14 Exercises That Will Increase The Creativity In Your Life

By now, we all know that creativity is key to marketing. Whether you’re trying to make a video go viral or you’re simply trying to find a new angle on a product, marketers live and die by how many new, fresh ideas they can produce. ’Tis the season for coming up with impossible goals, but deciding to increase the creativity in your life is both easy and well worth your time.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Honelife.com
The life of a creative genius is typecast as a lonely one, but it doesn’t have to be for the semi-creative hoi polloi. Stop by Honelife.com, a site that asks for creative representations of a single word each week. New words go up on Sunday, and the site accepts artwork, photography, small musings, and essays.

2. The Daily Draw
Visual thinking isn’t easy if you’re not born with it but think of it as a muscle you need to exercise. Draw something from memory each day to increase both your recall skills and your ability to picture things. If you frequently work with designers, they’ll notice the difference in your ability to “see” what can be put on a page.

3. Write a Riddle Weekly
Fun fact: The Riddler is one of the least-utilized of the classic villains in Batman: The Animated Series, simply because writing riddles are hard. Exercise your vocabulary by using words in new ways for these puzzles.

4. #HumpDayHaiku
Every week, Twitter becomes inundated with haiku poems. Haiku requires you to carefully use only 17 syllables to create a meaningful thought. Join the hashtag every Wednesday to practice condensing your thoughts.

5. Design a Personal Logo
If you’re primarily a writer, this will stretch your skillset, but that’s okay. Think about what makes you, you. Don’t just take the easy way out and incorporate a pen into your initials. Instead, express yourself through font choice and color. This will force you to consider the implications of each design element.

6. Go Modern
Visit a modern art museum and postulate why each work is important or what it’s saying. Remember, not every line is a reference to our place in the universe. Read the title of the work and make the connections.

7. Go to Your Mind Palace
The Method of Loci is actually a memory device, but if you force yourself to create a new building, not by memory, but by creativity, you’ll be exercising those creative muscles, as well as your ability to picture and hold things in your mind.

8. Read a Script
Comic scripts are great ways to test your creativity, but this works just as well with movie or television scripts. Read the script, and pause to give voice and expressions to each character. Try it on a character you’re not familiar with, or you’ll just be using your memory.

9. Play Board Games
Games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity test your ability to make connections. Snake Oil, a recently popular board game, takes it a step further by asking you to “sell” two words that you put together to another player. The best defense and word combination wins.

10. Make Headlines
Rework headlines on news stories you read throughout the day. Feel free to make them humorous, just tighten them or rewrite them entirely. It’s an old journalism school trick, and it makes you think about how words physically fit on a page and what words you really don’t need.

11. Remove Five
Each time you finish an article or a news brief, remove five words. If you tend to be wordy, remove five from each paragraph when possible. If you’re a tight writer overall, just take out five from the whole piece. Unless you’re Hemingway reincarnated, it’s entirely possible.

12. Play Minecraft
The game that’s often referred to as “virtual Legos” will undoubtedly awaken the creative spirit in you. You have access to a limited number of functions within the game world, which leads to exploiting and working around those limitations.

13. Take a Picture
Each day, take a photo that sums up your mood. Eventually, you’ll run through the obvious sunsets and rain showers, and you’ll be forced to be more creative. Maybe a single shadow on the floor represents your loneliness, or your still-made bed and clock showing midnight reflects your busyness. It doesn’t have to be art, but it does have to be different each day.

14. Make a Collage
Making a collage, especially for a friend, forces you to go through the effort of distilling their personality and choosing images to go with those traits and hobbies. Whether you create a mood board for a fictional character, your brand or your best friend, the art of choosing what fits and what stays in the magazine can give you a better grasp of your subject.

Take time each day to nurture your creativity and you’ll see results in both your personal and professional lives.