is thinking of new and productive ways to do things. Creativity is often associated with artistic expression, or scientific discovery, but creative people can apply their imaginative skill to take a new perspective and solve problems in many areas of life. Divergent thinking is the creative ability to interpret a question in different ways and think of several solutions to a problem.
Simple Ways to Practise Creativity
Develop a range of ways to express yourself artistically, through music, drama, writing, painting and drawing
Redesign your room, home, or garden
Make cards, or craft items to give to others, or sell at a fayre, or fundraiser
Use your imaginative skill to consider ways to overcome problems at school, or work
Approach work or school assignments creatively by trying to find new ways to look at the subject or problem, or by considering a diverse range of solutions
A longitudinal study of creativity asked participants to consider how many uses they could think of for a paperclip. Try this yourself, or with a group of friends. Take a piece of paper and write your ideas down. You can compare them to the list of ideas here. You can hear more about the original study from educationalist Ken Robinson, in the YouTube clip below.
Keep a personal journal of ideas and connections. Review it regularly and decide which ideas you plan to develop
When thinking about bigger projects, use mindmaps to organise your ideas and link related ideas together. Text 2 Mind Map is a free online mind mapping tool which allows you to create colourful mindmaps which can be downloaded, or shared via facebook or twitter.
When solving complicated problems, try 'problem-mapping'. This can be done on your own, or with a group of friends:
1. Take a piece of paper and write down the problem in one sentence in the middle of the page;
2. Write all the possible causes of the problem on post-it notes;
3. Stick the post-it notes on the page to show how they relate to the problem; and each other;
4. Consider each post-it note, how it affects the problem and using a different colour of pen, write down all the ways in which you think it could be changed;
5. Decide which changes you'd like to make and make an action plan, describing how this will affect the problem.
Educationalist Ken Robinson makes an entertaining case for an education system that nurtures creativity.