Do Habits Hurt Creativity?


Is creativity important in your business and personal life? Absolutely. Creativity helps you to create innovative solutions to all kinds of problems. It helps you to be a better entrepreneur, a better leader, and a better collaborator. We’re all creative as children, but along the way, many of us develop habits that hurt our creativity.

What are these creativity-crushing habits, and how can we avoid them?


Creating and Editing at the Same Time

If that inner editor is at work even while you’re coming up with new ideas for the first time, you could be stifling your creativity. Try to separate the acts of creating and evaluating. They are both essential tasks, but when you try to do them at the same time, your work is less effective.

Think of creating as the process of visualising new concepts and new ideas. Evaluating is the process of filtering out the unworkable ideas from the workable ones. You should try to delay the editing until after you’ve come up with plenty of good creative ideas. The process of creating is more productive if you don’t inhibit or filter quite yet.


Staying in Your Box

You’re trained to do a specific set of tasks. These things were covered in your education or job training, and you know how to do them well. They’re comfortable for you, and you consider yourself an expert in them. But if you’re in the habit of always staying within your current scope, you will stifle your creativity.

Allow yourself to take chances. Recognise that you won’t do new things as expertly as “the experts,” but when you combine your current skillset with new skills in other areas, you will be unleashing new creativity.


Not Learning from People Who are “Less” Than You

This sounds snobbish, but we’re probably all guilty of this bad habit in some way or another. If you find that you only listen to and learn from certain people, open up your mind and start looking for what you can learn from everyone around you.

Develop a new habit. Every time you talk to someone, whether that someone is a young child, a very rich person, a homeless person, or an elderly neighbour, try to learn something new. Creative thoughts will be sparked when you listen to the words and ideas of people who come from a different background or who just see the world with different eyes.


Setting Artificial Boundaries

Perhaps people do this out of a need for a sense of security, or maybe it’s because humans can be territorial, but people often impose limitations on themselves. This bad habit prohibits creativity.

Remember that creativity has no boundaries, though your functional limitations certainly do have boundaries. Creativity, however, is what can take a big idea and squeeze it down to your functional limitations. This is the kind of thinking that produces disruptive technologies. It most certainly can be your friend.

Did you see yourself in any of these creativity-dampening habits? If so, take heart. Just as you can change your exercising and eating habits, you can also change habits that affect your creativity. Choose one habit to start with and make the changes necessary to set your creativity free.

Creativity and innovation are intimately linked, and each can be born from understanding the opportunities in your market. Visit our free interactive SWOT analysis to see where your business has room to take the next leap.

Michelle Barron

As the Marketing Manager of Altus, I’m responsible for coordinating all marketing initiatives and supporting business development. Let's Connect