The scientists have figured it out. Creativity can be quantified and isolated. It’s not just a burst of inspiration that can’t be captured. You can actually take active steps towards increasing your creative ability. How would you like to boost your creative juices by 200 percent or more with some easy to practice techniques?
This weekend I ran across an article about how to be creative by Jonah Lehrer. According to the article, which was published on the Wall Street Journal website, being creative is a quantifiable trait.
Scientists have been researching the different ways that people are creative and how to improve that creative ability. We look at talented geniuses like Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, or musicians like Beethoven and we are led to believe that their creativity is a magical trait that can’t be duplicated.
Of course, those geniuses have known the secret all along. It’s not magic.
Steve Jobs said that creativity is just the ability to see connections between things.
Thomas Edison was famous for his saying that genius was 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.
Now research has shown that there are actual quantifiable ways to boost your creativity.
What is Creativity?
In order to measure the creative spirit, scientist had to come up with a a way to identify creative moments. What kinds of puzzles or tests might be applied to show when someone is having that “aha!” moment?
Researches came up with a variety of insight puzzles which tests the ability of someone to make connections between seemingly unrelated things. These are generally tests where the subjects would come up with an answer in a moment of inspiration.
For example, find the word that goes with three other words:
Pine Crab Sauce
The answer is: Apple
Each of these words can be combined with the word apple: Pineapple, crab apple, apple sauce.
Then the scientist measure the success rate at answering these kinds of problems under various conditions. They found that under certain conditions students will answer these questions better.
Thus, discovering that there are ways to raise your creativity levels. Let’s explore these methods and find out how you can actively boost your creativity by 200% or more!
How to Boost Your Creativity
Scientist performed research under a variety of conditions to see what kinds of things will affect creativity levels and affect the subjects ability to solve these insight puzzles.
They found that things that tend to foster open-mindedness and relaxation tends to boost creativity in their subjects and resulted in better overall insight scores. In fact, they were able to measure the actual improvements in their subjects to see how much their creativity was improved.
Here are a few of their findings:
Imagining that you are someplace else often helped improve students in their performance on an insight puzzle. For example, if a student were told that the puzzle originated from a foreign country they often performed much better than if they were told the puzzle originated locally.
Being generic helps. When the verbs in a puzzle were changed to more generic terms, there were dramatic increases in the puzzles solved. For instance, if a puzzle used the word “moving” instead of “driving” there was a better rate of success.
Sleepiness helps. This is counterintuitive. However, one of the findings was that people were most creative when they were least alert. So, subjects that were groggy early in the mornings performed sometimes 50% better.
Laughing to be more creative. Researchers also found that subjects that were exposed to a short stand up comedy right before the test performed 20% better.
So, how do we apply these findings. After reading the full article and the research on how to improve creativity. I’ve put together some methods based on the research to boost your creativity by 200 percent or more!
Techniques to Boost Your Creativity
Surround Yourself with Blue
One of the studies showed that when subjects were surrounded by blue, they were often more relaxed. This led to better associative thinking. Red on the other hand made people more alert and analytic. So, use red analytic problems and blue to be more creative. A 2009 study found that blue allowed subjects to double their solve rate on insight puzzles.
Percent Improvement: 100%
Percent Improvement: 50%
Start with a Laugh
Percent Improvement: 20%
Booze It Up
Earnest Hemingway was famously known for being an alcoholic. Perhaps this was the secret to his genius? Scientist discovered that drunk students performed 30% better on insight tests. So, perhaps there is some benefit to booze.
Percent Improvement: 30%
The Big City
Here’s a bonus. Studies have shown that inventors that moved to the big city twice the size of their former town resulted in about 15% more patents.
Percent Improvement: 15%
So, check it out, you put all these things together and you’ll boost your creativity significantly!
Add It All Up: Creativity Up by Over 200%
So, here’s how you can actually improve your creativity by over 200%
First, prepare by setting up your blue room. Surround it with blue. Then stock it with a good amount of liquor and set your alarm clock a couple of hours early. Tape a short 10 minute clip of your favorite comedy routine and get ready for those creative juices to flow!
When your alarm clock rings, get up and stumble over to your TV and put in your comedy tape. Have a couple of shots of liquor while you’re watching. You should have a good buzz going by the time the stand up routine is over. Have some more booze for good measure and weave your way to the Blue Room.
When you do all these things, your creativity level should be roughly 200% improved. Now if you want to bump it up a bit more, you can move to the big city to get a bigger boost!
There you go, if you are a blogger, writer, inventor, scientist, or even just a simple entrepreneur. You can use a boost in creativity. Practice some or all of these techniques and you are on your way!