As a student, it is sometimes (ok, often) difficult to come up with fresh and creative ideas—especially when we are flooded with project and assignment deadlines. So when I heard about a presentation called the Dean’s Lecture Series on Creative Thinking, I was eager to learn some tips for allowing those creative and innovative juices start to flow. And although I won’t give it all away, here are the top 3 lessons I learned from Dr. Gerrard Puccio’s presentation:
Learn to separate divergent and convergent thinking
Divergent thinking involves thinking differently, originally, and making associations and connections across different industries. Convergent thinking is analyzing and evaluating those ideas, and thinking more realistically and practically. Dr. Puccio noted that flipping between the two forms of thought is like trying to drive a car while having your foot on the brake. If we want to be more effective, we need to suspend our judgements by first getting all our ideas out, and then evaluating them (not gonna’ lie, this made me want to watch the movie, Divergent).
Start projects early
Unfortunately, the concept that the best ideas occur when we are under pressure is untrue (for the most part). Therefore, when we have deadlines, it is best to start projects early, so we can incorporate enough “idea time”. That way, if our brilliant idea doesn’t come to us immediately, we won’t be stressing as much!
Quantity is key
When generating ideas, writing down as many things that come to our mind is very helpful, because the first set of ideas are usually things we’ve already seen or heard of. It’s in getting to the second and third sets of brainstorming, that we really start channeling our original thoughts, and creating novelty.
So here are three tips to consider when attempting to foster more creative thinking. I didn’t take advantage of all the presentations and seminars offered to students last year, but after such a useful and engaging lecture, I’m excited to see what other lessons I can learn from the pros Ryerson invites on campus.
How do you get your creative juices flowin’?!
Check out creativity.buffalostate.edu for info on Dr. Puccio’s school and for more creativity resources! Good Luck with your creative endeavors!