Do you ever have those days when it feels like your brain has just hit the wall? Or you’ve gone to drink at the well of creativity and find it’s gone dry? It doesn’t happen too often to me, but when it does, I feel like I might as well just pack it in.
I know I can’t, of course. I have clients counting on me and a business to run. But whether your work or just your well being depends on the creative juices flowing, sometimes you need a little help to recharge your creativity.
Don’t beat yourself up. Step away from your work (yes, even if you’re on a deadline). Taking a break and not torturing yourself is the first step to recharge your creativity. The next step is to try one of these ideas that I have found useful when I need get inspired again.
12 Ways to Recharge Your Creativity
Surf the web. Visit other business websites, especially those for creative companies. What kind of promotions or marketing campaigns are they running? What do you like or not like about them? Take notes. It is not cool to “lift” someone else’s marketing campaign and claim it for your own. There is nothing wrong, however, with being inspired by it and finding a way to make something similar work in your own business.
Do something completely different. Visit a museum or art gallery. Go to the zoo or the local botanic gardens. Go for a hike or a drive through a scenic area. Look at your surroundings; relax and enjoy where you are and what you are seeing. Giving your mind a break from the day-to-day of business often helps to get your creative juices flowing again.
Work Somewhere Else. Get out of your usual office. Take your laptop to the park, to a co-working space, to a coffee shop. New surroundings often spark new ideas. If you’re not tied to a specific workplace, you can even use your phone to create a temporary office anywhere.
Get out of the office. Go for a walk. What catches your eye? Is there something memorable on a bus ad, a billboard or a shop window? Do the colors of nature help your mood? Take a few snaps with your phone, or take a notebook and jot down impressions, thoughts that pop into your head or ideas that are sparked by what you see.
Go to the mall. I’m not a huge mall person but it’s a visual feast (sometimes it feels more like visual overload, but that may be just what you need for some creative inspiration). Look at colors, ideas, see what the trends are, especially as they relate to your target demographic. Are you a fashion vlogger marketing to 20-somethings? Check out the trendy clothing & accessory shops to help give you ideas for your next video or ro a personal creative project. Are you selling products and services to new moms? Check out the kids’ stores. Interior designer? Photographer? Writer? There are all kinds of ideas at the mall, whether you’re looking at stores or people watching (my personal favorite).
Meditate. Try meditation to relax your mind and open it to a new flow of ideas. Meditation can not only help boost creativity but reduces stress and helps you relax and refocus.
Take a class. Or attend a workshop and learn something you’ve always wanted to do or something that’s completely different from what you do every day. Learn to cook something. Take a painting class, a dance class, go to a photography workshop. Take some ice-skating lessons.
Check out some magazines. You should keep up with news in your industry, but choose other magazines as well. What are your target clients perusing? Read a couple of those. Well, not so much read as study the advertisements and enjoy the pictures. That’s where I get the best ideas. I prefer not to subscribe to many magazines; instead, I go to the bookstore and see what catches my eye. I choose different magazines each time to make sure my inspiration sources are fresh and varied. When I was doing more photography, I read Vogue, Grace Ormond Weddings, Computer Arts, Photoshop Creative and InStyle. Now I tend to study magazines that fit the business interests and demographics of my clients so I can find inspiration to help them be creative.
Read a book for fun. Set aside the business books and the study guides for a few days and find yourself a nice fluffly piece of fiction on Amazon. You know, those books that you aren’t reading because you know once you pick them up, you won’t be able to put them down? That one. Go pick it up, find yourself a comfy chair, and let yourself get lost in someone else’s creativity for a few hours.
Trade tasks with a friend. Are you stuck on creating a new marketing campaign? Feeling dead-ended with a new product for your business? Out of ideas for redecorating the family room? Trade your uninspiring task for one of theirs. Sometimes it just takes a change of mental scenery to get you going again.
Change your playlist. Pick a genre of music or an artist that you never listen to. The arts are inherently creative and stepping out of your usual habits creates new pathways in your brain and fires up those creative neurons.
Create your own mastermind group. Plan a regular get-together with other professionals in your area. They can be in your industry, or in different industries. This is a great opportunity to exchange ideas and help one another build your businesses. Someone may come up with an idea that doesn’t work for them but might be perfect for you. They might also help you figure out a way to make an idea you like but are stuck on work for your business.
What do you do to get inspired? How do you recharge your creativity when the well has run dry? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.