Do you ever just find yourself in a creative rut? I don’t know if you have ever experienced writer’s block, but a creative rut can be closely compared to the feeling of writer’s block.

You ponder for hours on end, trying to devise a creative plan for your next project, but… Nothing. You can almost hear the crickets chirping in the background.

While you can’t avoid creative ruts altogether – as they are just part of life and part of the hump you must climb over to successfully pull together a creative plan – there are ways to improve your creativity…

One of those ways is by learning to think critically. A good critical approach is important to have when trying to be creative…

Wait, what is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is one of those phrases that when asked to define it, you define it using the phrase itself. When someone asks you what is critical thinking, your first response might be “well, to think critically.” But, that answer does not really offer much insight into the phrase and how to achieve critical thinking.

So, let’s break it down.

creative people in business

By formal definition, critical thinking is the act of objective evaluation and analysis of an issue to form a judgment. The goal of critical thinking is to consider the issue from all angles so that you can create a plausible, educated solution for or view on the issue.

How do you combine critical and creative thinking?

Oftentimes, people think of critical thinking and creative thinking as residing on totally opposite ends of the thought spectrum. While this is partially true, as they are two different types of thinking, it is not entirely true – the two can be combined.

Compare the two: critical thinking involves comparison, planning, hypothesizing, critiquing and classification; whereas, creative thinking just involves creating something original or new.

So, critical thinking is the actual process of creating something new or original (creative thinking).

However, sometimes starting with a critical approach to thinking might inhibit your creative thinking abilities. Instead, try being creative first. Let your mind wander and just write down anything you think of.

Next, apply critical thinking. Dive deeper into your options and analyze each one – giving attention to the cause and effect, the plan, and forecast the outcome. Then, go back to creative thinking.

Is there a way you could further improve the ideas? Do you now have better ideas now that you have your proposed plans mapped out?

What are the benefits of combining the two ways of thinking?

By combining the forces of both critical and creative thinking, you give yourself a more reasonable approach to situations. It allows you to make creative, yet smart decisions.

Critical thinking is important in decision-making, whether it be business decisions or personal life decisions. By allowing your creative juices to flow, while also applying critical thinking, you will be able to openly explore all details of each of your business options, but in an effective way. Having strong critical approach is important for delivering high quality products or services. Customer reviews provide companies with feedback that affects their decision-making process. Whether if it’s analysis of hockey skates or gym equipment, reviews are important for making necessary product and service improvements or changing creative direction.

Abilities you gain from applying critical thinking include:

  • Analyzing arguments
  • Asking and answering detailed questions
  • Providing clarification
  • Knowing how to judge the credibility of a source
  • Deciding on action
  • Interacting with others

These are just a handful of the abilities and skills you gain through critical thinking. But, by using a combination of creativity and critical thinking you can improve the way you live and work – making yourself more productive, efficient, and more knowledgeable about a variety of areas.

Another benefit you gain from combining these two ways of thinking is diversity. Critical thinking and creative thinking occur on opposite sides of the brain, so by teaching yourself to combine the two, you are exercising both sides of your brain.

Therefore, by exercising both sides of your brain equally, you begin to become more creative as you start to see things through a different light and become well-versed in a variety of different areas of life.

It is all about finding a balance between the two – be creative, but also be critical of your creative decisions. By forcing yourself to think critically about your creative choices, you will find yourself experiencing better, more detailed, and more efficient plans and results.

About the author

Alex Roman

I'm a 26-year old independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest. I really love what i do!

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