Thursday, February 4, 2010

Five Ways to Get Those Creative Ideas Flowing

We will always get those times when we feel uninspired. Our energy levels feel low and we feel unmotivated and can spend hours staring at a sheet of paper or computer screen waiting for something to pop up in our minds. Fretting over being uninspired can only spiral into a vicious cycle of creative block. Here five tips on relaxing and getting those creative juices flowing.

  • Get away from the desk
    If you are deskbound get off your chair and get out and about. Visit a museum or art gallery. Most people sit around waiting to be inspired, but there is a whole world out there ready to boost you with new ideas. It could be a hike or even a game of football - whatever your mind finds refreshing. Sometimes it is better to go back to a blank canvas so find out what does it for you and go out and do it!

  • Change your daily routine
    You may have a certain order of doing things each day and have done them that way for years, even decades. It may be the case that you're stuck in a rut. Why not mix things up a bit? Go for a jog before breakfast. Eat something that you wouldn't usually eat. Read something you wouldn't usually read. Perhaps you're going to bed too late or even too early. Changing things around is a wonderful way to stimulate new ideas, as it increases your exposure to new concepts.

  • Phone a friend
    There is nothing like calling an old friend that you haven't spoken to in a while. Meet them for a coffee. Chatting and catching up for hours will get your mind working in a different way. Conversation is healthy and as you're exchanging stories you will realise how creative you actually are so go on - give them a call.

  • Something old
    Picking up something you abandoned years ago can also get those juices flowing. If you're suffering from writer's block pick up that classic novel from your teenage years. If you are a graphic designer putting together icon designs for a software company for example, you need to bear in mind what restrictions will shape your designs and how it fits with the rest of the brand identity as a whole. Pick up an old design magazine or read some interviews with notable designers to give you that extra 'I can do it too' boost. It will remind you why you chose your career path in the first place.

  • Relaxation
    Exercise can be surprisingly relaxing as it gives your mind something else to focus on, and helps to relieve unnecessary stress and anxiety that may be occupying the mind. Try yoga, pilates or meditation as they help you cultivate awareness of the present moment. It will also help to block out the never ending chatter box that is yapping in your head.

A lot of the greats looked to other things for inspiration so there is no shame in you trying the same too. Once you know what buttons to press, you will be back in the flow and doing what you do best - being creative.