As a creative professional, it’s your job to create. But sometimes, that creative spark you’re known for just won’t ignite. Here are 15 ways you can jumpstart your creativity, right now and later:
- Go for a walk. Physical movement can get your brain going in a way that staring at the wall cannot. If you meditate, consider a walking meditation to clear your head space.
- Listen to music. Whether it’s classics you love, something new, or even ambient noise, fire up a playlist. It’s about getting in the right mood to free your mind and get ideas flowing.
- Read something new. The Internet has a seemingly endless supply of content that goes beyond cat videos or Buzzfeed quizzes. Give yourself a time limit and go down a creative wormhole by searching designers, writers, and other artists you admire. (Our Pinterest page is full of illustrations and designs that inspire us!)
- Change colors. Blue activates a “promotion focus” and helps enhances performance on creative tasks, according to this study. Change your desktop background picture, or study nature-drive photos of blue oceans, skies, and so on.
- Doodle. Even if you draw for a living, bust out a pen and paper and draw. Don’t think. If you prefer to free write instead, do that. Or play a game on your phone, or use your desk supplies as wannabe Legos. Enjoy the physical sensation of touch, and let the mind wander.
On the Weekends:
- Turn off your brain. Watch a silly movie, an uplifting documentary, or some crazy reality TV to give your brain the break it deserves.
- Keep a journal. Even if you don’t write in it religiously, having a journal (or a sketchbook) is a great way to express your inner thoughts and feelings. Something you jot down as a half thought could become the start of something big!
- Do the dishes. Tasks like sweeping, vacuuming, or mowing the lawn allow your subconscious to do its thing and not think too hard so new ideas can enter.
- Make a list. Sometimes the simple act of writing it all out can free up brain space. Write down everything you think you need to do — and be specific! If you’re preoccupied with redecorating your bedroom, list out each item and its task (go to the store, choose paint color, buy paint, etc)
- Go outside your comfort zone. Branch out. Have lunch with a different friend. Try a new form of exercise. Read a book you wouldn’t normally buy. Plan a trip to a museum. Head to the beach if you’re a “mountain” person. It might be your next source of inspiration.
- Exercise! Release those endorphins and help boost your creativity.
- Don’t try to be perfect. The more you focus on trying to make something perfect, the more likely you’ll drive yourself crazy. Allow yourself to be messy, unpolished, and well…unperfect. You can always edit or change something later. Just try to go with the creative flow!
- Silence your critic. Your inner critic — the voice that tells you “this isn’t good enough” — is just as bad as perfectionism. Color outside the lines and tell that negative voice inside of you to be quiet until you’re finished drawing.
- Reverse think. If you’re struggling with a specific problem, go at it from another angle. Try reversing your assumptions about the issue at hand, and see what ideas pop up from that. Getting to the point where you can effectively describe a problem’s contradictions will get you on your way to solving it.
- Look for connections. Combine something you’re thinking of with something that inspires you. Through idea generation exercises, force unrelated ideas to fit, and see if anything sticks.
- Carve out time for you. To the best of your ability, think ahead and carve out some “me” time at the office. It doesn’t have to be long (it could be as short as 15 minutes), but it does have to be time for you to breathe and be, without worrying about meetings, emails, or busywork.
How to do recharge and reboot your creative process? Share your tips and tricks with us on our Facebook page!