By Neil King
If you are suffering a mental block, take advantage of our fifteen top tips for getting your creativity back to its best
1) Take time out
Distancing yourself from your work might take the pressure off and give your brain the rest it needs to relax. Taking time out could be the key to reinvigorating that part of you that comes up with creative ideas, so get ready to switch off in order to recharge.
2) Hit the blogs
Finding inspiration in other people’s creativity is no bad thing. Don’t go so far as to copy their ideas, but don’t be afraid to see what they are doing, writing, drawing, creating. Whether you go to a business blog, a design blog, a financial blog, or any other type of blog, somebody else’s words could generate creativity within you.
3) Keep up with trends
Knowing what’s going on out there could give you extra tools with which to push boundaries. If you want to be creative artistically, for example, then the latest design software could give you more options than older, more dated packages.
4) Have a debate
Ok, it’s not good to get into a full-blown argument, but debating a topic with somebody could have the dual benefits of giving you a new point of view to consider, and forcing you to hone your own views.
5) See what you don’t like and try to fix it
Fixing a problem requires creativity, so why not seek out something you don’t like and figure out ways to make it better? Not only will you have solves that particular issue, but you’ll have put yourself into a great creative mindset.
6) Do something outside your daily routine
Familiarity breeds contempt, so the saying goes. To combat this, do something outside the norm now and again. It’s fun, and could inspire you and boost your creativity by allowing you to look at things differently.
Getting to know your subject matter gives important access to greater breadth of knowledge, and with greater knowledge comes greater creativity. Having deep understanding of your business or skills can allow your creativity to flourish.
8) Take risks
The phrase ‘think outside the box’ may be hackneyed, but it still has relevance. Doing something unusual and ‘out there’ is an act of creativity in itself, and whether or not you hit upon a brilliant idea, at the very least you’ll be thinking in a way that is unrestrictive and potentially liberating.
If you’re not sure where you should be going, start noting down where you are and brainstorm new ideas. You might be surprised how quickly your creativity starts to flow – sometimes in directions you weren’t necessarily expecting.
10) Keep a journal
Journals can be a good way of keeping track of where you are, where you’ve been, and where you want to go with various ideas and plans. Writing down your every day goings-on can help you see things more clearly when you need reference points, and can help create paths for the future.
11) Carry a notepad
Inspiration can strike anywhere, so the presence of a notepad can be invaluable. Jotting down ideas, thoughts, sketches, realizations – it all helps consolidate the creativity you might not even realise you have within you.
12) Ask lots of questions
Finding out new things is a great way to get creative, so be proactive in asking questions. Some people say there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and whether this is true or not you’re bound to get some new ideas when people respond to you.
13) Take some exercise
Health body, healthy mind. It’s been proven time and again, so if you can get out there and work up a sweat, do it. Not only can your intellect and fitness benefit, but the time spent occupying your body in a different way could give your mind the freedom it needs to think in new directions.
14) Visit a gallery, read, or watch a film
While creative can strike spontaneously, it’s sometimes beneficial to give it some encouragement. By immersing yourself in the creative arts, your own creative juices could start flowing, and before you know it you could be putting down copious new ideas.
15) Bide your time, then pounce
Don’t force it, and don’t feel frustrated when creativity doesn’t pour forth. Patience is a virtue, so cut yourself some slack and take the pressure off. But always be ready. When creativity appears, seize the opportunity and make the most of the inspiration.