About as creative as a straight line?
Feeling as if nothing is new? Like it’s all been done before..
You’re not alone. In a world of perfectly curated social media accounts, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With the stroke of a key we can be staring into the eyes of the Mona Lisa. In a mouse-click, we’re overlooking the Grand Canyon. The internet has given us instant access to all the creative beauty in this world, and yet, we’ve never felt so uninspired!
And if you’re a blogger, designer, or content creator, you know that’s a problem. Content doesn’t create itself. Clients won’t wait around for your next stroke of genius. So what can you do when you’re feeling stuck?
Here are 6 easy ways you can boost your creativity, and fast!
Easy Way to Boost Creativity #1: Unplug.
The internet is amazing. A simple mouse click can transport you to almost anywhere in the world. Maybe you’ve never been to Paris in real life, but you’ve visited the Eiffel Tower from your cubicle a dozen times. Google Maps is cool like that.
But did you hear the violinist as you strolled through Champ de Mars? Were your tastebuds delighted as you bit into a buttery pain au chocolat? Did a loving arm wrap around your shoulder as you stood staring at the twinkling tower on a warm summer evening? ..Are you catching my drift?
The internet offers cheap thrills. Experiences that leave us wanting more and never truly satisfied. Sometimes the best thing we can do is unplug from it all.
Peel yourself away from the never ending stream of pristine homes and white-washed flat lays; they’ll be there when you get back, I promise. Instead, spend some time admiring the beauty of something tangible. Something that can give back. Feel its weight in your hands. Close your eyes and breathe it in. Ignite your senses!
Easy Way to Boost Creativity #2: Clean Your Desk or Work Area.
And now that you’ve unplugged, how many of us creative types are guilty of living and working in organized chaos? Sure, we know the important paper we need for Monday’s meeting is in that basket. It’s buried under a month’s worth of take-out receipts. And the tax document is in the “important papers pile”, aka papers we have no clue what to do with. Oh, don’t mind the leaning tower of file folders. If it’s in a file, that means it’s organized, right? Hah!
In fact, a cluttered space is a constant reminder of all the unfinished business. And unfinished business is stressful. And stress is a creativity killer.
You’ll sleep better when there’s not a pile of dishes in the sink. Your mind can relax knowing there isn’t unfinished work waiting tomorrow morning. And you’ll create better when you come into a clean workspace each day.
Don’t close the door on a pile of disorganized papers, random receipts & unlabeled folders for another day. If you don’t know where to start, a simple rule is this: a place for everything and everything in its place. When you find an organizational system that works for you, the creative juices are guaranteed to flow better.
Easy Way to Boost Creativity #3: Get Moving!
One of my favorite ways to boost creativity — and for me, the fastest — is to take a quick walk! If you can’t get to stepping, then do some quick stretching in your seat. Or have a mini dance party in your cubicle. Heck, stand up and then sit back down in your chair for 10 reps. Whatever it takes to get the blood pumping.
There’s something about taking my eyes off the screen and getting my body moving that gets my best ideas flowing. And when you head out, even if it’s only for five minutes, never forget your phone. Why? Because the next tip for boosting creativity is..
Easy Way to Boost Creativity #4: Write everything down!
You never know when a good idea is going to strike. So get used to carrying a journal or phone where you can jot them down before you forget. The Notes App on an iPhone works well for this. However, if you’re like me– your most creative ideas seem to come while you’re on the-go. You’re walking or you’re driving when suddenly you’ve thought up the whole first paragraph for a blog post. And when this happens, I recommend using a Voice Recording App on your smartphone. iPhones have one built in.
Don’t forget to keep a regular journal on top of this. Sometimes you need to explore a topic over time and in-depth the way only honest journaling can. Good ideas build on one another, so the more time you spend exploring a topic on paper, the closer you get to your greatest creative epiphany yet.
Easy Way to Boost Creativity #5: Stop Comparing.
You’ve heard the saying Comparison is the thief of joy. But have you heard Comparison is the thief of creativity? If your first instinct upon beginning a new project is to see how everyone else is doing it, well.. STOP. RIGHT. THERE.
Don’t you dare type anything into Google. Remove the temptation to mimic what someone else is doing. Log out of Instagram. Turn off your iPhone. Be present with yourself and your own creativity.
Ask yourself deep, intentional questions about your new project. What do you hope to achieve? Who will this benefit? What tools do you need? How long will it take? Etc. After you’ve reflected on these questions, don’t immediately open Google or Instagram for research purposes, either. Get a pen and paper. Make an outline. Write some more until you have a full-blown plan. Take your creativity into your own hands!
Easy Way to Boost Creativity #6: Do Literally Anything Else.
If you’ve been trying to solve a problem but haven’t made any progress in hours or even days, it’s probably time to take a break. Note: this does not mean throw in the towel. You may be too close to the situation to see the problem, and if you can’t see the problem, you certainly won’t see a solution. It’s okay if you need to take a whole day (or two week) hiatus. But if you have no time to lose…
A twenty minute break might be all you need to get your creative groove back. During your break, don’t allow yourself to think of the problem at all. Do the dishes. Call a friend. Try a meditation app. You’ll return to the project refreshed, re-inspired, and able to look at things from a whole new perspective.
While these tips should boost creativity instantly, don’t forget to be consistent. Let me know if these tips work for you or how you feel after you’ve given them a try.
Do you know strategies that work better? Feel free to share them with me in a comment or email.
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