Due to the monotony of everyday life and the frequent stresses that come with living in the modern world, many people often find it difficult to get into a creative headspace or just think creatively in general. This is bad news for those working in business, as the ability to think creatively is essential to the problem solving and innovation needed to succeed as an entrepreneur.

So what can be done to improve your ability to think creatively? The members of the Young Entrepreneurs Council have some recommendations. Below, they share eight actions someone can take now to start improving their creative thinking skills over time, and explain why these steps are so effective in achieving desired results.

1. Journal in hand

Logging tends to work, but you should do it by hand. Numerous studies have proven that the motion of a hand moving across paper ignites your creativity. Write anything. Doodle. Be free. There are no errors in this space. Write yourself questions about your problems, then give some answers. You’ll be amazed at what appears on the page when you’re done. The more you do this, the better you will get at it. Have fun mixing it with different colors if that helps. It gives you a way to start moving forward, and it’s very important when you feel like you’re in the swamp of inaction. Plus, you’ll learn that this process is actually a lot of fun. Creativity in itself should be fun. Writing and doodling by hand can help you get there. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts

2. Immerse yourself in new experiences

One action someone can take now to start improving their creative thinking abilities over time is to try new experiences. It exposes you to new perspectives, ways of thinking, and ways to solve problems, all of which can serve as inspiration for your creative thinking. I recommend traveling, reading a new genre, or even exploring your neighborhood. It helps broaden your perspective and expose you to new ways of thinking, which can inspire new ideas and approaches. Plus, trying new things increases your knowledge and experience, which can also help you think more creatively. I like to walk outdoors, so I often change my walking routes. While doing this I can see different landscapes, steeper hills and different trees. All these elements stimulate my creative thinking. – Renato Agrella, Acerca Consulting

3. Read books outside your comfort zone

One action someone can take now to start improving their creative thinking abilities over time is to read books that are outside of their comfort zone. It’s important to read books that challenge your perspective and challenge you to think differently instead of just reinforcing what you already know. So try to read articles from different genres, be it history, art, business or something else. You will be surprised at how much you can learn. Plus, you never know where your newfound knowledge will end up being useful. Creativity comes from combining different things, so let reading about different things help you enter a more innovative mental space. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

4. Take part in brainstorming sessions

One of the best ways to improve creative thinking skills over time is to participate in brainstorming sessions. When you participate in a brainstorming session, you don’t just interact with others or listen to their ideas, you also learn from their experiences. It refines your thought process as you learn that there are different ways of perceiving things and various solutions to a problem. This is extremely effective because it allows you to think outside the box and consider different possibilities. Over time, it becomes easier for you to tap into the creative zone because your thoughts are not confined by linear thinking. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Shapes

5. Join a Mastermind Group

Start improving your creative thinking skills by joining a mastermind group. A mastermind group is a group of like-minded individuals who meet regularly to share ideas, support and hold each other accountable. Being part of a group like this can expose you to new perspectives and ideas, which can help spark your own creativity. Personally, I’ve been part of a mastermind group for years and it’s been a game changer for my creative thinking skills. The group includes people from different backgrounds and industries, and it’s always interesting to hear their perspective on a specific issue or idea. It helped me think outside the box and come up with new and innovative solutions for my business. – Abhijeet Kaldate, Astra WordPress Theme

6. Learn something new

Learn something new every day, whether on a technical or interpersonal level. Creative minds are always on the lookout for new knowledge and ways to improve their skills. They understand that to maintain their creativity, they must constantly challenge themselves and learn new things. This could be from taking a class, learning a new skill, or even just reading a new topic. By exposing themselves to new information and experiences, they can broaden their perspectives and think differently. Acquiring new knowledge and skills can open up new perspectives and ways of thinking. Additionally, learning new things can also help overcome mental blocks and limitations that may have hindered their creativity. It can also open up new opportunities and possibilities. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

7. Ask more questions

One way to dramatically improve your creative thinking skills is to frequently ask “why”, “what” and “how” questions. For example, when we create a new landing page, I go through a series of questions in my head. “Why are we creating this page?” “What do I want readers to take away?” “How can I make our message as clear as possible? Asking questions will help you connect thoughts and ideas, which is essential for thinking creatively. You can reference and leverage these mental links and exercises with a little practice when working on future projects, presentations, and assignments. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

8. Look for new perspectives

Actively seeking out new and diverse perspectives is one action someone can take to develop their capacity for creative thinking. This can be accomplished by exposing yourself to various cultures, disciplines, and industries through reading, travel, or even attending industry events or networking functions. By actively seeking new perspectives and ideas, one can broaden their mental horizons, gain new knowledge, and improve their ability to think creatively. This strategy works well because it helps escape pre-existing thought patterns and allows for the development of new and original ideas by encouraging seeing the world from new perspectives. – John Rampton, Calendar

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