreaming allows the mind to:
- Wander freely
- Make new connections
- Imagine fresh perspectives

Highly creative people understand the immense value of daydreaming for sparking original ideas and insights.

They know that some of their best ideas originate not from intense focus, but from the free-flowing thoughts of an uncensored daydream.

Creative individuals make time each day to simply daydream without purpose or agenda.

They let their minds meander imaginatively without judging or limiting the thoughts.

You can boost your own creativity by setting aside dedicated time to let your mind wander in a daydream without censoring yourself.

Don’t try to control your thoughts or stay focused during this time.

Allow your thoughts to stray into unexplored tangents.

3. They seek out multi-sensory inspiration

Captivating multiple senses at once creates new neural pathways in the brain which can unlock creativity.

Highly imaginative people deliberately seek out experiences that stimulate numerous senses simultaneously.

They find inspiration in multi-sensory sources like music, visual art, movement, nature, even food.

Combining senses sparks the brain to make more creative connections leading to “Aha!” moments.

A fashion designer might listen to music playlists that evoke certain moods while browsing through visual magazines for stylistic ideas.

Or a choreographer might select a particular scent that aroused nostalgia while improvising new dance moves.

Exposing yourself to multi-sensory inputs can help supercharge your creative thinking.

4. They inject playfulness and humor into their work

Playfulness, spontaneity, and humor are gateways for out-of-the-box thinking.

Highly creative people understand the power of play to lower inhibitions and allow the imagination to flourish freely.

They incorporate play into their work lives in order to come up with wonderfully inventive ideas.

Play provides permission to be experimental, curious, and even a bit silly without fear of judgment.

Language games, physical games, and making light of challenges are all pathways to developing a more flexible creative mindset.

Incorporate playfulness into your own work to spark creativity.

Tell jokes, doodle, dance or sing, or make a game out of your challenge before tackling it with a brainstorm.

5. They disconnect to allow mental incubation

Taking time away from actively thinking about a problem allows the unconscious mind to make mental leaps.

And reorganize ideas in innovative ways.

Highly creative individuals know the importance of building downtime into each day for mental incubation to occur.

Activities like taking a shower, exercising, driving, listening to music, or sleeping allow the brain to continue forming connections in the background.

Constant busyness and multitasking prevents original ideas from percolating.

Don’t overschedule your days.

Or feel pressured to always be producing.

Allow time for your creative juices to reset.

Letting your mind relax away from your project or problem can spontaneously yield creative breakthroughs.

The Takeaway

Creativity is all about making connections between seemingly unrelated concepts or ideas.

Adopting habits that stimulate divergent thinking patterns enables the generation of more imaginative ideas.

Try instituting some of the habits of highly creative thinkers to boost your own imagination and unlock your most original thoughts.

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