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When we're busy and stressed, doing creative things can seem like a waste of time or a luxury. However, if you don't make time to step out of your routine and expose yourself to new experiences, you'll always stay focused on familiar routines and solutions.

Need help getting those creative juices flowing? Here are our 5 tips on boosting your creativity…

Give yourself time and space to be creative.

Set aside time to let yourself daydream. This doesn't need to take up precious work time. You can let your mind wander on your daily commute, whilst out running or during a long bath. Choose whatever time and place works best for you.

Expose yourself to new experiences.

Do new things you wouldn't usually do. In the workplace, that could mean sitting in on another team's meetings or spending time shadowing your clients. Outside work, try travelling home via an unusual route, going to new restaurants or watching or reading media you wouldn't normally choose to consume.

Spend time with people who have different perspectives.

Participate in networking events to meet new people in your sector or attend conferences in external sectors to discover alternative professional approaches. Think about ways you might be able to gain a better understanding of your clients or customers, and make time to chat to people at all levels of your organisation.

Capture your ideas.

Carry a notebook or use a note-taking app to collect all the ideas that float into your head. Even if they don't make much sense at the time, they may prove useful in the future.

Talk about your ideas.

Share your ideas with other people to help you make sense of them yourself. Talking about your ideas can also help you gain some useful feedback. Choose the people you consult well – they should be open to new ideas and give you honest feedback.

Whatever steps you take to become more creative, make sure you push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Sticking with familiar things won't open your mind to new ways of thinking. Setting yourself creative goals can be a practical way to make sure creativity doesn't get lost amongst everything else you need to do.

What helps you feel more creative? Share your own tips in the comments below.

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