Cultivating a powerful, results-oriented imagination can help you in numerous ways as a business leader. Whether it is involved in product development or problem solving, creativity offers a pathway to success. Here are four ways to boost yours.
1. Take notes. Whether you prefer pen and paper or your iPad, always keep note-taking tools on hand. You want to be able to record your thoughts whenever that proverbial light bulb goes off, even at the most unexpected times. Don’t let your strokes of creative genius go unrecorded!
2. Meditate. Sir Isaac Newton was once asked how he made such great discoveries. His answer: “By always thinking unto them. I keep the subject constantly before me, and wait till the first drawings open slowly, by little and little, into a full and clear light.” In other words, set aside time to stop and really think about what you could do to improve your business and build your brand.
3. Read short stories. Reading fiction is a great way to stimulate the imagination. And, of course, short stories require far less of a time investment than novels to complete. By reading compilations of short stories, you can draw inspiration from the imaginations of various authors in a relatively small span of time.
4. Give yourself some down time. You’re a small-business owner or a manager, so you really can’t take breaks, right? Wrong. Put away your routine work and just let your mind go for at least a little bit of time every day. As filmmaker Phil Cooke notes, “Creativity happens during the down times — those moments when your mind wanders and makes connections you wouldn’t normally consider.” Note that this differs from meditation in this respect: When you are meditating, you’re constantly thinking about a particular idea, whereas during down time, you’re letting your mind wander freely. There is no self-discipline involved in down time, but there is in meditation.