As a software developer, cultivating creative habits beyond just your coding abilities and strong skills set can put you ahead of the curve in your industry.

Try these five small steps to big creative results:

  1. Change your routine

There’s no better way to boost creativity now and then than making changes to your routine. Even small changes not directly related to your development work can be helpful in finding new solutions. If you are struggling with your work, changing expectations and assumptions encourages a new way of thinking or direction.

  1. Clear your schedule

Sometimes you find that time is not on your side and there is little room for creativity when you are laser-focused on finishing a project before a tight deadline. You may just need time and space to invite those creative juices back into your work routine. Use automation for repetitive tasks – emails, social media posts, deliveries – to cut the daily grind and free time.

  1. Get counterintuitive

Could applying limitations or constraints boost creativity? It may sound counterintuitive at first, but thinking of your projects with a ‘limiting’ approach can encourage more creative problem-solving and divergent thinking. It can lead to surprising results!

For example, Apple generally does this well by reducing the number of elements in its product design to the minimum without impending on user experience.

  1. Find new sources of inspiration

Need a creativity reboot? Turn to comparative analogies, methapors and disconnected ideas unrelated to your current work, activity and industry to push innovative thoughts that otherwise may have been completely overlooked. Use nature as inspiration, do some reading or expand your inner cicle to tap into new sources of inspiration.

  1. Prepare for success

Finally, set yourself up for creative success. Make positive small steps and tackle one task at a time with optimism instead of jumping into a scary project thinking you are about to fail. Focus on baby steps to push away any mental discomfort and procrastination, and cultivate optimism and creativity in your daily work.

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