5 daily practices to become a more creative CEO

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In addition to leadership skills and business acumen, creativity is an essential — though often overlooked — trait for CEOs. Creativity enables them to adapt to changes in the market, remain open to innovative ideas and position themselves as disrupters in the industry, according to Entrepreneur.

However, many CEOs believe they are too busy to spend time expanding their capacity for creativity. Fortunately, simple daily practices that don't add any more time to one's day can help leaders improve creative thinking.

Here are five suggested practices, according to Entrepreneur.

  1. Establish a morning routine. Having a morning routine can set your day up for success. You willpower is at its peak in the morning, and is slowly depleted over the course of the day. But by creating a morning routine, you can exercise and expand your willpower over time.
  1. Allow yourself to daydream. "Daydreamers" are often looked upon negatively for not doing enough in a society that pressures workers to produce and succeed. However, daydreaming breeds creative ideas. According to a study from the University of British Columbia cited by Entrepreneur, "Spontaneous thought processes — including mind-wandering, but also creative thinking and daydreaming — arise when thoughts are relatively free from deliberate and automatic constraints. Mind-wandering is not far from creative thinking."
  1. Practice meditating. The stress associated with an endless list of tasks and responsibilities and continuous stream of information can make you lose control of your thoughts and focus. But by increasing mindfulness by practicing meditation, you can increase resilience to stress and open up new channels of thought, in addition to a myriad of other mental and physiological benefits.
  1. Engage in exercise. Exercise has a direct effect on the brain, which can ultimately lead to increased creativity. Justin Rhodes, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, told Entrepreneur, "When we exercise, blood pressure and blood flow increase everywhere in the body, including the brain. More blood means more energy and oxygen, which makes our brain perform better." Additionally, time spent running, walking, biking or doing another physical activity can be a prime opportunity to let your mind run free.
  1. Put yourself in time-out. Long workdays that stretch into the evening are commonplace for C-suiters, but your brainpower — especially creativity — needs rest to replenish and work at full force. The brain releases dopamine when it feels good and relaxed, which can also help spur new ideas, according to the article.

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