What is creative thinking?

Untitled designCreative thinking is possible for anyone to do, it is not just for creative people.

For me it is when a great idea pops into my head whilst I am not actually thinking about much at all!

The normally happens after I have focused on trying to find a solution to something and looking at it from another perspective. At the time I may not have actually found a good idea but allowed myself to wait until one arrived in my head and then when I switch off my brain it seems to go on a subconscious journey and finds me a great idea from a logical place in my grey matter.

This can be achieved consciously by brainstorming ideas or unconsciously by using lateral thinking.

If you ask most people when or where they have their best ideas it is unlikely to be at work while trying to have good ideas! (unless of course your work positively encourages creative thinking).

Your most creative thinking ideas will most likely to occur during these situations;

  • In the Shower/bath
  • Just before going to sleep/in a dream/just waking up
  • On a dog walk or walking a familiar route (such as on the way to work, to the local shop)
  • Driving a familiar route or on a long motorway journey
  • Or on a train/bus/tube journey
  • In a busy café/pub
  • While bored, especially when your thoughts drift off
  • In a meeting/conference/training course
  • When exercising, mowing, ironing, washing up, hovering etc
  • After you have tidied up the house/office/car
  • After or during a repetitive task such as
  • putting things into size, colour or height order
  • When there is nothing to write/capture the idea!
  • When you are most likely to forget the idea!
  • When doing a practical task or creative activity
  • On holiday – or away from the thing that needs solving

In all the situations above the most common thing you will notice is your mind will be relaxed and mostly not thinking directly about the thing you need to solve.

It is likely that you have been previously been trying to think hard about solving something.  During the activities above your mind will usually switch off from the issue.

Then when your mind goes quieter a solution may suddenly pop into your head, or a random thought/visual clue will trigger an idea that makes a connection and solves the problem for you.

Try having a go at one of my favourite creative thinking techniques which also helps you feel more positive and open to new ideas.

At my Retreat in Cornwall we do creative thinking sessions every day with clients who use our sessions to make a difference to the way they think.

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