Five Habits of Highly Creative People

Creative HabitsThe sad news is that there’s no magical trick to suddenly become more creative. The good news is that it is still entirely possible to cultivate creativity. You can take the creativity you have and – with the right amount of effort and time – build on it and make it more than it is.

Creativity is much like any other skill in that you should discover role models who display the talents and abilities you want. Use them as examples and follow their lead to boost your own skills. There are several ways you can go about boosting your creativity. Creative thinking allows you to solve problems, create better art, and see the truth and beauty of everything. Here are five habits of highly creative people.

Creative People Look at the Details
Some creative people become worried that knowing too much will stifle their creativity. A Creative person will study the details of the problem they need to solve. The people at Speedo wanted to create a swimsuit enabling swimmers to cut their time, and so they researched all the potential ways to reduce drag. They found plenty of interesting sources, such as shark skin and material to reduce muscle vibrations. What matters is that it works, even if you have to look “out there” to find the solution. Velcro was invented from dug fur and synthetic cocklebur hooks.

Creative People Follow Disciplined Routines
When people think of creative geniuses they imagine someone trapped in a cycle of self-destruction and bursts of inspiration. The reality is that many creative people are actually very disciplined. They understand creativity needs to be worked at.

Think about Stephen King. His work definitely fits the idea of a tortured soul, but he always talks about how important his routine is. He believes that creative routines are just as important as sleeping routines. Do the work, and let the music come to you. So to speak.

Creative People Understand Everything is Important
There is absolutely no telling when you’ll get a great idea, and what might trigger it. There are lots of interesting stories behind creative ideas, but they can only become clear in retrospect. There’s no telling what you were actually thinking or doing at the time.

An example of this is James Dyson and his magical bagless vacuum cleaner. The inspiration? Industrial cyclones used in sawmills to clear the air. Dyson got curious about sawmills and learned about them. He couldn’t possibly have known that learning about sawmills would inspire him to create a modern technical marvel and lead a multimillion dollar company.

Creativity relies on pursuing knowledge in the present without even thinking about how it might be useful or relevant in the future. People always assume the things they do and don’t need to understand. Creative people, on the other hand, soak up knowledge and prepare themselves for opportunities they aren’t even sure will arrive.

Creative People Consider The Timing
A successful creative endeavor is one that fits to the time. Creative people need to understand more than just the technical aspects of their work. They must also understand how it fits into the context of when it is being done.

Think about all the musicians that have managed to have long careers that span decades. The reason they were able to stay relevant so long was because they changed with the times. They remained in the context of the time their music was made. The music business – along with many creative pursuits – are a matter of “adapt or perish”. Consider the iPod. It wasn’t the first MP3 player but, thanks to the creativity of Steve Jobs, it can be considered the best.

Creative People Know When to Give Up
The final trait of creative people is knowing when it’s time to give up on a project. One of the dangers of being creative is wanting to see all of your ideas through to completion. If a project is taking up more time, energy, and money than it would ever return on, then it’s time to give it up. Otherwise you just waste your precious resources. Come up with fun and creative ideas and solutions, but don’t exhaust yourself trying to make them work.

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