Looking to become more creative in a short amount of time? These creativity drills take 5 minutes or less and can instantly put you into the right mindset.*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure for more information.
I get a lot of emails every week from readers. And over the last almost two years there have been a few common concerns. One of them is: how do I become more creative? Or, I’m not creative enough to start a bullet journal.
For a long time, I thought creativity was a God-given talent. You either have it or you don’t. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
But, throughout my own time as a creator and someone who has previously struggled with being creative, I have learned that that is far from the truth. Everyone has the potential to be creative.
You will not become more creative by reading a book or listening to a lecture. You have to take action and think outside the box. Cliche, right? But that’s what creativity is.
It’s the ability to come up with new ideas and put them to use. And in order to come up with new ideas, you have to challenge yourself to solve problems and see things from a different perspective.
These 5-minute drills will help you do just that. Think outside the box and see things from a different perspective.
Doing these drills will not make you a creative genius right away, but they can help kickstart your brain for that art piece you want to create or that short story you want to write.
5-Minute Drills to Become More Creative
This drill requires you to pick a subject and draw it without looking. Either drape a lightweight cloth over your hand and your piece of paper or simply turn your head away from your drawing.
Give yourself 5-minutes to complete this tasks. Your subject can be anything of your choosing but should require a bit of effort. For instance, don’t just try to draw a round ball. Pick something with some substance like a mother bird feeding her chicks.
Oh, and there’s one more rule. You can’t pick up your pencil for the entire time you draw.
While completing this task, focus in on what you are doing. Try to really make those lines connect, even if in the end it looks nothing like your subject.
Why This Works
This task works because it helps loosen you up creatively. It allows your mind to think in a problem-solving fashion and try to create something in a situation it isn’t comfortable with.
It forces you to work without one of the senses you use constantly, your sight and instead makes you use your brain and your sense of touch.
30 Circles Drill
This exercise is one of my favorites. It’s very simple to do, also.
Grab a piece of standard US Letter sized paper and draw 30 circles. Now, set a timer for 3-minutes. In those 3-minutes, challenge yourself to make those circles into as many different objects as you can. For example, you might turn one into a plate, one into a clock, etc.
The goal here is to fill in as many circles as possible. This means you don’t have time to sit and think of “good ideas”. Just fill them out quickly and allow your brain to think freely.
Why This Works
Often times in art or even in work, we aim for quality over quantity. In this particular drill, the opposite is true. You are aiming for quantity. Like a race.
So, you have to draw quickly and without questioning whether or not your idea works. You have to trust the ideas that are popping into your head and just put them on paper as they come.
Flash fiction is an extremely short form of fiction writing, with pieces only being a couple hundred words. The good news is that it will only take you a few minutes to complete this task. But in other news, it can be much more challenging than you think.
You have to come up with a story that has a very small word limit. Start with 200 words or less. From there, you can work into stories that are 100 or even 50 words or less.
If you have never heard of flash fiction and want to read a few for insight, check out this section of the The New Yorker.
Why This Works
When creating flash fiction you are forced to problem solve. You have to decide what to include and what to leave out. You have to really think about the words you are going to use to convey the right emotion or describe the scene.
For this drill, pick a simple subject. For example, cactuses. Now, try and draw a cactus 30 times, making all of them different.
You can do this every day with a new subject. Just remember to keep the subject simple, so that you can be flexible with it.
Other fun subjects to try might be:
- Circle shaped monsters
Give yourself a time limit. This one may take upwards of 10 minutes. By giving yourself a time limit, you have to think on your toes and not dismiss ideas that you think aren’t good enough.
Why This Works
Often times, especially when drawing, we find what is comfortable and we stick with it. So, if you like drawing flowers, you likely draw flowers in the same style. But this forces you to think outside your comfort zone.
Turning a Scribble into an Object
For this exercise, draw an irregular line on a piece of paper. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Just keep the line somewhat short.
From there, set a timer for 3 minutes. The goal is to turn your irregular line into something recognizable in the least amount of time. You will have to think on your feet and be able to problem solve to make a doodle out of your initial line.
Why This Works
It works because it forces you to creatively problem solve. Instead of just drawing something that you come up with in your head or something you saw on Pinterest, you have to draw something that makes sense with the original line.
And much like the other exercises above, you don’t have a lot of time. So you can’t stop to think about which idea is best. You must allow your ideas to flow freely and trust your creativity.
Free Printable Worksheets to Become More Creative
Sometimes it’s really hard to find extra time to practice things like creativity because it’s not a top priority. So, I wanted to give you guys a quick start on two of the above creativity exercises. You can print them off do them right away in just a couple of minutes.
That’s all you need every day to improve your creativity, artistic ability, etc. It’s more important that you are consistent with your practice and putting in an effort every day.
So, in the printable below you will get a 30 Circles Practice sheet with the 30 circles already drawn out for you. All you have to do is set the timer and draw. The other worksheet includes four irregular lines that you can start turning into doodles right away.
What are you waiting for? It only takes a couple of minutes.
Which of the above creative exercises will you be trying? Let me know in the comments below.