It's Spring! 10,000 steps (more or less) to Creativity

The spring weather is finally here and it’s fabulous! That means a lot to us folks in Cleveland. It’s still a crapshoot here with one day in the 70s and the next in the high 40s. But no matter where you live, spring offers a great opportunity to boost your creative juices.

 Take a walk

Walking has proven to boost creative thinking. A Stanford University study (Oppezzo and Schwartz, 2014) demonstrated that walking increases creative ideation – “the effect is not simply due to the increased perceptual stimulation of moving through an environment, but rather it is due to the walking. Whether one is outdoors or on a treadmill, walking improves the generation of novel yet appropriate ideas, and the effect even extends to when people sit down to do their creative work shortly after.” Even philosopher, Friedrich Nietzche thought so (back in 1889) when he wrote, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.”

 So – go take a stroll, a hike, or a saunter, and let your thoughts soar! Want more ways to boost your creativity?

5 more proven methods to help the inspiration flow:

  • Play. Whatever your definition of play is, it’s an important part of being human and a way to stimulate new thinking.

  • Draw, paint, or doodle. Creativity sparks creativity. And there is no room for self-judgement here – just do it – whether it’s in the moment during a meeting or if you find the time to carve out and express yourself.

  • Be inspired. Be stimulated by other thoughts or ideas – simply by watching or listening to a TED talk for example (with your phone, inspiration is at your fingertips).

  • Music and daydreaming. Whether you are in your car (limit the daydreaming part perhaps) or in the shower or just relaxing, put on some of your favorite music and let it take you where it will.

  • Change your environment. Which is also a good way to incorporate a walk. Go to an art show, to the museum, a coffee-shop, anywhere that will inspire you visually and expose you to new perspectives.

A common theme?

Yes – it’s all about breaking your pattern of thinking. A key component that we incorporate into all of our ideation sessions is the use of stimulus. Pictures, concepts, questions, or exercises that make you pause and connect dots that you thought might not have any relevance – and they may not – but what it will do is spark a new idea. So, do your mind and your body a great service by taking a walk today!