Creativity is important no matter what you do. Student leaders especially need to be creative to make it work, as Tim Gunn says, whether dealing with people, crazy projects, or school administration.
These 6 steps to better creativity come straight from a developmental psychology textbook*.
- Try to be surprised every day.
In other words, be more in the moment and observant. Notice what catches your attention. It doesn’t mean you have to have a surprise party thrown for you or a prank played on you. Learn to appreciate the little things you take for granted.
- Try to surprise at least one person every day.
Do something nice for someone, say something crazy, dance for no reason. DO something to make someone else’s day better!
- Write down these 2 experiences.
It is important to be conscious of the things that surprise you and your own actions. You will notice patterns and also reinforce in your brain the experiences. Taking the time at the end of a day to think about the day can help you process information better and make connections you may have passed on without the time to ponder.
- When something sparks your interest, follow it.
This one is super fun and a good habit. See an article about a subject you know nothing about? Do 5 minute research on the internet and educate yourself a little! Got a friend who is really into an author that they are constantly raving about? Why not pick up one of their books? See a weird poster walking to class? Take a minute to actually stop and read it. You never know where curiosity can lead you.
- Wake up with a specific goal to look forward to.
No day should be ordinary. Actually, no day IS ordinary. Think about something good you know you want to get done and look forward to having accomplished it by the end of the day. Give yourself personal goals that will make you happy, too, outside of school or work.
- Spend time in settings that stimulate your creativity.
Try doing your homework at that cool cafe on campus you never go to, or maybe the park. Notice yourself going to the same place in between classes? Make a left instead of a right and see where you end up!
Do you do any of these things? Tell us if you have any other tips on creativity, we’d love to hear them.