10 Ways to Be Creative Anytime, Anywhere

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
-Mary Lou Cook

As a software designer by trade, I often have to rely on my creative talents at will. I do not always have the luxury of waiting for moments of inspiration. The working conditions that I work in are not always very inspiring. Interruptions are common, background noise is frequent and my view of the inside of a dull, brown cube under bright florescent lighting are not what some would consider ideal conditions for creativity. Yet, I manage to get in touch with my creativity and produce some surprisingly innovative applications with unique methods of solving seemingly impossible problems.

Getting in touch with creativity does not require beautiful mountain vistas, uninterrupted focus, motivational speeches, or anything else outside of ourselves. These things can help trigger our creativity, but they are not required. Our inspiration to be creative always comes from within, even when it seems to be triggered from the outside.

Here are 10 ideas on how to get in touch with your creativity at any given moment:

  1. Get into the habit of staying in touch with your spirit and aligning your spirit with God. As discussed in the post, Creativity is Inherently Human, our creativity comes from God whose primary trait is creativity.
  2. Separate the creative process from the creative tools. As a programmer, I found that my best work is created with a pencil in my hand, not a mouse. I design my system on paper before I build the application. Focusing on technical details can be very distracting to the creative process. This is true of word processors, image editors and programming interfaces. Most of us have experienced attempting to type up a quick document and spending more time tweaking fonts and layout than typing content.
  3. Write about your creative thoughts. Even if your creative activity is not writing, this can be very helpful if you get interrupted so you can pick up where you left off when you return to your work.
  4. Decide what you want to do before determining how to do it or if it is possible. Then, find a way.
  5. Allow ideas to flow without judgment: brainstorm. Often times, what seems to be the most absurd idea turns out to be the most incredible. The best engineers, inventors and artists create things that no one else had considered feasible.
  6. Let yourself fail. Sometimes you don’t know how something is going to turn out until you create it. Failed attempts are invaluable learning experiences and the more stress free attempts you make, the more likely you’re going to create something incredible.
  7. Observe the creations of others. If you want to be a better writer, read more than you write. If you want to design websites, study the designs of others’ websites.
  8. Always have a pen and pad with you for the moments ideas pop in your head. This will do two things for you: when you are focused on one project and ideas for another one pop up, you can write those ideas down and continue focusing on your current project; and of course, things you write down when you don’t have time to be creative will give you ideas when you do have time.
  9. Challenge yourself with an interesting goal. The more interesting, intriguing and directed your creative goals are to you, the easier it will be for you to focus on creation despite distractions or interruptions.
  10. Whenever you can, take moments to breath, clear your head and recenter yourself spiritually. Bathroom or eating breaks are a great time to do this. Whenever you start or return to your work, take a deep, slow breath, ask for God’s guidance and start working with a clear and serene mind.

To continue reading about creativity see How to Be Creative: Part 2.

About the author


I am Danny Kohn, writer and designer for this site and owner, software engineer and consultant for Inspirations Software Design. My three greatest passions in life are sharing time with my family, software design and sharing inspiration with others. I have the incredible privilege of being able to spend a significant amount of time every day doing each of those three things. I am a single father of Tristen, our 6 year old son. It has been such an incredible joy to watch him grow up and learn so much. Everything he does and says overwhelms me with adoration. We have a wonderful evening ritual of reading books together in a beanbag chair. Nearly every night, we have a laughing attack together. I smile and giggle constantly in his presence and feel truly inspired.

Permanent link to this article: http://beinspiredeveryday.com/2007/09/07/x-ways-to-be-creative-anytime-anywhere/

1 comment

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  1. Jennie says:

    i liked your view on how to be creative. I have found that the only way to have any life or meaning in anything I create…i have to be in tune with God. I can create things randomly…but when it relies on only my own human effort…there is always room for deep criticism of myself and my abilities. If I create out of my worship or awe of God, I am never upset with the result. It is always meaningful…because it seems to have a fingerprint or piece of His beauty and character within the project.

  1. How to Be Creative: A Series : Be Inspired Every Day says:

    […] following list of ideas to get in touch with creativity is paraphrased from my previous post, 10 Ways to Be Creative Anytime, Anywhere. I believe this will serve as a good launching pad for a discussion on how to be […]

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