habits of highly creative people

11 Habits of Highly Creative People7 min read

Creative people in every generation have some common habits that stand them out in their time and beyond. These habits of highly creative people may not be found in the same measure for all creatives but are present to a degree. From Leonardo da Vinci to Elon Musk and every other productive person, these creative habits are common.

Creativity is a universal language. And whether creative people live in same time zone or different eras, a trace of these elements are visible. So, let’s take a look at some 11 habits of highly creative people:

1. Wild Imagination

Creative people have wild imaginations. Let’s clear the air. Creative people are imaginative but not all imaginative people are creative. Creative people turn crazy thoughts and imaginations into possible realities. Having ideas no matter how great they are and not expressing them or acting on them makes you imaginative and not creative. Elon Musk would be imaginative if he was only thinking about building rockets and not actually building them. The imagination is where creative ideas are birthed. During this times creative people tend to soliloquize and talk to themselves like there is someone in the room. I do that a lot when playing different characters. Most great writers and inventors have the habit of wild imagination. The ideas that come from here make others scream, “It’s not possible!” because they seem abstract.

2. Idea Stashing/Dumping

Highly creative people have the habit of scribbling ideas down anywhere and everywhere they can so they don’t forget them. There is nothing as painful as forgetting a good idea when it comes to you – even on the toilet seat or in the shower. Whether in text draft, on a little piece of papers or notepads, screenshots, in the palm, in notebooks and/or in utility apps they are just noted to be fleshed out some other time and even combined with other ideas to create something new. Creative people stash and incubate them to combine them with other ideas later to create something novel.

3. Reading

Reading is one among the habits of highly creative people. Creative people have a habit of reading books and studying materials as much as they can to stay current and think futuristic. Fleshing stuff from books, magazines, and places where others may not be looking. This helps in expanding their mental vocabulary as that is how they pool together ideas to create something new and beautiful. They study other people and things in general and learn a lot from reading and watching. They do this as a daily habit and study as much as they can.

4. Working at Inspirational Hours

Creative people may not always be a people of routine but they sure have times of the day when their creative energy is through the roof to get creatively productive. And it differs from person to person as we are all unique. For some, creative times are the early hours of the morning. While for others, it is in the evening or just before bedtime. Whenever works for you is fine but the most important thing is that work is done when it is to be done. Giving it all you’ve got whether you feel like working or not till it becomes a habit. Creativity really has no set routine but productivity does. This may include waking at odd hours to pee and not being able to sleep again. Times when beautiful ideas dance around your head and sit you down to flesh them. Have you ever stood an idea up thinking it would come back in the morning and it never came back?

5. Exercising

Every highly creative individual who knows that creativity needs the brain to function gets their exercise on so as to keep blood and enough oxygen supplied to the brain. Exercising is a good way to keep the brain oxygenated as it doesn’t change its cells until death. And moreover, it uses about 20 percent of the bodies oxygen. Creative people know the benefit of making exercise a regular routine not just to keep physically fit but mentally also. From taking brisk walks to jogging and swimming or whatever makes your heart beat faster to pump blood. It is a great habit.


Creative people are spontaneous people. They almost think without thinking – intuitive – and this makes them unpredictable. They can do things that also surprise themselves. And you can ask them afterward why they did that and they go “I don’t know. Followed my guts I guess.” This spontaneity helps them to improvise ways of doing things they may never have thought of. They just become flexible enough to adapt to every situation thrown at them. From reading on a queue to readjusting after moving to a new country and working in unconducive conditions where others complain creative people are good at making the best of every situation. This comes from years of storing up so many ideas and mentally connecting them.

Read Also Where Creativity Began

7. ‘Seeing’ Things Differently

This is one thing that really stands out creative people from ‘regular’ people. Highly creative people have the habit of seeing things differently. They have a different opinion to the same thing and try to see the possibility of seeing how it could work that way. They observe things differently and when they relate it to people and people laugh at the idea (or the joke) in their minds they wonder “how didn’t they see that?” This makes them very sensitive and at times they can come off as critical a****s. They are futuristic too. They are in the future before others arrive.

8. Solution-oriented

One among the habits of highly creative people is that they look at possibilities where others see a problem. They don’t see problems or limitations. They turn shortcomings into motivations and comebacks. Why would Thomas Edison not quit on looking to make a light bulb? They never accept NO for an answer and they keep coming back until they get their desired answer. Their passion to find a solution makes them resilient and persistent.

9. Turning Pain Into Passion

Most creative work in existence today has a history of pain if you dig deep to find out. It’s all part of the story. The ability to express pain without holding on to it is one of the habits of highly creative people. Some of the best masterpieces have this tinge to it. Working with a free spirit or broken spirit has a way of passing an essence that can be felt in the work. This way, you don’t have to act it because you’ve passed through pain and just finding an expression for it through what you do. Actors and musicians have been their best after losing someone or going through a heartbreak to be their best after such events. Adele’s 21 album is a break-up story turned hit album. Most comedians have this as a source of inspiration – turning embarrassing stories into laughter for the audience.

10. Quiet Times

This is one activity that every creative person cannot deny its effect and practice almost every time they can get it. The ‘noise’ in the world is getting louder and not everyone has access to ‘green areas’ to just go and be still. Once in a while, creative people take out time to be quiet and meditate. To be still and know that God is creativity. Not just to pray but also keep quiet and listen to the infinitive intelligence as quiet as possible. There is a voice that doesn’t use ‘words’, you have to be quiet to listen. That voice is usually drowned by the noise in our head and external sources. These are times creative people recharge their batteries and come out refreshed.

11. Fearless/Openness

Fearlessness or the openness to try something new is also one of the habits of highly creative people. They are willing and open to trying new things and having new experiences. And this is a point that has led to the argument of whether smoking marijuana makes people more creative. It doesn’t! Same as alcohol. They just make you feel free and let go to try what you’ve probably never tried before or won’t be willing to try with a clear head. So, some need an external aid/influence to be ‘free’. But creative people choose their experiences and express their opinions consciously.

These are a few habits of highly creative people that stand them out. They’ve also got some peculiar creative attributes that set them apart from ‘normal’. What other creative habits do you know yourself or other highly creative people to possess?

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