Creative thinking is a skill, not a talent. With a few simple techniques, just about everyone can come up with creative ideas. And, as with all skills, the more you practice... the better you get.

Here are six techniques to help you generate creative ideas.

1. Deep-dive, then back off

Set aside a defined stretch of time to soak up as much context and details as you can about your topic or challenge. Also: clarify in your head what you want to achieve; review the main challenges or issues; and seek out perspectives from other people.

But don't try to solve anything yet. Just focus on absorbing the information.

Then stop thinking about it.

You've prepared the ground and planted the seeds, now you need to give them time to germinate.

2. Prepare your mind

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Xavier Russo is strategy and marketing manager at Envato, a marketplace for creative assets and people. He leads the strategy, marketing, and content acquisition for Envato's graphic design subscription, Envato Elements.

LinkedIn: Xavier Russo