Everyone struggles with creative blocks, not just writers and artists. Regardless of your industry, or whether you’re a professional or a hobbyist, sometimes those creative juices need squeezing before they start to flow.
Maybe your inspiration from the day before has run dry, or the deadline you thought was miles away is right around the corner, and the stress is preventing anything else from entering your brain.
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of evidence-backed methods to get to the other side of your creative block. Take a look at the tips below and get to creating.
Go Outside And Stretch Your Legs
Since whatever you’re working on most likely requires you to sit still indoors, a surefire way to free up some mental space is to take a stroll outside. Whatever your surroundings, a busy city or lush woods, try to let them guide you away from distracting work thoughts.
Don’t look at your phone or put on a podcast, just let your mind clear as you put one foot in front of the other. Some light exercise while breathing in fresh air can do wonders for your creativity, and leave you feeling refreshed when you sit back down to work.
Write Down All Your “Bad” Ideas
Have you ever gotten a song stuck in your head that just won’t come out until you listen to it? The same applies to all of the different ideas swirling around your brain when you’re thinking of how to approach a new project. You might think an idea doesn’t work and discount it before you’ve given yourself the opportunity to explore it.
Writing down those “bad” ideas can be an eye-opening experience. Maybe you will decide to scrap the idea after all, but you could also end up seeing it in a different light and following through to success.
Do Something (Else) Creative
Creativity begets creativity, which means that any type of creating can bring you back into the zone for your current endeavor. If you’re stuck on a particularly tricky paragraph, put on some music or strum a few chords on the guitar. If you’re looking for a new angle to a presentation, doodle the first 5 images that come to mind in your notebook.
You’ll be surprised what can come from seemingly unrelated practices of creativity. An extra tip – if you don’t have it in you to create something yourself, looking at the work of other artists can work just as well in a pinch.
Pretend To Be Someone Else
Are you used to being a certain type of thinker? Teams working collaboratively on a project often consist of all kinds of personalities: dreamers, realists, creatives, sticklers, and so on. Sometimes falling into a familiar role can limit your creativity, so a good exercise can be approaching your task from someone else’s perspective.
Ask yourself, what wouldn’t I do? Think of what your first step would ordinarily be and then do the opposite. For instance, if you’re the organized type who needs to list out all of your options ahead of time, try going with your gut and the first thing that comes to mind. Don’t worry, with brainstorming there are no wrong answers!
Quiet Your Mind
When you’re feeling blocked creatively, it can be tempting to start clicking and fall into a hole of internet research, opening tabs leading from one thing to another. But often, overloading your mind is the opposite of what you need to unblock your inspiration.
Try instead to close the laptop, turn off the phone, and sit quietly with your thoughts. Just ten minutes of meditation makes a lasting impact and might just be the key to unlocking some hidden creativity. Even if it doesn’t solve your creative block, it’s proven to boost your mood and reduce stress.
Sleep On It
Sometimes no matter what you do, you’re going to stay stuck. That’s when the best thing to do is walk away and rest. Give yourself a break, leave the mental strain behind and start fresh the next day. Everyone can benefit from getting a better night’s sleep; it’s shown to increase mental health, strengthen your immunity, and generally improve your mood.
In terms of a creative block, focusing on something intently and then stepping away allows your subconscious to take over and do some work on your behalf. When you wake up, the answer may just have found you.