Void of ideas? Creative juices running low? Have you been staring at your computer screen losing the will to live?
Sounds like you’re in a creative slump, which is not ideal if you’ve got to come up with some super-engaging social media posts or a new marketing campaign to launch your latest product!
Don’t worry, creative slumps and being stuck in a rut happen to everyone. It could be a result of mental burnout, criticism, or just a lack of inspiration. These periods of time are annoying and sometimes stressful, but remember this is not a measure of your success and you will escape it, promise!
1. SWITCH UP YOUR ROUTINE
Doing the same thing day in, day out, can really put a pin in your creativity, right? Experiencing new sights and sounds is a great way to find inspiration. This doesn’t have to mean travelling to the other side of the world, but adding some variety to your daily routine might just crack it.
If you find yourself eating the same breakfast, listening to the same radio station whilst working and having a coffee at 2pm like clockwork every single day, it’s probably time to ditch the routine and switch things up. If you’re working from home, try changing your work location at some point during the day, listen to a creative playlist instead of the radio, try an inspiring podcast at lunch, or when you’re stuck in rush hour traffic. Even the smallest change can trigger your senses. It’s turning off the autopilot you’re used to and exploring the world around you a little more to help you get out of that creative funk.
2. WORK IT OUT BY WORKING OUT
Many of us sit staring at a computer screen for hours on end, and when we’re not staring at that screen, we are staring at our mobile or TV screens – no wonder our minds can go numb. Adding some exercise into your daily routine can positively impact the way our minds function through the endorphins released when we move around a bit more than usual, which makes our brains very happy. Even a quick twenty-minute walk at lunchtime can trigger the ‘happiness hormone’ and leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of your day.
3. CATCH MORE Z’S
Find yourself yawning or struggling to keep your eyes open and reaching for the caffeine regularly throughout the day? Many of us are sleep deprived, and this hugely hinders our productivity more than we realise. A bad night’s sleep can slow your brain right down, cause us to forget things more frequently, and leave us feeling a little grumpy.
Sleeping shouldn’t be considered a waste of time and being “too busy” isn’t a valid excuse because a good night’s sleep will make you happier, healthier and more efficient in your waking hours. Prioritise sleep and your next dream could be your next big idea!
4. EXPRESS YOURSELF
Let go of the need to create and don’t push yourself too hard. Ask yourself first: would I say that to my best friend? If the answer is no, then don’t do it to yourself either.
Write down whatever is in your head, even if it doesn’t seem relevant at that moment, doodle and see what you draw, scroll on Pinterest, and to see what inspires you, take a look back on what you’ve already done – and you might start to see patterns which trigger your creativity. It’s so important to free up the thoughts which are taking up space in your head and could be a distraction from you thinking up your next “thing”. Remember – even if nothing came of this – it wasn’t a waste of time. It’s always good to get the thoughts out of your head.
5. TALK IT OUT
“Don’t bottle it up”. Most of the time we keep our problems to ourselves because we don’t want to burden anyone else with our work issues – but getting someone else’s perspective on things could be just what you need to see things in a different light. Ask a work colleague or a friend if you can have a 15-minute chat – massage their ego and let them know that you need their creative brain! Remind them they can call you if they’re having similar issues. Discussing a problem with someone else can unleash ideas and just getting someone else’s perspective could enliven your creativity and soon you’ll be bouncing ideas off each other!
6. BLOCK OUT THE DISTRACTIONS
Aeroplane mode on, notifications off. Set yourself a time goal to concentrate and focus on what matters the most with nothing around you to cause distraction. After the time is up, if you feel in a flow, continue to work, and if you feel like you need a break, stand up and walk away from your workspace for five to ten minutes. Maybe reward yourself with a snack? It might surprise you how well you work under pressure.
It can be tireless trying to create new ideas every day, no matter how creative you are. To save both time and energy, why not schedule a brainstorming session, this can be by yourself or with others, so that you can batch create all ideas all into one. Usually as one idea is made another springs off that and so on…
We hope these tips will leave you feeling more refreshed and full of ideas!