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Creativity Triggers for Everyone by Edward Glassman Ph.D.
Edward Glassman : Warm-ups Stir Your Creativity

Warm-ups Stir Your Creativity

By Edward Glassman, PhD

I just published a new creativity book: Creativity Triggers are for Everyone: How To Use Your Inventiveness To Brighten Your Life. I based this column on Chapter 2 of that book.

One goal of my book is to help you turn creativity into a habit, not just ready to be turned on, but always turned on, ready to go, spontaneously. Until that happens, here are some warm ups, fun creativity triggers to get your creative mind ready and in the mood.

Eventually, you may not need this provocation, but for now here goes...

Warm Up #1: Tell and Listen to Jokes
Start a creativity session listening to and telling jokes. Laughter helps a mind turn creative.

Warm Up #2: Funny Incidents
Remember and list funny things that have happened in your life. Again, laughter helps to grease the creativity skids.

Warm Up #3: Write Cartoon Captions
Collect dozens of cartoons from magazines, especially the New Yorker. Remove the captions. Write funny captions to jump start your creative mind.

Warm Up #4: Things You are Proud of
Make a list of things you have done that you are proud of and turn on your inventiveness.

Warm Up #5: Bizarre Ideas
Bizarre ideas shake the cobwebs and stretch your creative mind, and give you permission to reach to the moon for your ideas. List ten or more bizarre ideas to help solve a problem.

Warm Up #6: Ways to Use a Brick
Grease the skids and list five bizarre ideas on ways to use a brick (or a tea bag), then list a mix of bizarre, ordinary, unexpected, and WOW ideas.

Warm Up #7: Things You Like to Do On Weekends
It's time to smile internally and list things you like to do on the weekend (or at 10 am any day).

Warm Up #8: Play a Musical Instrument
Drums, guitar, piano, harmonica, recorder, a triangle, whatever.

Warm Up #9: Draw Doodles
Make doodling a creative process and open up your creative mind.

Warm Up #10: Toys
Play with toys you used to play with as a child, such as marbles, play-doh, legos, slinky, silly putty, etc.

Warm Up #11: Comedy DVDs
Watch your favorite stand-up comedian. Helps more when bizarrely funny.

Warm Up #12: Draw Happiness (or Creativity)
Draw your conception of 'happiness' or 'creativity.' Use crayon and colored paper like a kid.

Warm Up #13: New Hobbies
List your current hobbies, and new hobbies you would like to undertake. More comforting stuff to soothe your creative mind and let it out from where it hides.

Warm Up #14: Dance as a Child
Do you remember how you danced as a child? Do that as a warm up Get back to your childhood creative state.

Warm Up #15: Unusual Hat and Costumes
Did you dress up as a child. Do this as a warm up Or put on a funny hat or costume.

Warm Up #16: Fun Things You Did as a Child
Reach back in your memory. What made you laugh as a child. What did you love to do back then. Make a list.

Warm Up #17: Your Own Warm Ups
List some warm ups that release the creativity stored in your mind.

Of course, you will not do all of these warm ups at once. Rather, you will pick out several and save the rest for later. Have fun. Make creativity a habit. Become a person who eliminates the 'box' from your thinking. Meanwhile, start with warm ups to generate a creative mind before you generate ideas. •

© 2012 by Edward Glassman. All rights reserved.

Edward Glassman, PhDEdward Glassman, PhD was the President of the Creativity College®, a division of Leadership Consulting Services, Inc., and Professor Emeritus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he headed the Program For Team Effectiveness And Creativity. More »