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Creativity Killers: 10 Habits to Kick

What do you know about creativity? Most likely, you know that it's not an inborn quality and anyone can learn to be creative. You also should know that group settings allow people to uncover their creativity. You might be aware that arts aren't the only sphere where creativity can be applied. And you may recognize that you don't have to wait for inspiration to come to you.

But have you ever seen a list of bad habits that kill creativity? And even if you think you know where to find creative mines and how to avoid killing your mood, is your creativity art developed to its finest? Or do you unknowingly stunt it with your bad habits, such as expecting a reward for being creative or trying to find a single right answer?

Do you know what the opposite of creativity is and how educational and professional environments affect it? What kills creativity at work? And what kills creativity in school? Soon you're going to learn the answers to all these questions, assess your own habits, and avoid the things that hinder creativity.

So what are creativity killers? And what are the reasons why school kills creativity? Read on to learn the habits that don't let you reach your creativity peak and see how you can eradicate them.

Habits Which Are Killing Any Creative Bone in Your Body

  1. Thinking "outside the box". It's one of the most unlikely creativity barriers, because most people say that to be creative, you have to think outside the box and eliminate the limits of your mind. However, according to science, similar phrases are impractical and inaccurate. It means that the best creative ideas are based on preexisting things, rather than something unfamiliar. A good example is improvisational jazz, where all creativity comes from a number of known parameters.

  2. Rewarding good performance. The next point in our list of bad habits for students also sounds unlikely. Most of us think that expecting a reward increases motivation and boosts creativity. However, we're wrong again. Studies have shown that those who want to get a reward for completing their task don't perform as well as those who don't expect anything. It concerns people of all ages and genders. To be honest, it explains why students who have notebooks filled with excellence stickers are usually worse at being creative.

  3. Providing limited choice. Even though in some cases choice limitations can boost creativity, in school settings they do the opposite. Strictly structured curriculums, absence of a chance to have one's own learning pace, as well as all these tight assignments, syllabi, grading procedures, and tests - all these things don't do anything good for developing students' creativity.

  4. Ignoring the facts. The hallmark of any learning process is covering the basics first and expressing creativity second. It means that we shouldn't ignore the developments of certain skills. We're talking about the ability to find information and use it to come up with ideas.

  5. Administering tests and grades. Standardized tests and assessment of students' skills are one of the biggest killers of creativity in educational settings. Administering grades actually means nothing, but it can be extremely harmful for a student. It makes them focus on attaining a certain rank, rather than doing more valuable and significant things.

  6. Scheduling too many things. The effects of overscheduling on creativity are harmful. To understand why, let's first examine the overscheduling definition. It's the habit that makes us divide our time into strict blocks and have no other choice but to follow them. And even if you schedule some time for being creative, it won't work. It's the main reason why giving much homework is bad for a student. Instead of developing their good work ethic, it only kills their creative skills.

  7. Using obsolete teaching methods. We're talking about outdated teaching practices, such as teacher-centered instructions, multiple intelligences and learning style theories, left brain-right brain paradigm, and others. All these ineffective teaching methods have proved to do nothing but hinder creativity in students.

  8. Micromanaging of students. Careful monitoring of students doesn't allow them to grow as individuals. If this practice is applied, students are afraid of making mistakes and don't know how to learn from them. Therefore, micromanaging is a bad idea to use at schools.

  9. Bringing technology. It seems that the new devices and technological innovations only help students study better and develop their creativity. However, it's not always true. Even a computer by itself turns out to be a distraction. The most evident explanation to it is the fact that technologies bring knowledge to the students, instead of having them go out and find it by themselves. In other words, students become deprived of the kinesthetic element of their studying process. Therefore, it's better to let students use some other means, instead of relying only on technologies.

  10. Using the language of "being". Have you ever noticed that you underestimate the language and its impact on the way we think and behave? If you apply a definition of creative person to yourself, you are trying to conform to this definition. It is something that's typical of the English language - we tend to use the word "to be" more often than "to have" or "to do", like in many other languages. For this reason, we become responsible for constant representation of the definition we apply to ourselves. A good idea that can help get rid of this way of thinking is to tell different kind of words to yourself. For example, instead of "I am creative" better tell "I create." It'll encourage you to "do", instead of just "being" someone.

Now when you know the main habits that make you less creative, do you notice some of them in yourself? If you do, it's high time to eliminate these habits and open up your entire potential!

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