Guest post by Diego Kerner, Managing Partner for Latin America.
I recently did an interview on the subject of stimulating creativity with the leading Argentinian newspaper, La Nacion. The interview was with Sebastián Campanario, an expert in "neuro-economics". The article feetaures personal tips and rituals to get good ideas. Below I summarize some of the key points from the article, which is here to download for Spanish speaking readers.
1. Be a sprinter, not a marathon runner
Organize your days in blocks of 45-60 mins and force yourself to ALWAYS have a break between these slots. This way, your mind will be refreshed and energised to generate more ideas. Indeed, the challenge here is not really time management, its energy management.
2. Change your routines
The richer the stimuli your brain receives, the higher the chances of new mental connections and hence new ideas. Easy ways to do this are changing your route to work, reading different magazines or newspapers and talking to new people.
3. From ha,ha to aha!
Laughing more is good for creativity. Believe it it not, when you laugh you both generate a better mood more fertile for creative thinking and also oxygenate more your brain. Perhaps those table tennis tables and the like in creative agencies do play a useful role after all!
4. Sleep on it
In the last few years many researchers have talked about the benficial effect of a 15-20" nap. So if you are facing a problem that needs creative answers, sleep on it with a quick nap
5. Less fat, more ideas
An excess of fatty or heavy food may be good for your siesta, but definitively not for generating good ideas. Watch out what you eat and hydrate yourself if you want to be more creative.
6. Stress is an Idea killer
Opposite to what popular culture believes, when you feel you are in danger or over stressed, you tend not to think creatively, as your mind is set in a escape-survive/attack mode. So, if you feel under pressure, better to breathe a bit, calm down, have a walk and just then start thinking creatively again
7. Be ready when ideas come
People have different moments when creativity strikes. It could be when running, when having a shower, immediately after walking up, in the middle of the night, when driving. Try to figure out when you are at your most creative, and do idea generation at these times. And always have at hand a pen and post-its or voice player to capture ideas when they do come.
In conclusion, whilst we might never be as creative as Einstein or Picasso, we can definitiely increase our chances of being creative by following these tips. So, why not try one of the tips and see what unfolds in your day? Good luck!