Creativity is within all of us. What differs from person to person is how they tap into it and use it. Creativity deals with generation of new ideas and concepts while innovation refers to working on original ideas but making it all new or modifying it in a novel way. There is no limit to creativity. The more you push your imagination, the more ideas pop into your head. And you can even better your creativity over time with some techniques that are listed below.

1. List your ideas: When you are trying to arrive at a creative solution for a challenge in front of you, your mind maybe filled with various ideas and random thoughts. By making a list of them all, you will not lose any ideas because of loss in memory. By writing them your mind also starts to process the benefits, risks involved, and so on, of each idea and your thoughts become clearer getting you that much closer to what you want.

2. Rewind – unwind: Many a times when you are desperately looking for creative ideas, it may seem that much harder to get them. In such situations it greatly helps to relax and unwind by taking a walk, or listening to music or playing a game. Do some activity where you have fun and refresh your mind.

3. Change in perspective: Being open to new ideas from other quarters too is required to be able to come up with new perspectives yourself. Also understanding others’ ideas helps us broaden our knowledge horizons and be more effective in our creative work. Being accommodative of suggestions, exploring various perceptions of the same subject, analyzing why a particular idea worked while others didn’t, etc are some methods of increasing your own creativity.

4. Brainstorm: Share and discuss ideas in a group. This not only gives everyone a chance to bring forth their creative ideas, it also helps people look at the proc and cons of each idea, consider all factors associated with it before arriving at a decision by mutual consent. And as the saying goes, two heads are better than one.

5. Reflect on learning: Very often we are in so much of a hurry to finish our tasks and be done with our responsibilities that we seldom sit back and reflect on what we have learnt from the recent experiences. We may observe certain patterns or repetitive processes in our approach; or be biased towards old ideas; or slow on adapting to fast changing needs of our creativity…reflecting on it all will help get better.

6. Use lateral thinking tool: Random input is one of the lateral thinking tools that comes handy when you need to place new ideas on board or see things in a different light. Select a random noun (different from the subject you are trying to solve) from a book and try to build ideas based on that noun. One major benefit from this type of thinking is that it cracks old and repetitive forms of thinking or patterns.

7. Just DO-IT: DO-IT is an acronym, the full form is: D – Define the problem, O-Open mind and apply creative methods, I-Identify the best possible solution, T-Transform. In simple words, the DO-IT process is a methodical or structured process for creativity. It helps you maximize the returns of your creativity.

8. Implement your ideas: Most of the times that you generate an idea, you tend to look at the loopholes rather than appreciate the goodness or returns in it. And as a result, many a times you hesitate to implement it. A good idea may just get wasted. Instead, act upon your idea and as you succeed with each idea, your confidence grows and helps you think of many more creative ones.

9. Read and research: Keep your mind active and informed. Reading up on things that interest you, researching on topics that you are working on etc will help increase your creative juices. Every time you explore something new, you learn. And it is this learning that will fuel your thinking.

10. Permutation and combination: Interesting results are obtained when you permute and combine different items or ideas or attributes of a product, a service or ideology you are working on. Dissect and inspect every aspect of these permutations and combinations to choose the best available or possible creative solution.