There is nothing worse than working on a project and “losing” your creative powers. In reality, you didn’t lose them at all, but rather your state of mind is just simply not where it needs to be. This can be brought on by all sorts of different things like; a lack of sleep, wear out from work, unpleasant home situations, stress, other things happening in your life, or just a lack of motivation to do your job…. err, I mean project. If you feel continually unmotivated and you run into frequent creativity blocks, you should rethink your job and possibly your career. If you made it past that last sentence, here are some steps or actions (in no particular order) you can take to help restore your creative juices and get going again!
Change The Scenery
Take your work and go to your favorite coffee shop, sit at the park, work at a friend’s house. Just get away from where you are, even if that only means turning your desk around. Changing the scenery can bring a breathe of new life into your creativity. It can help change your mood and give you new inspirations.
Let It Go
Many of us know of the all to cliché moment when we get a spark of genius in the shower, but many of us have experienced this or a very similar situation. We know it happens. The point is that sometimes after working on a project for to long we become too narrow minded or stuck with our ideas that we can’t create something new and refreshing. When this happens, it is sometimes best to just let the project go, free it from our minds for a while. Distract yourself with something else and come back to the project later, or maybe with a strike of luck let the idea randomly come to you.
Chances are that if you are running out of ideas, you are not really changing the way you are generating those ideas. Don’t worry, this only means you are insane. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” as defined by none other than one of the smartest people to ever walk the face of this earth, Albert Einstein. Take on the perspective of someone who has no idea what you are doing, or better yet, ask someone like this. Combine things in the most absurd way possible. Think of the opposite. Create a metaphor. Create restrictions like only black and white, only three words, only images, don’t use a computer, etc. Think of what would make the project fail in the worst possible ways. Think of the qualities that would make your project the most successful thing to ever happen. What has never been done before on a project like this? Thinking in new ways will spark new ideas and inspiration, a surefire way to get those juices going again.
Listen To Music
This may be just me, but I’m guessing it’s not. Try listening to that new album you have been waiting to hear, or perhaps an old favorite of yours. I personally like to listen to music that is reflective of the style of work I am going for. If it’s grungy, I listen to grungy music. If it’s upbeat and happy, I listen to upbeat and happy music. Audio is just another stimuli that you can tap into to for more inspiration.
Get a Bigger Box
Don’t think outside the box. This will ensure your project will fail. Instead, try making your box bigger and putting other things in it. When you search for inspiration, we often look at what else has been done in similar situations and scenarios. This usually means that our work will come out looking the same as everything else that is already out there. The Wright brothers never would have constructed the airplane if they only thought of transportation as ground based. They looked beyond what was being done and found their inspiration elsewhere, and look what that has done for everyone! Its good to think inside the box, sometimes we just need a bigger box.
Good fun people often make us feel good as well. Being in a bad mood is likely to produce bad work. Find something that makes you feel good and your work will show it.
This can be a game changer. Sometimes we feel we have no motivation to work on a project, it happens. Perhaps we are tired of dealing with a client, we do not feel the subject of the project is exciting, or sometimes we would much rather be doing something different. You must shift away from these feelings and find a way to get excited about the project. Try thinking of the bigger picture. Sure your project might be working on outlining the details of the life of a worker ant, but you must look beyond that. Find out how the little worker ant plays a role in the bigger picture of life and you might be surprised how import ants actually are. Do your own research on the subject and see how it relates to your life. If you absolutely cannot find anything exciting or interesting about the subject, you are probably equally as boring. Just kidding. But seriously, if nothing about it excites you, find something else to stay excited about and tie in the project with it. At least realize that the project is not going to be the end of your life.
Hopefully these steps help get you back on your creative track. Remember, simply reading this is not going to get you going again, YOU must take action to see the results!
What methods or things that you can do have you found helpful for staying creative? Be sure to post in the comments so we can all be more creative!