As a creative agency, and human beings, we have all hit a creative wall at some point. It’s a natural occurrence we all end up facing eventually. This blog will detail proven methodologies that help keep our creative juices flowing for our clients and produce quality work within strict timelines. We’re sure your team(s) can put these tactics to good use as well!
1. Take a Walk
There’s a reason why we often see some of the greatest minds pacing a room as they deliberate a challenge, and that's because walking is a proven method to boost creativity. Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs was known for his ‘walking’ meetings and likewise, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been observed to have a few meetings on foot. In fact, we’ve seen standing desks provide an uplifting effect on creativity and output.
A Stanford University study found that creative thinking improved in people who took to walking (and for periods after), as opposed to when they were sitting down. Previous research also shows that routine physical activity has a positive impact on cognitive abilities in general.
As creatives, many of us can relate to spending a lot of time sitting behind a desk, so it may be a good idea to go for a stroll and see if inspiration kicks in. It could be indoors or outside; however, a change of scenery is always a plus.
Creativity Tip: Besides walking, think of other activities you could do to break away and reset your mind. Perhaps a bite to eat, some exercise (possibly yoga), or a long shower could help, even taking a moment to simply relax is a viable option as daydreaming has been proven to encourage creativity.
2. Get Inspired By Other Creatives
Creative people enjoy other creative people's work and often on a deeper level than others, so try and find other creative projects that will inspire you. A 2018 psychological study found that people who’ve engaged in admiring creative works achieved higher performance levels in creative tasks.
So take yourself out of your own work and into someone else’s whenever you’re experiencing a roadblock during your creative process. Check out a designer or writer’s work that may be similar to what you’re hoping to accomplish, or possibly an art exhibit, theatre, or even a play. A good idea is to choose an activity geared more toward your field of work, for instance, if you’re an author, attending a book reading or reading a favorite book (or a new one) may spur writing ideas and help beat writers block.
3. Feng Shui your Environment
To feng shui your space is to invite positive chi into your life to feel both harmonized and balanced in your surrounding while improving the ambiance. Our living and workspaces have a demonstrated impact on our mood and health; a hot, noisy, or cluttered space can be highly stressful and completely diminish your drive and creativity.
Besides the ancient Chinese philosophy behind feng shui, research shows that how we design a space or environment can help us relax, inspire, awaken, comfort, and heal, which ultimately contributes to positive feelings and performance.
If you haven’t already tapped into this phenomenon, now would be a great time to do so and get your creative juices flowing. Create an office space that helps you feel inspired and creative; decorate with your favorite memorabilia, art, flowers, and pictures that you find intriguing and motivating. Most importantly, focus on de-cluttering your environment and removing objects that are unpleasant or distracting.
Creativity Tip: Research in color psychology shows that the color blue can make people think more creatively and produces a positive effect when doing creative tasks. Perhaps incorporating the color blue in your space may help you process things more creatively and ultimately help you to stay in a creative mindset.
4. Try Problem-Solving Techniques
Whenever you’ve encountered a creative wall, it’s always a good rule of thumb to take a step back - analyze and re-conceptualize the issue. Revisit the problem from the very beginning, find a different way to think about the problem, and look at the problem from a different angle.
Exploring effective problem-solving strategies can also help you figure out an issue better. Implementing proven tactics such as the IDEAL (Identify, Define, Examine, Act and Look) method, Six Sigma’s DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) model, or Kepner and Tregoe’s Problem Analysis Method, can lead to more novel solutions.
5. Find Your Mojo
Many creative professionals work under strict timelines and deadlines, so waiting to ‘feel creative’ is, often enough, not an option. Research data suggests these are the moments, however, that we’re ‘most creative’ or productive, and seizing those opportunities is vital.
While most humans are essentially a diurnal species that functions at peak levels during the day, others are rather nocturnal, which are more effective at night or the evening time. So try to figure out the days and times that really work best for you. If you’re a morning person, waking up a bit earlier to tackle the complex part of a project could go a long way.
If you’re like some people who struggle to work when it's too quiet, then turning on white noise, classical or happy music has proven to unlock creativity. A low-pressure environment is sometimes necessary for others to get their creative gears in motion, so taking work home or scheduling certain tasks on a quiet Sunday afternoon may just allow the magic to happen. Once you have figured out which scenario works best for you, make it a routine and be consistent.
Some of the most famous and successful people in the world swear by the effectiveness of meditation. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Russell Simmons, and Dr. Oz are just a fraction of the celebrities who have attributed daily meditation to their successes.
Research shows that certain types of meditation directly link to improved creative thinking. Based on scientific studies on Open-Monitoring (OM) meditation, where an individual is receptive to every thought and sensation without focusing on anything particular, one can increase divergent thinking - a key driver of creativity.
As a creative professional, incorporating meditation techniques into your daily routine could be a powerful way to stimulate new ideas and evolve creative thinking.
Bye, Bye Creative Blocks!
Experiencing a creative block may be short-lived or can last a really long time for many individuals. At Trifactor, we’ve found these six tips to help overcome both temporary and long-term blocks and also assist our creative team to stay inspired for daily tasks.
For our clients, we offer an array of creative workshops that range from Storyscaping to Campaign Discovery that not only help their teams to spark new, and more innovative ideas but also create memorable video ads that produce lasting results. If your company would like to experience the magic that happens in one of our creative workshops, simply book a call today.