Using the above creative system models, let us quickly list the areas where your creativity can receive a boost:
- suitable state of mind: nurture your mental health, get enough sleep, avoid stress, learn about the neurophysiology of the mental effort, and work on understanding your own mental states to optimize the conditions and the timing of creative effort. In a healthy, well-managed individual, the best creative results can be obtained early in the morning (e.g. after a cup of coffee). If you are rather mentally slow in the morning and prefer to work late in the night, read: Good sleep for good learning for reasons why you might be different
- suitable environment: turn off the phone, lock your door, turn off the radio, CD or MP3-player (even your favorite music can be distracting), and focus 100% on the studied subject. For inspiration turn to brainstorming, "creative walking", creative blackboard doodles, Ideafisher, or use incremental reading with a heavy load of related study material
- time: for a breakthrough solution, give up as much of little things in life and focus on your goal: keep on learning and thinking. One of the most creative times in Newton's time was when he was forced to the province as the bubonic plague closed his university in 1665. The Beagle trip gave Darwin five years to digest new observations on variability of species. Heisenberg's best time might be when he was recovering from a bout of hay fever on the island of Helgoland in 1925. Seymour Cray found his work at CDC so distractive that he had R&D facilities built out of town at Chippewa Falls
- motivation: this one is hard to develop. The vicious circle of bad motivation comes from the fact that once there is no motivation, you have no motivation to develop it. Luckily, the fact you are reading this article may testify to the fact that your motivation is sufficient (this may though not translate to self-discipline and execution yet). Psychogenic motivation of a creative mind comes from an unshakeable hierarchy of values, a lofty goal well-rooted in that hierarchy, and understanding of self-discipline techniques. Sticking carefully to all points of the Genius Checklist is critical for boosting your motivation
- curiosity: lifelong learning is a sine qua non of creativity. The more you learn the more curious you become. What is irrelevant trivia to most, may become a fascinating aspect of the universe for you. An average man curses a rock he stumbles against. A great scientist can pick up a rock and write a dissertation about it. This is exactly how the groundbreaking theories of continental drift or plate tectonics begun. The more curiosity you find in your mind, the better your creative prospects. If you doubt your own curiosity, try incremental reading on subjects that are interesting to you today. If you persist for some time and hone your incremental reading skills, you curiosity may in time grow beyond manageable limits. You will hopefully discover that even if there were twenty of you, you could hardly lick the surface of interesting things to do or study
- knowledge: knowledge is the software of your creative engine. The more knowledge you throw at a problem, the more new ideas and associations you will be able to generate. Most of new associations is chaff but with scrupulous recording habits you will learn how to sift the wheat. No major breakthrough in science or engineering is produced in a knowledge vacuum. Human brain works incrementally. It is basically unable of great leaps. Even Einstein arrived at his breakthroughs in incremental manner by piecing the blocks of the jigsaw puzzle produced by the non-relativistic physics of his time. Your creative breakthrough in the area of chemistry may come while studying architecture. See also: Ideafisher
The shortest formula for enhanced creativity: quiet, focus, curiosity, understanding the creative process, and inter-disciplinary knowledge. To boost your creativity, keep fit, work on ensuring peaceful and creative working conditions, learn to focus ("keep rats in control"), learn to boost parallel processing ("unleash the rats"), add more time to creative training, and keep on learning new things that could potentially be a source of inspiration.
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