I think we have all been there. Sitting at the computer, mentally pounding our brain with our fists, willing for that brilliant, creative, timely idea to suddenly appear. But it doesn’t.
As a designer and writer, my livelihood depends on my creativity. But my brain hits the wall, too. Thankfully, I have some tools in my creativity-block arsenal I think you will also find helpful – whether you seek inspiration for a blog post, website design or new direction for your marketing plan.
1. Eat, drink, be merry!
Sadly, I don’t mean scoffing M&Ms and popping the bubbly. I mean making sure you fuel and hydrate yourself properly. It is so easy when we are in work mode to forget to take a break for lunch, or to drink water regularly throughout the day. If you want your brain to be at its creative best, it needs sustenance. (A cup of coffee doesn’t hurt, either).
2. Get your heart pumping
My husband’s exercise motto is: “I only run if someone’s chasing me”, and I know this is a sentiment shared by many. I love to run; the combination of being outdoors, having screen-free time and feeling as though I’m about to die stokes my creativity. But you don’t have to run. Go for a walk, spend time in the garden, hop on your bike or channel your inner Rocky and do some shadow boxing. Simply moving your body is a breath of fresh air for the mind.
3. Change of scene
You know the home offices at IKEA, so clean, modern and white? That’s the opposite of my office. Think of a hobbit hole, and you get the idea. Even if you do live in IKEA, a change of scene is a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Take your laptop to the park or beach, bring a notebook to your favourite café, or sit outside in your own backyard to stimulate the senses and get inspired.
4. Dare to be different
Do you always wear the same colours, cook the same meals, or pull the wrong curtain cord so the curtains close the OPPOSITE WAY TO WHAT YOU WANTED THEM TO EVERY TIME?! (Or is that just me?) We often default to the same style when it comes to what we write, design or plan. It’s good to have your own style, but pushing the boundaries leads to new ideas. Trying a different style will seem odd, but the unfamiliarity of trying a different colour, font, writing style or mindset (eg. glass half full versus glass half empty) could be just what you need to break through that creativity block.
5. Quit while you’re ahead
One of the best pieces of writing advice was given to me by a tutor at uni, who said writers should stop writing while they’re on a roll. It sounds counterintuitive, but if you keep pushing until your mind fatigues, your well of creativity dries and what you produce is second-rate. Quitting while you’re ahead ensures your mind produces fresh, inspired ideas, and you’re less likely to hit the creative wall.