THE BLOG
08/27/2013 09:30 am ET | Updated Oct 27, 2013

21 Ways to Be and Stay Creative

2013-08-24-creativitysm.jpg
photodune.net


Working can become mundane after a while. It's important to shake things up a bit to stay sharp and full of fresh ideas. We're constantly creating new products and programs, and after a while, it can become challenging to do something new. We can get comfortable and go with something that has already been done. However, when you want to raise your level of expertise, authority and innovation, you have to become more creative.

Here's a list of 21 ways to charge your creative juices and improve your productivity. Try implementing at least one a day over the next few weeks. You may come up with your own million-dollar idea!

1. Write freely.
Write uninhibited thoughts early in the morning when you first wake up to jump-start your creativity. Brilliant ideas, solutions and reminders will come early in the morning.

2. Keep an idea journal with you at all times.
Whether you love a pen and a pad or you use a notepad app, when inspiration strikes, record it quickly right when the idea is fresh.

3. Write on the walls.
Use extra large paper you can stick on the wall and write your ideas. It'll bring out the kid in you and help you to create freely.

4. Use sticky notes.
Record a single thought then later you can rearrange your ideas into a flow that fits your project.

5. Meditate.
Clear your mind through meditation. Get in tune with your inner spirit and allow yourself to hear divine ideas that are meant for you.

6. Get monthly motivation in the mail.
Subscribe to magazines in your industry and other magazines that inspire you as well. Every week, I visit the bookstore and purchase all the weeklies. They are full of ideas, up-to-the-minute information and the latest trends and styles.

7. Make lists.
Lists are an easy way to get a lot of ideas out quickly, just start writing... more things will come once you get started. (I used this technique to write this list, actually)

8. Break routine.
We are all creatures of habit and doing the same things over and over can dull your mind. Break up the monotony and do things a little different.

9. Get moving.
Ride a bike, run on the treadmill, exercise and get your blood pumping. The increased blood flow positively impacts your creative juices.

10. Take a walk.
Fresh air and natural surroundings will inspire you.

11. Finish.
Un-clutter your mind of unfinished business so you can think more clearly.

12. Browse the bookstore.
Peruse the aisles, check out the New York Times best-seller list, thumb through selections that catch your idea. Go around the entire store, not just your favorite spots. You'll be surprised at what you'll find. I've found great ideas in cookbooks, decorating books, calendars and more.

13. Get order in your office/home.
A clean space will conjure up your creativity. Everything speaks to you... so clear the distractions of clutter so you can hear what inspires you not what's draining you.

14. Add color for creativity.
Colors have been known to enhance your mood and impact your thinking. Go for the color green when you want to be more creative and the color yellow when you want to enhance your mood overall (which also helps your creativity).

15. Experiment.
It's OK to experiment. Try something new with your project. Listen to your gut and go for what hasn't been done before... your best work can spring up out of a hunch! Give it a whirl... you can always adjust later.

16. Surround yourself with creative people.
Creative energy of others can fuel the atmosphere and produce a conducive environment for fantastic ideas to flow.

17. Check out the competition.
It's good to see what your competition is up to. You'll keep your competitive edge and you might find something that sparks an idea for your own projects.

18. Attend conferences.
Live events are a great place to learn new things, meet new people and trade information as well. You may find a new product for your business or meet a potential business partner.

19. Take a class.
Keep your skills sharp by staying abreast of the latest information in your field. Thankfully the Internet makes this process simple. You can take an online course or other courses offered by experts.

20. Create vision boards.
Create a visual of your ideas that you can meditate on often. Put it where you can see it, it will inspire you.

21. Ask "What if?"
Allow yourself to imagine and think freely about ideas that come to you. Focus to remove the barriers and consider how everything would turn out if...

Share with us your ideas for being creative below in the comments section!