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20 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

20 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently

Albert Einstein once said,

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Creativity can mean the difference between something good and something extraordinary. People who are creative tend to see things in a slightly different way, and may stick out from the crowd. (In a good way!) Whether you express your creativity through problem solving, design, or even how you dress, you can count on these 20 things being among your traits:

1. They think before they speak.

Creativity can sometimes just flow out of a person without warning or even any means of stopping it. But what makes highly creative people so different is that they learn to control their creativity. Thinking about how a creative idea applies to a certain situation and analyzing the effect it could have is what makes creative people unique. Harnessing their creativity is key.

2. They’re risk takers.

Not much creativity goes on in a box; that’s why thinking outside of it is so important. Creative people don’t limit themselves and go out on a limb to test their ideas.

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3. They take care of themselves.

Taking care of oneself means something different to everyone, but highly creative individuals tend to take care to preserve their minds and their bodies to keep themselves in top shape. This can mean anything from mental wellness to physical fitness, but whatever the method, it’s important to maintain creativity.

4. They’re observant. 

Taking in their surroundings and drawing inspiration from even the tiniest details is a major driving force behind creative people. Creativity has a basis in the already-existing world, and goes from there.

5. They’re humble.

Even the most creative and intelligent people in the world started somewhere. Creative people tend to see themselves as people who still have a lot of learning to do.

6. They ask questions.

Questions can mean the difference between a failed project and a successful one. Not only do questions guide people in their creative processes, but they also help creative people grow and branch out.

7. They never stop learning.

Creative people need constant fuel, and for them that comes in the form of constant learning. Creativity grows with knowledge, and creative people are always adding to what they know and using it to their advantage.

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8. They follow their dreams.

Creativity is only properly unleashed when people are in the situations they want to be in; otherwise, it gets stifled.

9. They look for something new.

New experiences are opportunities for inspiration. Highly creative people tend to love exploring new things.

10. They look on the bright side.

Creativity is easily dampened by low spirits, so many highly creative people try to get over obstacles quickly and healthily so that they can channel their energy positively. They don’t tend to dwell on problems or get overwhelmed.

11. They stay out of their own way.

There is no better saboteur than yourself. Highly creative people often try to keep themselves in check and recognize when they are getting in the way of their work.

12. They don’t let themselves get too comfortable.

Too much routine can hinder creative growth. Many people shake things up every once in a while so that their outlook stays fresh.

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13. They stare into space.

Daydreaming can be a great way to let your mind wander, and creative people tend to find this a great way to come up with new ideas.

14. They find inspiration everywhere.

Part of the beauty of a creative mind is that it isn’t limited in what inspires it. Inspiration can be found in even the least likely of places, and creative people are good at finding it.

15. They express themselves in many ways.

Even if interior design or painting isn’t a person’s forte, the creative individual sees everything as a way to express themself. Creative people often find many outlets for their ideas.

16. They’re perfectionists.

Nothing is worse than seeing what was a great idea in your head turn out to be not so great when it’s been done. Creative people take their work seriously, and they want their creative ideas realized in the way that they want.

17. They’re team players.

Many creative people recognize the talents and ideas of others and use this to create something even better than what they originally had in mind. Being team players helps creative people bounce their ideas off of each other, as well.

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18. They get in the zone.

When they start working, they often go at it for hours on end. Getting lost in their work is common among highly creative people.

19. They bridge gaps.

Creative people tend to be able to see the connections between two seemingly unrelated things, which makes them more likely than others to solve problems.

20. They think for fun.

To stay sharp, highly creative people like reading, doing crossword puzzles, brushing up on their trivia — anything that will keep their mind in tip-top shape. And doing all of this is fun for them.

Featured photo credit: David Blackwell via photopin.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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