1.Nurture Curiosity - Curiosity is like a little beacon of light for me. It's the first step in fostering a gold-mine of creativity. When I am curious about something it becomes hard to ignore. It haunts me. The practical, so-called "grown-up" part of me wants to sit down and get to work but the child in me wants to wander down that path of curiosity for a while. This instinct is not always nurtured but if you want to be more creative then just do it. If you do this curiosity will drive you to learn and discover information that will provide a wealth of creative material.
2. Give Yourself Time For Learning - Curiosity leads us to learning. As you gather information on the topic you've been so curious about you will need to think critically about the content. Try to connect it to seemingly unrelated topics, look for points of comparison and contrast as well as any parallels. Artists are great at connecting seemingly unrelated things - its our super power: Run With It. See what you can come up with. The next stage of learning is more of a phase of restful pondering. No need to force ideas to come...just give yourself time to comprehend what you have amassed while learning.
3. Always Be Prepared To Take Notes - Half of my good ideas come at an inconvenient moment and they are so ephemeral that they evaporate just as fast - perhaps to be remembered only at another inconvenient moment. The moment is usually inconvenient because there is more of an obstacle to recording that idea or giving it your full attention. But if you have completed step one and two in your effort to be more creative then you won't want to waste the work you have done. So prepare to take notes - on a bus, halfway through a conversation, and in the middle of the night. Many of my good ideas come while I'm in conversation with people and I don't want to interrupt the conversation by running away to look desparately for a pen and a scrap of paper. Some people might record these ideas on their cell phone but I am self-conscious about looking at my phone when in a conversation as I don't want the person to feel like I'm absent-mindedly checking my messages while we are speaking. So I opt for a tiny notebook with a pen attached to it and I always keep it in the same pocket of my bag so that I won't have to rummage around for it. Moleskine makes the best tiny notebooks in a rainbow of colours but any small notebook that you can take with you EVERYWHERE will do. This book needs to be close at hand night and day.