8 Ways to Train Your Creativity Quotient

creativity quotient

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

Modern researchers have shown that Albert Einstein’s quote is not entirely true. Creativity and a luxuriant imagination are inextricably linked to knowledge, intelligence and decision-making patterns.

Another common myth says that some people are naturally more innovative and generate original, unconventional ideas, while others can only repeat common frameworks.

In fact, creativity is not a rare inborn capacity to think out of the box. It is about finding the golden mean between “knowledge and freeing oneself of that knowledge.

To measure an individual’s creativity, one needs to assess the ability of that individual to work with their existing knowledge and find new connections. The relative results of such testing help to define an individual’s creativity quotient (CQ).

How to Define a Creativity Quotient

In 2004, a team of Australian researchers (Allan Snyder, John Mitchell, Terry Bossomaier and Gerry Pallier), defined creativity as the “ability to connect ideas apparently disparate to compose a novel synthesis.”

This team of researchers measured the creative quotient using a quantitative approach. They found a connection between the creative quotient and the volume of ideas generated around an object, as well as the number of categories these ideas could be put into.

Here’s an example of creativity testing:
How can you use a wooden table? Think of as many uses as possible and divide the ideas into categories depending on the object’s purpose. You have five minutes.

Typical answers included:

  • As furniture: dining table, bed, shelf, desk
  • As fuel: firewood
  • As part of a shelter: roof, barricade
  • As a means of communication: stage, podium

Then the researchers applied a specific formula to calculate the creativity quotient:
CQ= log2 {(1 + u1) (1 + u2) (1 + u3)…}.

The CQ is our creative quotient, and u1, u2 and u3 are the number of uses in each category. Sample answers have four categories. By substituting the values above, the formula produces the following result:

CQ=log2{(1+4)(1+1)(1+2)(1+2)}
CQ=log2{(5*2*3*3)}
CQ=log2{(90)}=6.49

People with a relatively higher creativity quotient will find more categories, as well as more options within categories. The good news is that an individual’s CQ can be trained and improved.

How to Boost Innovative Thinking

Contrary to popular belief, creativity doesn’t involve just the artistic expression of an individual. Although creativity can randomly kick in, which some call “moments of revelation,” there is much more to it than that.

People can learn creativity just like any other skill, and here’s how.

Keep in mind that your brain works in creative ways even on a subconscious level. This means if you resort to the creativity training techniques listed below, you do not have to actively think about something to come up with a unique and great idea.

1. Resort to Multidisciplinary Activities and Interests

Get involved in different activities and explore your potential. By taking part in different activities, you can develop your ability to form interdisciplinary threads and creative associations.

Involvement in a variety of activities will fill your mind with more information. Increased quantity of information gives your brain something to work on even while you are sleeping.

2. Use Writing as a Means of Deep Self-Reflection

Reflect on your experiences. Analyze your actions.

Merriam Hollister, the creative blog content writer for essay writer service said, “Writing a diary is a great way to let your stream of consciousness out; it is the simplest, yet the most effective way to creative and unbound thinking.”

Unlike writing essays or public speeches, a diary or any other form of writing you preserve only for yourself provides mental space where you will know yourself better and expand your creative boundaries.

3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Remember, a sound mind lives in a sound body. Staying healthy allows the brain to work at maximum efficiency.

Although eating well and exercising doesn’t directly influence your creativity, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you to avoid conditions such as depression, early memory loss or the deterioration of brain function.

4. Practice Thought Discipline

Meditate. Learn to control your thoughts. Systemize your thinking patterns. Arrange your thoughts in such a way that you can create something new. Imagine your thoughts as pieces of a puzzle and try to put them together to create the whole picture.

Taking up creative writing classes is an excellent way to organize your creativity training schedule and improve overall writing skills.

5. Communicate More

By communicating with other people, you participate in information exchange. Collective brainstorming is a key way to find quick solutions to complex issues. Collaborate with like-minded individuals, and you will likely see the results—developing a habit of innovative thinking.

6. Overcome Psychological Boundaries

Your parents probably told you not to do this or that. While they were trying to keep you away from trouble, they might have unintentionally conditioned you to think in a specific way.

While mental conditioning is part of a child’s upbringing, some individuals develop psychological boundaries and adopt limiting beliefs.

If you feel like something is limiting your way of thinking, contact a professional counselor and/or therapist. Difficult as it might seem, your challenge is to overcome your limitations, let go of limiting beliefs and break through your mental conditioning to unleash your creativity into the world.

In the process, you hope to make this world a better place.

7. Stay Childish

Children are more creative than adults. Dr. Stephanie Carlson has proved that kids spend as much as two-thirds of their time in non-reality.

Think of playing games with children as an indirect opportunity to improve your creativity. Some activities considered childish, like solving puzzles and crafting gifts, might come in handy for adults too. Besides, most of these projects involve communication that stimulates innovative thinking even more.

8. Exercise Your Creativity Muscle

Create something new every day. Even though it sounds easy at first, you might realize you lack ideas in a couple of weeks. This is exactly why you need to devote about 10 minutes every day to build that creativity muscle.

On your way home or at lunch, when struggling to wake up or right before you fall asleep, do simple mind exercises. For instance, imagine yourself in a particular situation and come up with different ways to proceed.

Try to answer the question, “What if?”. For example, “What would I do if I ended up on a shipwreck?”. By modelling different situations in your mind, you can think of new things and train your brain to think more broadly.

Creativity is a pillar of educational and work success. Sixty percent of CEOs consider creativity the most essential quality when hiring candidates.

Today, not only designers or writers have to be creative. Everyone, from a human resource manager to a web developer needs to bring original views and solutions to their field of expertise. Being creative is all about the right mindset. Be mindful, and be the best you can be!

About the Author

Elizabeth Price is a freelance writer interested in education, marketing, and business-related topics. A former Psychology student of Montclair State University, she is particularly interested in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Currently expanding her horizon by undertaking a journalism course in New York, she regularly works as a content creator and assistant editor. Despite being kept quite busy with work and family, she still finds the time to enjoy long walks on the beach with her dog to relax.

Train your creativity quotient

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