17 Fun Ways to Boost Your Creativity (2023)



Kendra Cherry, MSEd

17 Fun Ways to Boost Your Creativity (1)

Kendra Cherry, MSEd

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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Updated on March 16, 2023

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Amy Morin, LCSW

17 Fun Ways to Boost Your Creativity (2)

Medically reviewed byAmy Morin, LCSW

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk, "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

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Creativity is the ability to come up with or recognize ideas to solve problems, communicate with others, or entertain.

Creativity is all about finding new ways of solving problems and approaching situations. This isn't a skill restricted to artists, musicians, writers, or "right-brained" thinkers; it is a useful skill for people from all walks of life. If you've ever wanted to boost your creativity, these tips can help.


Commit Yourself to Creativity

The first step to increasing creativity is to devote yourself to developing your creative abilities. Do not put off your efforts. Set goals, enlist the help of others, and put aside time each day to develop your skills. For example, if you are interested in painting, schedule time regularly to learn and practice your skills.


Boost Creativity by Becoming an Expert

One of the best ways to develop creativity is to become an expert in this area. By having a rich understanding of the topic, you will be better able to think of novel or innovative solutions to problems. One way to develop expertise is by reading about creative people and listening to them speak.


Reward Your Curiosity

One common roadblock to developing creativity is the sense that curiosity is an indulgence. Rather than reprimanding yourself for following an internet rabbit hole, reward yourself when you are curious about something. Give yourself the opportunity and the time to explore new topics.

Rewarding yourself is important, but developing intrinsic motivation is also crucial. Sometimes, the true reward of creativity is the process itself, not the product.


Take Risks to Build Creativity

When it comes to building your creative skills, you must be willing to take risks to advance your abilities. Although your efforts may not lead to success every time, you will still be boosting your creative talents and building skills that will serve you well in the future.

For example, sharing your work in a creative writing course might feel intimidating. But the critique you receive from classmates and teachers can be invaluable.


Build Your Confidence

Insecurity in your abilities can suppress creativity, which is why it is important to build confidence. Note your progress, commend your efforts, and always be on the lookout for ways to reward your creativity.

How to Be More Confident


Make Time for Creativity

You won't be able to develop your creative talents if you don't make time for them. Schedule some time each week to concentrate on some type of creative project.

Making time for creativity might involve saying no to some things that are draining your available time, or even choosing to let go of things in your schedule that are not bringing you joy. Sometimes, it might even involve asking others to help with tasks or take care of childcare and other household duties so you have some free time for your creative pursuits.


Overcome a Negative Attitude

Focus on eliminating negative thoughts or self-criticisms that may impair your ability to develop strong creative skills. Recognize these as roadblocks and work to overcome them.

When you find yourself dwelling on negative thinking, make an active effort to challenge those faulty ideas and replace them with more realistic or positive ones.


Fight Fear of Failure

The fear that you might make a mistake or fail in your efforts can paralyze progress. Whenever you find yourself harboring such feelings, remind yourself that mistakes are simply part of the process. While you may occasionally stumble on your path to creativity, you will eventually reach your goals.


Brainstorm New Ideas

Brainstorming is a common technique in both academic and professional settings, but it can also be a powerful tool for increasing creativity.

Start by suspending your judgment and self-criticism. Then start writing down related ideas and possible solutions. The goal is to generate as many ideas as possible in a relatively short span of time. Next, focus on clarifying and refining your ideas in order to arrive at the best possible choice.

Go Dark

As unlikely as this may seem, recent research points to dim light as a trigger for creativity. Darkness may free you from perceived constraints and encourage you to take creative risks that may seem intimidating in bright lighting.


Explore Multiple Solutions

The next time you approach a problem, try looking for a variety of solutions. Instead of simply going with the first idea you have, take the time to think of other possible ways to approach the situation. This simple activity is a great way to build both problem-solving and creative thinking skills.


Keep a Creativity Journal

Start keeping a journal to follow your creative process and track the ideas you produce. A journal is a great way to reflect back on what you have accomplished and look for other possible solutions. This journal can be used to save ideas that can later serve as future inspiration.


Use Mind Maps and Flow Charts

A mind map is a way to connect ideas and look for innovative answers to questions. Create a mind map by writing down a central topic or word. Next, link related terms or ideas around the central word. While similar to brainstorming, this technique allows for branching ideas and offers a very visual way of seeing how ideas are linked.

As you start to develop a new project, create a flow chart to track the project from start to finish. Look for various paths or sequences of events that might occur. A flow chart can help you visualize the final product, eliminate potential problems, and create unique solutions.


Challenge Yourself and Create Opportunities

Once you have developed some basic creative skills, it is important to continually challenge yourself to further advance your abilities. Look for more difficult approaches, try out new things, and avoid always returning to the same solutions you have used in the past.

In addition to challenging yourself, you also need to create your own opportunities for creativity. This might involve tackling a new project or finding new tools to use in your current projects.


Try the Six Hats Technique

The "six hats" technique involves looking at a problem from six differing perspectives. By doing this, you can produce more ideas than you might have had you only looked at the situation from one or two points of view.

  • Black hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
  • Blue hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
  • Green hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
  • Red hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
  • White hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
  • Yellow hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?


Find Inspiration to Boost Creativity

Never expect creativity to just happen. Look for new sources of inspiration that will give you fresh ideas and motivate you to generate unique answers to questions. Read a book, visit a museum, listen to your favorite music or engage in a lively debate with a friend.

Use whatever strategy or technique works best for you. Do you enjoy video games? Research indicates that playing video games can help increase your creativity.


Consider Alternative Scenarios

When approaching a problem, ask "what if..." questions to consider each possible scenario. If you take a specific approach, what will the outcome be?

By looking at these alternatives beforehand, you'll be better able to develop creative solutions to problems.


Try the Snowball Technique

Have you ever noticed how one great idea often leads directly to another? You can take advantage of this by using a "snowball technique" when you are generating ideas for a project. If an idea isn't appropriate for your current work, set it aside to work on later, or implement it in a future project.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What stimulates creative thinking?

    Strategies that can help stimulate creative thinking include challenging yourself to think about things differently, engaging in leisure activities that reduce stress, having social interactions with other people, and taking a break from a task to go for a walk.

  • How can I improve my creativity and imagination?

    Give yourself time to be creative. Engage in hobbies and pursue the things that spark your interests. Allow yourself to daydream or imagine different scenarios. Perhaps most important, allow yourself the freedom to pursue different ideas and take risks. Not every idea will pan out, but the process and practice will help you boost creativity and develop a stronger imagination.

What Can You Do to Get Out of a Rut?

5 Sources

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Franken RE.Human Motivation. 3rd ed. Brooks/Cole Publishing Company.

  2. Steidle A, Werth L. Freedom from constraints: Darkness and dim illumination promote creativity.J Environ Psychol. 2013;35:67-80. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2013.05.003

  3. Tilly M. How to create a mind map (+examples). The Institute of You.

  4. De Bono E. Six Thinking Hats. Penguin, Limited.

  5. Blanco-Herrera JA, Gentile DA, Rokkum JN. Video games can increase creativity, but with caveats.Creat Res J. 2019;31(2):119-131. doi:10.1080/10400419.2019.1594524

17 Fun Ways to Boost Your Creativity (4)

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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