We’ve all been there; you are trying to wrack your brain for a great idea, or really any idea, but nothing is coming to you. Your stress level is steadily rising, making it even more difficult to think of ideas. Before you know it, you’re sweating, maybe even hyperventilating, and can’t think about anything other than drinking a grande soy latte and crawling into bed. Keep the following 7 tips in mind to prevent such situations from ever happening again.
1. Put yourself in a creative space
Creativity breeds more creativity. Whether that means playing music out loud, hanging art on the walls, or decorating with vibrant colors, it is essential to work in a space that you feel expresses the type of inspiration you wish to elicit.
2. Stay alert
Grab a coffee or do some crunches, whatever you need to do to stay alert. And no, alert is not the same thing as awake. Alert means being engaged in and contributing to the discussions at hand, absorbing what is being said, and drawing connections to other applicable material. This way, you are thriving off of the energy the other meeting attendees are putting forward; making you only more alert and engaged.
3. Take breaks
Think about something completely different, go for a walk, remove yourself form the environment you are working in. One ten-minute break every hour will help you stay alert and keep your brain refreshed. That way you won’t get bogged down or frustrated with the task at hand.
4. Write down your ideas
Seeing your ideas physically written out allows you to acknowledge all of the work you have already done. You can see your progress and more easily build off of it. You won’t be lacking inspiration when you see all of your hard work laid out in front of you.
Coming up with ideas can be intimidating but you just need to start; get out those obvious notions, the bad ideas, and the stupid thoughts. You will feel better hearing them out loud and, although they may not be great ideas, they often spark better ones. Clearing your mind of the obvious and the ridiculous will let you focus on the innovative and creative.
6. Find fresh perspectives
A change in perspective, even if it is not directly related to the task at hand, can spark new ideas and let you dissect problems with a different lens. Reading about a new topic, talking with people in other industries, or working in a new space are just some of the ways you can challenge your point of view.
7. Develop a routine
Although it is good to switch things up, when it comes to the time to actually do your creative work, it helps to have a solid routine. Your brain will be conditioned to certain circumstances that signal when to be creative, allowing you to fall into the mindset quickly. Train your brain to know when to be creative.