We all are creative – because we create things. Whether it’s a business plan, an academic paper or a client proposal, there will be times when we hit the wall and run out of creative juices.
Although the creative process shouldn’t be rushed as much as possible, there are ways to position ourselves to allow the ideas and inspiration to flow more easily.
These are 8 small things we can do when we seem “stuck”.
1. Talk to people
Instead of having a conversation focused mainly on the topic at hand, why not try talking about things which are off-tangent to whatever you’re working on? Having a chat with others is a great way to bounce off ideas, hear what they have to say and get feedback on your work from their perspective.
2. Take a walk
When we’ve spent most of the day being sedentary at our desks and cubicles, it definitely helps to take a short walk to the restroom or the pantry for a quick sip.
Even better, head outdoors for a while to get a breath of fresh air, unwind from all the busyness and let your mind wander for a bit. You never know what ingenious ideas you might get from all these.
Breaking a sweat helps you to stay healthy and keep in shape, but it also releases endorphins which alleviates your stress levels. In addition, a great workout does help to put you in a better frame of mind to think and work better.
Our brain consumes up to 20% of the energy or calories we take in and working on an empty stomach will not be doing your mind and body justice.
While it may be tempting to feed on some sugar-laden snacks, why not go for some fruits instead? And don’t forget about having your proper meals as well – it’s hard for you to go the distance when you’re running on empty.
5. Do something relaxing
It’s true that cranking your engine to churn out ideas can take a toll on yourself. Therefore, it’s important engage in recreational activities and in things which you love doing.
So go ahead and pamper yourself. Our minds do come up with the best ideas when we are operating from a state of rest.
6. Do something totally irrelevant
Sometimes, a great way to get inspiration is to put yourself in a context or environment that is diametrically opposed to what you are currently working on.
For example, if you are drafting the layout of a clothing retail store, instead of merely visiting other brick and mortar outlets and shopping malls, why not explore and observe banks, a factory supply line, a post office or a petrol kiosk?
7. Take a break/nap
If you have absolutely exhausted your mental and physical “juices”, it’s time to unwind so that your mind and body can recharge and recuperate. Just like our bodies require physical rest and sleep, our minds also need some time off from the tasks at hand.
8. Take it easy – don’t go too hard on yourself
It’s not your fault for being “stuck”. There will be days when we are just in the zone and there will be moments when we seem to be wandering in a cerebral wilderness.
In such times, fret not and don’t be too harsh on yourself. This is because ideas and inspiration have to come naturally – we can put ourselves in a conducive environment for them to emerge, but we shouldn’t rush the process.
Take it easy, relax, breathe in and out, and take things one step at a time. It will only be a matter of time before you pick up speed again.
What do you do when you run out of ideas or inspiration? Feel free to share them in the comments below.