Act Like a Kid: 3 Creativity Boosters

Creativity is the secret sauce to setting your business apart and keeping you motivated, moving forward and passionate for your career, as you balance work and motherhood. Unfortunately, the business of taking care of business usually commands top priority. Though your time is limited, one great advantage you have as a work at home mom is an office equipped with creativity masters: Your kids. Here are three ways you can boost your creativity and business, by acting more a kid. 

Forget judgment. When kids play creatively, there is no analysis or self-doubt; they dive right in and make the rules as they go. You can inspire your own creativity by taking the same approach to business every now and then. For one week out of the month, vow to acknowledge and write down any and every idea that you have—without thought or judgment. At the end of the month, review “the idea log”, and weigh the pros and cons of your list. Many (and at times, none) of the ideas will have promise, but regularly using the approach will let you find a balance between a mind that runs free and one that never leaves the boundaries of logic. By marrying the two thought processes, you can identify fresh and feasible ways to thrive in your business.

Switch your routine. While a schedule ensures efficiency and a sense of safety and routine for kids, it can stifle creativity if you’re too rigid in your work habits. Mareike Wieth at Albion College studied the impact of study habits in college students, and found that the “prime time” for mental process might not be what it seems. In the study, self-described “night owls” actually performed better on test questions that required original thought and creativity, in the morning.  Likewise, the “early birds” were actually more creative at night.  The researchers concluded that though thoughts are indeed less focused in “non-optimal” times, the effect of going against your perceived “prime brain time” is more creative thought. When you’re brain isn’t working at the time it can process the easiest, it’s more likely to search for less obvious answers. 

Take recess. Recess allows kids to move the body, free the mind, and let off steam--and you’ll enjoy the same benefits as a work at home mom. The study “Aerobic Exercise and Cognitive Creativity” confirmed that creativity is heightened immediately after aerobic exercise, and within two hours after it. Each day, schedule time to get moving--before you start working. Commit to exercise just as you would any other career obligation, and optimize the power of your creative thought.


Bio: Stephanie Taylor Christensen is a former financial services marketer turned stay at home working mom, yoga instructor and freelance writer covering personal finance, small business,consumer issues, work-life balance and health/wellness topics for ForbesWoman , Minyanville , SheKnows , Mint , Intuit Small Business, Investopedia and several other online properties. She is also the founder of Wellness On Less and Om for Mom prenatal yoga.

Stephanie wrote this feature article exclusively for Debbie (, an organization dedicated to helping small businesses succeed.