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Top-Shelf Tip No. 172:

"Creativity is intelligence having fun."

Albert Einstein

Three Ways To Unleash Your Creativity

Creativity matters, whether you're putting together a new pitch or designing a promotional campaign from scratch. However, it's not always easy to tap into your creative abilities. It takes inspiration, perspective and motivation. Getting this combination at the perfect time can be tricky, but not impossible.

Jason Fell, director of native content for Entrepreneur, says that professionals need only give their creative sensibilities a jolt when they need to build whatever their hearts or jobs tell them they must create. We explore Fell's tips for unleashing your inner creative brilliance in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. To spark creativity, get moving. Sitting at your desk in front of a screen all day isn't usually the most effective setting for dreaming up big, clever ideas. One of the best ways to get the creative juices flowing is to get up and get moving, says Fell. Studies have shown that stepping away from your work and going for a walk stimulates the neurological and physiological pathways that lead to creative thinking and problem solving. Turns out, it's a simple strategy employed by many of the world's top innovators, visionaries and creators. Sometimes you need to take a break and clear your mind to make space for good ideas.

2. Seek out new experiences. We're all creatures of habit to some extent. If you're stuck in the same routines doing the same things over and over, it leaves little room for thinking differently. The more and varied our inputs (the places we go, people we speak with, media we engage with) the more our outputs (creativity) can evolve. Fell encourages leaders to take that vacation, read those books and strike up a conversation with that neighbor or co-worker you've never spoken to before. Studies have even suggested that playing video games can help people become more creative in their tasks and projects. Inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources, so increasing your interactions will, in turn, increase your chances for coming up with something you've never imagined before.

3. When it's time to work, mitigate distractions. Most creatives strive for what's called a flow state, known more commonly as "being in the zone." It's a period of intense thought and concentration when a creative is getting his or her work done—fully immersed in whatever project they're working on. To mitigate distractions while in the zone, Fell suggests turning off non-critical notifications on your phone and laptop. Find a quiet place away from similarly jarring sounds. He recommends avoiding coffee shops, casual conversations and barking dogs. Then, do whatever sets you up for maximum creativity. Depending on the type of creative work you're doing, researchers have said that some level of sound or noise can help boost creativity. When writing, for example, electronic or classical music can help hold you in that flow state. Music with lyrics, however, can prove to be distracting.

Are you inadvertently stifling your most creative ideas? Try the tips above to realize your full potential.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Jason Fell is director of native content for Entrepreneur, managing the Entrepreneur Partner Studio. He previously served as Entrepreneur.com's managing editor and as the technology editor prior to that.