When being creative is part of your job, it can often feel like the pressure is on to maintain constantly high levels of creativity and ensure you have a string of successful ideas on demand. But what if you’re finding yourself in a creativity slump and struggling to claw your way out? Here are 3 ways to re-find your creativity and get those juices flowing.
1) THINK NEW
In an article by Harvard Business Review (HBR) it was recently argued that ‘thinking new’ can help inspire your creativity. Contributor Priscilla Claman suggests that many people are most creative in their first few weeks and months in a new job role. It is suggested that when you don’t know a role you are constantly asking questions, making comparisons to previously experienced situations and observing colleagues in an attempt to find your feet and increase your understanding of the task at hand. Claman believes managers ‘know that new people with new ideas can bring energy and creativity to a workplace, no matter what the level of their job is,’ and as such are always looking for new talent to push the organisation forwards.
Claman suggests that, even when you are no longer the new person in your role or indeed in your organisation, re-finding that capacity to ‘think new’ is a great way of getting yourself out of a creativity rut. She suggests meeting new people at work, talking to new clients or learning a new program, product or process that will not only add to your CV or resume but will allow you to reinvigorate yourself and find your creativity once again.
2) BUILD A SENSORY WORK SPACE
Much is written about the importance of finding a work space which inspires creativity. This could mean a clean white desk with a view and quiet surroundings, a colourful room filled with natural light and your favourite art work, or even a busy space filled with trinkets and gadgets to keep your mind ticking, but most people have their preference and space that works for them.
If you’ve found yourself in a creative slump, mixing up your working space could be a good way to reignite your spark. By changing your surrounding environment this can often bring about a new mindset, provide a different focus for your attention or simply provide a welcome break from your usual working space that could act as a catalyst for your thoughts.
One idea is to build a sensory work space. Entrepreneur.com suggested that ‘encouraging the flow of non-sequitur ideas through sensory experiences can help employees find new inspiration.’ Some methods to put this into practice include ‘hang[ing] thought-provoking abstract art on the walls, regularly fill[ing] the office with new scents or play[ing] unconventional music through your loudspeakers’ in order to provide a stimulating environment for creativity.
3) DRAW INSPIRATION FROM YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Sometimes what you need to inspire you is right in front of you, but because it makes up what most of us consider to be routine, we forget to look around. This is usually the case with our surroundings, particularly those outside in your town or city. Getting outside can work wonders for inspiring creativity, as it allows you to take a break from the project you are working on and creates head space for procrastination and daydreaming, both of which are closely linked to inspiring creativity.
In a video by car manufacturers SEAT for the Guardian, an award-winning architect, identical-twin fashion designers and SEAT’s head of colour discussed the question ‘can a city inspire creativity?’ Architect Carme Pinós told the Guardian that she likes to work in social spaces, because the mixture of people from different social classes and ages can act as inspiration for her work. For fashion designers Aitor and Inaki Muñoz, nature inspires their designs, particularly in their city of Barcelona where artist Antonio Gaudi made his name following such biomimetic principles. Even something as simple as the light, explains head of colour Jordi Font, can impact the way you see something and the conclusion you draw in your decision making.
When such simple and abundant sources of inspiration lie all around us, in our natural surroundings, sensory elements of our work spaces or in our capacity to question the conventional and the think outside the box, creative ruts need not last for long.
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