Want to Be More Creative? Do This 1 Easy Thing
It seems like the whole world is chasing that ever illusive trait: creativity. Experts have suggested everything from hacking into our creativity while we sleep to living abroad as a way to enhance your creativity, but now, researchers are suggesting something a little more simple. We already know that daydreaming makes us more creative, but apparently if you make an effort to focus that daydreaming on yourself, you might see big results. A new study out of the University of Georgia found that visualizing yourself as a creative “artist type” is a surefire way to amp up your creativity.
The researchers call it the “creative stereotype effect.” Here’s how they explain it in the study: “Methods of stimulating creativity in science, engineering, business, the arts and the humanities have leaped to the forefront of political, economic and research agendas across the world. In general, the effectiveness of these methods of stimulating creativity stem from tasks that remove self or socially-imposed constraints on creative thinking. In this investigation, we conceptualize a previously unidentified constraint on creativity — stereotypes.”
In other words, they looked at the effect imagining oneself as a creative genius (think David Bowie or Beyoncé) has on a person’s creative output. First they gave participants a task, which was to come up with uses for everyday objects. Then, they had some participants imagine themselves as a stereotypical eccentric poet and others as a rigid librarian. The results were clear: The participants who imagined themselves as eccentric poets came up with more and more original uses for the objects than their counterparts. Whoa!
In their conclusion, the researchers suggest that their results could explain why we’re so worried about declining creativity — and it has a lot to do with the way our school and professional systems test people. “In any system that places an emphasis on test-scores, test takers may feel compelled to adopt a rigid perspective when performing a creative task. Therefore creativity may not be declining, rather test takers may be adopting a more and rigid perspective or stereotype, hindering their performance.” This research could have a major impact on how we structure our day-to-day lives, and the lives of kids.
Do you think imagining yourself as a creative type would boost YOUR creativity? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!
Back in January, we introduced you to a feel-good cause to inspire your New Year's resolution: a walking challenge to help raise funds for the amazing cancer fighters at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I took part in the challenge with the Brit + Co team and ended up walking 105+ miles in January — it was awesome.
This spring, there's a new challenge on the horizon, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Big Climb. The ask: On May 15, 2021, you can step up to take cancer down by committing to climb 1,311 steps, walking 3.2 miles, or doing 440 chair step-ups at home as part of the Big Climb. If you need some motivation to bring movement back into your daily routine — look no further!
As always, it's free to sign up, but climbers are encouraged to set a fundraising goal to help beat cancer. We'll be organizing another Brit + Co team to step up, and I hope you'll join us too! Keep scrolling for a peek at where I'll be completing the challenge in my Los Angeles neighborhood around the hidden Silver Lake Stairs. Happy climbing!
Never underestimate the power of an accountability buddy! I asked my in-laws, my partner, and a few friends to join me so we can keep each other motivated and accountable in completing the challenge — virtual high-fives all around! Also, my dog Fox is a great climber, too.
An aesthetically pleasing backdrop is a huge motivator for me! I'm fortunate to have all sorts of painted steps around my neighborhood to keep the challenge interesting, but you can also keep cool inside with at-home chair step-ups.
Don't forget to share your progress on social — #BigClimb!
Feel free to break the challenge up if you need to by tackling half the distance in the AM and half at sunset. Here's me 1,311 steps later and ready for a break — but, think I earned this one!