Hello Planning Mashers!
Looking for ways to become more creative? These simple drills will instantly put you on your way to boosting your creativity.
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I’ve been in the Bullet Journal community for a while now and especially now that I launched my free class for Bullet Journal beginners, I hear this so often: I’m just not creative, I wish I could be good at doodling, I don’t think I’m creative enough to start a Bullet Journal.
My answer is always – well, let me tell you something amiga! Yes you are, Yes you can, Yes you will!
I know that it often seems that creativity is a talent just a few of us are born with, and I had the same thought. For the entire first 30 years of my life, I couldn’t draw at all and considered myself the least creative person ever.
But! As I started my Bullet Journal and embarked on the adventure of becoming a creator, I realized one simple truth – creativity isn’t a God-given talent, it’s a muscle.
And if it is a muscle – you can always train it and grow it, you can teach yourself to be creative!
Creativity is an ability to find new and unusual solutions and to do that you just need to train yourself to think outside the box.
It’s much easier than it sounds – just challenge yourself to see things from a different perspective. Below are very simple drills that will help you to do just that.
I also included a printable practice sheet for you guys, so be sure to get it from our Resources Vault!
If you aren’t part of Planning Mashers yet – you can sign up at the end of the post and get access to these and tons of other printables for your Bullet Journal!
Why Does It Work
Our minds are used to thinking in a certain way. We already have connections in our brain which we use automatically.
To be creative though, you need to stray aside from those paths and think differently.
These exercises are focused on that. They take a usual activity like doodling and add a different spin on it, making you try to do something in a whole new way.
These drills will help you to get out of your comfort zone and think outside the box.
The amazing thing about these drills is that the creativity you’re training won’t be only applicable to your doodles or Bullet Journal skills.
These drills will also help you to be more creative at your work and in personal life, develop bullet problem-solving skills. It might not be the specific thing you’re looking for right now, but it’s definitely a good bonus to have.
Ok, let’s look into the drills themselves.
Quantity Over Quality
This is a fun exercise when you set yourself a goal to draw as many things as you can.
As an example here – there are 30 circles on the page and you have to draw something out of them all. It’s good to have a limit as well, so let’s say 3 minutes.
Without thinking of how neat or pretty it looks – take a pen and get on with it, try to fill out as many circles as you can.
We often overthink things looking for quality and that one perfect thing. This exercise will help you to overcome that and just let all your ideas flow.
You don’t have that much time so once you’ll be done with your basics like a clock, pizza, and beach ball you’ll be forced to keep thinking and creating things without questioning yourself.
I found that this is actually a great way to find new solutions, to brainstorm and to find some new creative doodle ideas.
Another fun way to challenge your creativity is to make yourself draw something many times without repeating the same doodle.
Pick an object, like a cup of coffee. And try to doodle it 30 times making it a different doodle each time.
There are tons of things you can choose to doodle for this exercise, just be sure it’s something simple.
Here are a few options for you:
Just like with the previous exercise – give yourself a time limit, maybe 10 minutes this time.
This will keep you drawing and even using ideas you might’ve discarded as not good otherwise.
Often, when we draw, we stick to a certain way and this exercise will help you to go outside of your comfort box.
One Line Drawing
This exercise can be challenging but you’ll have some amazing results!
Take your pen and keep on drawing without taking your pen off the paper. This can be more difficult than it sounds.
This exercise will help you to break your usual habit and train you to work in a more creative way on your doodles.
Another fun and pretty difficult exercise is blind drawing.
Pick a subject and draw it without looking at what you’re drawing. Put a cloth over your head or just turn it away – just be sure you’re not looking.
Another rule – don’t pick something too easy like a beach ball. Think of something a bit more complicated, like a table lamp of a mama chicken with little chicks.
This exercise pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you rely on your other senses.
Turn A Scribble To An Object
Scribble something on the paper (or use the worksheet you can find at the end of the post) and try to turn it into a doodle.
Set yourself a timer here as well, let’s go with 3 minutes.
This exercise will help you to think more creatively because you don’t draw something you already know or saw on Pinterest – you’ll need to think of a way to turn a scribble into an actual doodle that makes sense.
The timer is there to make sure you don’t stop to think and assess your idea but just go with it instead.
Create Something Out Of Shapes
This is a very similar exercise, but here instead of a random scribble, you get a set of shapes.
Think creatively and doodle something using those shapes. Set yourself a timer as well, let’s say 3 minutes.
This is also great training for everyone new to doodles, because it allows you to start seeing things as basic shapes and that in turn makes it easier to doodle.
If you want to learn more about how to doodle in particular, check my Guide To Bullet Journal Doodles For Beginners.
This is a very fun exercise where you try to give a character to your doodles.
Let’s say you doodled an apple. Try to doodle it several times but animate it each time. Add little arms and legs, eyes, and mouth.
Add a different expression every time and try to adjust the way the apple looks to the emotion it displays.
Give yourself a task of doodling 10 different emotions and set a timer to 5 minutes.
This will allow you to see things differently and think about your doodles in a different way. You’ll be surprised how much they will change if you just animate them.
Try doing the same with letters.
Choose a word and start drawing letter by letter, but give each letter a different emotion. Try adding some illustrations to it as well. Think of what the word represents and how you can demonstrate it with your lettering style.
Create at least 5 of them, or go for as many options as you can.
This is a pretty simple exercise but let me tell you – it can get pretty difficult as well.
But fun, it’s really fun! And – a wonderful creativity workout for your brain.
Here is what you do – sit down and randomly choose 10 words from the vocabulary.
Or! 10 expressions. It can be well-known idioms and sayings, or maybe just lyrics from your favorite song. Something like this:
- Happy as a clam
- A hard day’s night
- Here comes trouble
- Love is in the air
- Cry over spilled milk
- The heat of the moment
Have it prepared already? Well, this is enough prompts for the upcoming 10 days!
Every day take a pen (no pencils) give yourself 5 minutes and try to doodle that word or expression.
The idea is that you’re drawing in pen so no redos, and the time limit pushes you to go with the first idea that pops into your mind.
To make sure you can easily complete these drills and work on your creativity I created some free printables for you.
These are some of the drills we talked about and you can get them in our Resources Vault under the section “Miscellaneous”
I hope you enjoy practicing your creative muscle and you surely will soon see yourself becoming more creative!
What’s your favorite way to boost your creativity? Share with us in the comments!
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And remember: Keep Bullet Journaling and Don’t Be A Blob.