We’ve all been there: You’re cranking hard on multiple projects, creating good work, and enjoying yourself doing it. Then … nothing. Your creative spark is gone and you fall into a rut, leaving you feeling like you’re swimming in a giant, gaping abyss with no life jacket in sight. (Or is that just me?)
Even the best among us can fall victim to these occasional creative doldrums. But it doesn’t have to be difficult to overcome that mental block and reclaim your inspiration. Read on for some easy-to-use creative techniques that can help shake things up and get you back to being the creative dynamo that you are.
Change your surroundings
Take a short walk to clear your head, conduct a walking meeting with your coworkers, or work al fresco on a nice day. Anything to change up your environment and keep things fresh and stimulating. This can help you gain a different perspective, get some fresh air, and even be more productive. But if you prefer to stay indoors …
Don’t just sit there
Use a standing desk — they’re readily accessible, plus they may help you improve your posture or ease minor back pain. Some yoga moves work at the office, too. Practice deep breathing between jobs to “reset,” then tackle the next challenge.
Take inspiration from your surroundings
According to Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine: How Creativity Works, the color blue reminds us of water and sky, mentally relaxing us and making it easier to daydream. Daydreaming, in turn, helps us pay more attention to insights and possibilities — rather than the real world that surrounds us — stimulating creativity. It’s also why some of your best ideas come to you when you’re “zoning out,” showering, or even using the bathroom (I know we’ve all been there!). Lehrer explains that it’s when we have time to “play” that we’re most creative. So let your mind wander once in a while! Or listen to some of your favorite music to get the proverbial creative juices flowing.
Talk to a “stranger”
We can be creative by interacting with others, especially those who are different than we are, according to Lehrer. This is especially true when we travel and have new experiences or get to know people from cultures different than ours. But it can be done on a smaller scale during the workday too: Have a conversation with someone you don’t know well or don’t usually interact with. Or make a lunch date with them.
Work out at lunch
Exercise can be a great diversion, refocusing your mind on something other than the task at hand and allowing you to return to it refreshed. Plus, it’s known as one of the best antidepressants out there, in case you’re also feeling a little blue.
Bottom line? Try something new and out of the ordinary to easily reignite your creative spark. As one of my favorite sayings goes, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” And so does creativity.
Have your own trick that sparks your creativity? Tell us about it! Reach out on Twitter @QuattroPhilly.