Routine is one of the greatest enemies of creativity. We all, in general terms, tend to do things the same way, everything must be in its place and we feel very lost if something violates the routine.
Let’s take an example, when we leave the house and take the car keys, we mechanically extend our hand towards the entrance table where we usually place them, but what happens when it is not where it is supposed to be? We don’t even bother to think, we directly shout “where are my keys? We don’t get the answer so we say, maybe I left them in that other place …? suddenly we realize it and we say, “let’s see, let’s think a bit, when was the last time I took the car? What clothes was he wearing? Did I enter through the door of the house or the garage?… And the mental process to find the keys begins. We are not guilty, it is our brain that tends to be “lazy”, to follow its routine processes.
Let’s see another example, people who usually read a newspaper and find themselves in the need to buy a different one, let’s imagine that their usual one is sold out. For the new reader it is a tremendous discomfort, used to finding his favorite sections on certain pages, he will pretend to find them in that same place, our brain returns to act mechanically, therefore, when there are no sections “where it has to be ”The reader feels annoyed, irritated. It is a good opportunity for our brain, not knowing where our favorite sections are in the new newspaper means reviewing each page carefully, which will allow us to know new sections, ways to present the news, the highlighted sections or news, etc.
Let’s see a last example, when it comes to having our usual coffee or aperitif, we are sure to always go to the same place. But not only that, surely we also try to sit in the usual place or in the second place as always … So it is not surprising that on some occasion the owner of the establishment decides to mount a small exhibition of photographs or paintings to help a friend of yours, and no one notices the changes. Our way of acting within the establishment is so mechanical that “we don’t find out anything”. Therefore, it is a matter of changing your establishment, and if you cannot, try to sit in totally different places every day, and force yourself to look at a different detail of the establishment every day and examine it with curiosity, more than one will be surprised “did that? been there always ?.
We have to start doing exercises in our daily life that forces our brain not to take everything for granted and work continuously. For this reason, our first batch of exercises have to do with our daily behavior, what we can do so that our mind is open and captures all external stimuli: smells, colors, multiple sensations that escape us daily.
Let’s not be routine and do, for example, the following exercises:
- Let’s take a different route to get to work, school, or back home.
- Let’s listen to a different radio station.
- Let’s read a different newspaper:
- Let’s try to cook different recipes.
- Let’s change our leisure habits.
- Let’s drink tea instead of coffee or coffee instead of tea.
- Break the routine in our cafeteria or bar:
- Venture into establishments that you have never been to because you have had neither the need nor the opportunity, for example, a parapharmacy, a lingerie store, a religious objects store, etc. Look carefully at how the shelves are placed, the arrangement of the merchandise, the samples, the presentation of the offers, etc.
- Let’s change the orientation of the bed, desk, sofa, etc.
Ultimately, let’s make our brain feel uncomfortable with the “new” circumstances and work a little. Practice this exercise as much as you can and you will notice the change after a few months.
Can I Be Creative?
The answer is a resounding YES. Creativity, fortunately, is not reserved only for painters, sculptors, writers … but deep down we are all creative, despite our social, work and educational environment that have always underestimated this facet of us and, therefore, is a tool that we have relegated or forgotten.
Still, we are still creative even if it is unconsciously. Who has not resorted, for example, to the key with which we open the door of the house to, as a saw, break the happy knot of the plastic bag that we intend to open, this is a clear example of the application of creative thinking to solve a small but uncomfortable problem.
But here, what it is about, is to transform that gesture of unconscious creativity into a conscious process so that we can apply it when needed.
From here we are going to propose a series of exercises that act as facilitators of creative thinking, as well as a series of attitudinal tips and tools that break routine processes, the main enemy of creativity.