Hey, no judgement here. Us writers are the worst for dipping in and out of creative spells.
No matter what field you’re in, there’s bound to be times when you simply can’t be assed.
And in those times, you need to shake things up and get those neurons firing again.
This week, we’re looking at ways to kickstart creativity when the world conspires against it.
Strap in, we’ve got motivating to do!
Here are 10 ways to rewire your brain so you can bounce back:
1. Change Environments
This is a tough one because on one hand; your workspace is consistent and that lends itself to productivity.
But when it doesn’t, it’s a major vibe killer.
Working from home can be easier to simply move to a different room and rearrange furniture etc but if you’re office based – not so straightforward.
A lot of our inspiration comes from the things we surround ourselves with. Even moderate noise plays a factor, as concluded in a study by Juliet Zhu.
Colours have a big influence too. Try changing the colour palette around you and see how it affects your mood.
Things like artwork, pictures and paintings help us too. Even stuffed animals. In fact, messy environments stimulate creative thinking!
2. Get Outside
Just leave. Just get up and walk out the door.
Come back, but take a walk first.
Nature is proven to help creativity, especially when preparing and pondering ideas.
If you’re working in a bustling inner city then just by walking itself, creative thinking is boosted by 60% on average.
3. Lean On Your Network
We all experience doubt, fear and confusion.
When you’re feeling uninspired or unsure about where to go next, check in with your network.
Facebook Groups, LinkedIn (really any social media) or chat forums like Reddit and Discord, are all excellent for asking questions and getting tons of valuable feedback.
If you’re lucky enough to have a mentor, they’re the perfect people to help get things back on track.
4. Pick Up A Book
Books are chock full of ideas, inspiration and plain joy.
When you find yourself in a rut, books can provide much-needed escapism for a quiet minute or guidance in your field.
Canva produced a list of 40 books for maximising creative thinking.
5. Listen To A Podcast
Oftentimes when I need a pick-me-up I’ll take 10 or 15 minutes out to listen to a podcast.
They’re perfect because most of the content is bitesize so you don’t lose too much time and there’s a podcast for virtually every subject in every industry.
6. Stick Some Music On
Belting out bangers isn’t just for housework you know.
The Guardian news outlet detailed a great routine for what and when to play.
From slow numbers all the way up to power ballads. There’s always a tune to get you in the mood.
Maybe even create a playlist that carries you through the day.
7. Start A Swipe File
A swipe file is a digital or physical folder containing all of your brilliant marketing ideas.
Pocket is great for this. You can add a shortcut to your browser and then anything you come across online that you want to save for later, just add it to the file and voila.
Curate content from around the web and keep it all in one place. Check back when you’re creative tank is running low to find a new source of inspiration.
The ‘notes’ section on your phone is a great way to quickly jot down ideas when you’re out and about too.
8. Repurpose Previous Content
Looking back at previous content and projects is not only useful for measuring data and stats but also for generating new ideas.
If you had a piece of content that performed well or maybe it’s just been a while since you tapped into that particular subject, think of new ways to repurpose the content.
Could it be remade as a video? Or a social post repurposed as a full blog?
There are lots of ways to produce content now so take advantage of the different formats.
9. Make A Vomit Draft
Yeah it’s not the most attractive phrasing but it works.
When we say, “vomit draft” we’re just talking about getting your ideas out of your head and onto a page.
This is a technique screenwriters use when faced with mental roadblocks.
Sometimes all you need to start flowing again is to put something on paper, so to speak.
Once it’s written down, you can pick it apart and change things. It gets your brain thinking about different angles and analysing content in a different way.
10. Leave It And Come Back Later
I actually do this often with copywriting projects.
There’s immense power in stepping back from a project (or anything for that matter) and revisiting it with fresh eyes.
That could mean taking a few hours out or even better, sleeping on it. For me, if I’m still happy with what I’ve produced the next day, it’s a winner.
You’ll be amazed at how differently you’ll feel about something when you get some distance from it.
See How You Get On
So there we have 10 ways to help creative thinking when you’re feeling uninspired or downright lazy.
Try them out and see if they work for you and if you have any other techniques for busting roadblocks, let me know.
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