In our first article on Cracking Creativity, we looked at ways to develop creativity with your team. Today’s article focuses on ways you, as the leader, can stay creative—even when you don’t consider yourself creative. If you find yourself in a creative slump, try these 10 ideas.
1. Surround yourself with creative people. If you need a creative boost, go find someone who always seems to have creative energy. Buy them lunch. Hang out with them. Have them teach you something new. Four qualities of creative people are those who are positive, playful, passionate, and persistent.
2. Start somewhere. Sometimes you have to “force” yourself to begin the creative process. Good songwriters will tell you there are times when it just “comes” to them, but more often a good song takes time, work, and intentionality. Be intentional and create pockets of time for creativity.
3. Expose yourself to new concepts. When was the last time you looked at art? Read a book that wasn’t on leadership? Listened to a new genre of music?
4. Never stop learning. Take a class. Learn how to take better pictures on your cell phone. Try a new recipe. Watch something creative on television, like a cooking show or home renovation show. One of the shows I particularly like to watch when I need creative inspiration is a popular show where aspiring fashion designers compete by creating new looks. While I don’t advocate everything about the show, I’m amazed at what people can design with the most unconventional challenges.
5. Meet new people. New people will challenge the way you think and may give you opportunities to share Christ.
6. Take pictures. Gone are the days of carrying a camera. You have a cell phone! If you see something that sparks your interest, take a picture. If you’re shopping and see something that gives you an idea, capture it with your phone. Start a Pinterest board for ideas you like. You can always look at someone’s idea and make it your own. Also, don’t forget to write things down. Keep a notebook handy for your random thoughts. You don’t want to lose the idea when it comes to your brain.
7. Creativity is a muscle. Use it or lose it. If you are doing the same thing the same way, try to add a new element, change the environment, or include new people.
8. When you’re stuck, go exercise. Lately, I’ve found a place where I can walk two miles around a small lake. There is something about getting some fresh air that gives me new perspective. If you’re at work and you’re stuck, get up from your desk and take a short walk. Clear your head and creativity will come. You need fresh stimulation when you have familiarity blindness.
9. Spend time with children. They are naturally inquisitive and playful. Whether you have your own or you need to volunteer to work in the preschool area at church, being around children can boost your creativity.
10. Finally, stop telling yourself you aren’t creative. Overcome negative attitudes that can block creativity. Fight your fear of failure and be willing to take risks.
In our next article, we’ll look at practical ways to develop creative ideas for a ministry event.
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.