Day 38: Five Minutes a Day Can Improve Your Creativity


It’s fun to imagine creative possibilities, but we can make them real by focusing about five minutes a day.

One of the most enjoyable creative activities I know requires just a few minutes a day and can turn our thinking around and around.  It’s called, exaggerating the idea. You’ll need a book for doodling and five minutes a day.

Choose a topic, for example, “the thing that annoyed me the most today.”  Then, write down how that annoying thing could be made even more annoying.  Our brains tend to think of ways to stop the annoying activity, but to exaggerate the issue, the brain will need to purposefully think backwards from its normal tendency.  Get it?  Now how does that play out in action?

I still laugh at my drama class’s responses in some of these games.  Each group chose their most boring class or teacher and wrote a list of ways the teacher could make the class even more boring.  Their list included: Make the clock tick even louder so that we are more aware of the time passing slowly; have students stand just outside the window playing a fun game that we can only watch while sitting in the class, etc.

Results from creative activities were fruitful.  These games inspired skits such as, “Help! I lost my liver.”  These kids were quirky and fun.

Iowa State University teaches courses which include these types of activities.  We, on the other hand, could spend about five minutes a day and use these strategies ourselves.

Now it’s up to us.  We will not improve our creativity by just reading this blog post. We actually have to participate in the activity.  Let’s get our doodle books ready, plan a five-minute creative exercise time, and let our brains go wild.

Here are some starter topics:

Imagine how to make the garbage can overflow more quickly.

Imagine how to make the dog bark more often and more loudly.

Imagine how to amplify the sound of someone eating popcorn at a movie.

Imagine how to step in every pile of dog poo or freshly spit out gum on the street.

Most people think of success and failure as opposites, but they both are products of the same process.” -Roger von Oech (my favorite creative thinking guru)


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