Best Practices To Boost Your Creative Thinking Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 May 2021

Regardless of the industry you work or plan to work in, you want to approach certain tasks and problems creatively. Using your creativity can help you achieve short- and long-term goals, contribute to projects with original ideas and help solve everyday problems. In this article, we focus on how to develop and maintain creative thinking skill and give you some examples of careers in which creative thinking is valued.

What is creative thinking?

When thinking creatively, you use your imagination to come up with original ideas and unusual solutions. Creative thinking involves analytical, problem solving, organisational and communication skills. When combined, these qualities help define and solve complex problems and deal with situations that one might encounter on a daily basis, in and out of work.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definitions and Examples

Developing creative thinking skills

Although some people are naturally born with the ability to perceive reality creatively, creative thinking is just like many other skills that can be developed over time. Taking the time to develop it might result in improving the quality of your work and greatly influence the way you approach complicated tasks. If you're actively looking for a job or changing careers, these skills can also help you uniquely present yourself and get noticed by recruiters.

How to boost and nurture creativity

Consider following these steps if you want to develop or improve your creative thinking skills:

1. Approach things with curiosity

Deciding to be curious about things and ideas that may seem complicated at first, but can be a great way to start your journey of developing your creativity. Even the most complex tasks can seem interesting if you approach them in the right way. Focus on the benefits that being curious brings, such as gaining more knowledge about things that intrigue you in daily life.

2. Have an open mind

The willingness to search for and understand new ideas can greatly influence your creative thinking skills. To practice open-mindedness, when approaching even the most familiar situations you should consider how someone else might deal with it. This could help you relate to the experiences and knowledge of others and look at things from a different perspective.

3. Consume content you wouldn't normally choose

If watching films or reading is something you like to do in your spare time, consider getting out of your comfort zone and choosing a new genre. For example, action film aficionados may consider going for a documentary and someone who typically reads historical novels can make the decision to choose a fiction book. Introducing variety to the things you interact with daily is a proven technique to develop new interests and thoughts.

4. Think about how things could be improved

To ensure that your creative thinking skills are being nurtured, you may want to introduce some thought-provoking habits to your daily schedule. A good place to start is by always asking yourself how things you encounter can be improved, what would be the result of those improvements and how it would influence you and others.

Related: Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

5. Stimulate your brain

Boosting creativity doesn't have to be limited to thinking and habit-making exercises. Human brains react positively to other types of activities, including sensory stimulation. Consider adding more colours to your surroundings and wardrobe, listening to new music while you work, or even signing up for pottery or painting classes. Being exposed to new things that sound, smell and feel differently can improve the quality of your creative thinking at work.

6. Observe others

You may want to start by thinking about the people you work with and interact with regularly. Creativity comes in all forms, from painting and writing to being an innovative cook or the person that others consult when they need an original solution to problems. Seeing how others express their creative side and talking to them about it might help you notice what they do to develop and nurture their creative thinking skills.

Related: How to Improve Your Active Listening Skills

7. Discuss ideas with your team

Although looking at a situation through someone else's eyes is not always possible, communicating openly and discussing issues with others in your team is the next best thing. In a teamwork setting, hearing feedback about your ideas may stimulate your creativity. You may even ask your team to introduce thought-stimulating elements to your regular work calls, such as quick Q&A sessions or creating mind maps that represent things discussed in the meeting.

If you work from home and find it difficult to regularly keep in touch with your team, you can consider joining an online discussion club that would help you boost your creative thinking.

8. Don't be afraid to let your thoughts loose

Daydreaming and brainstorming are two things that can boost your imagination long-term. Creative thinkers usually start with having just one idea and adding new thoughts to that, which feeds their imagination and helps them consider all possible outcomes of a situation.

9. Focus on positivity

Typically, with creative thinking, people aim to improve and find new ways of doing things. Having an optimistic outlook might therefore contribute to better work quality and having more innovative, original ideas. To set the negative thoughts aside, you may want to practice gratitude. Understanding that obstacles are a natural part of life is also something that might help to go through each day with a positive mindset.

10. Make time for it

Developing a skill or a set of skills takes time and dedication. To increase your chances of succeeding with it, you may consider setting aside some time every day to explore different ways to boost your creativity. Adding tasks that can help you develop your creative thinking skills to your to-do list can also become a part of your self-care routine.

Related: How To Make Time for Self-Care While Working from Home

Jobs involving creative thinking skills

Creativity and creative thinking skills are an essential part of many careers. We have selected some of them to give you an idea of how a creative job might look like:

1. UX Designer

National average salary: £42,529 per year

Primary duties: UX Designers are expected to use their creativity to research and design online products that people experience when visiting a website or opening an app. They typically combine design and analytical skills to come up with the best solutions that not only look great but are also highly functional.

2. PR Manager

National average salary: £35,324 per year

Primary duties: PR managers are typically responsible for designing and implementing media campaigns for clients from various industries. They need creative thinking skills to be able to present the client's story in a unique, interesting way that is appealing to the public.

3. Museum Curator

National average salary: £26,356 per year

Primary duties: A career as a museum curator may be ideal for someone who wants to combine their research and creative skills. Their daily duties may include researching museum collections, selecting pieces to be displayed as a regular museum collection, and working with artists and museum staff to come up with innovative ways of presenting pieces of art to the public.

4. Classical singer

National average salary: £19.20 per hour

Primary duties: Succeeding as a classical singer involves not only being a trained musician with a great voice but also having the right skill set to exist in the creative world. Classical singers may use their creativity to work with sheet music to interpret a classical composer's vision. Because many pieces they perform date back to renaissance or baroque times, it is important that they can come up with original ideas on how the composer may have imagined it.

5. Tattoo artist

National average salary: £45,803 per year

Primary duties: Tattoo artists are typically responsible for the whole experience that a client goes through when getting a tattoo. From setting an appointment and disinfecting the tattooing area, to choosing the right design and adjusting its elements to fit the client's requirements and unique body shape, they constantly make use of their creative thinking skills.

6. Lawyer

National average salary: £49,278 per year

Primary duties: Lawyers are responsible for providing guidance and legal advice to individual and corporate clients. They need to be effective problem solvers and keep up to date with changes in the law. Since they usually also represent clients in court hearings, creative thinking is an integral part of working as a lawyer.

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