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Crayon Box

by: Katie Kern, Marketing and PR Vice President
@KatieKern

From time to time, you have one of those days where no matter how hard you try; you can’t come up with even one good idea. It doesn’t matter whether you call it writer’s block, creative block, or “Where is my inspiration when I need it?!” when you find your creativity is being stifled, you need strategies, and plenty of them.

  1. Change your routine

Doing something out of the ordinary can get your serotonin levels up and help your brain function better. Take your morning routine: you wake up, check your phone or iPad, shower, get dressed, and so on. Same thing, different day. This type of mechanical living dampens our spirit and creativity. We slowly become creatures of habit.

At Media Frenzy Global, we take what we like to call half-hour creative breaks that consist of each individual doing something they really enjoy. It could be listening to music, reading a book or magazine, or just taking a long lunch.

Taking a break amps up the energy in the room and helps you get back to work with a clear head and fresh ideas.

  1. Listen to music

Music has powerful effects on our brains and bodies beyond what we see in other animals. Music can make us want to dance and sing, give us goosebumps, move us to tears, and even inspire our creative endeavors.

In a cross-cultural study, Canadian undergraduates performed better on an IQ test after they listened to an upbeat piece by Mozart than after a slow, minor key piece by Albinoni. So, if you’re about to tackle a difficult task or begin a creative project, try listening to upbeat music before you start. It can be a great way to boost your mood and give you the motivation you need.

  1. Work outside the office

A recent survey conducted by the global architecture firm Gensler suggests that some office environments stifle creativity. For example, there must be a space where individual can sit down and crank out work. They need enough space, a minimum of distractions, and whatever resources they require.

Collaborative work is a big part of creating an innovative company, but people also need to get things done on their own. Gensler found that 30% to 40% of a person’s day involves solo work.

  1. Do your research

Researching a topic is a great way around a creative block. Reading about topics relevant to your project almost always sparks ideas and revs up your thought process. And don’t stop after the first topic springs to mind—continue to research until you have a few to choose from.

  1. Get sidetracked

If you’re lacking ideas while working on a project, sometimes the best thing is to push it out of your mind completely and focus elsewhere.

Side projects like photography, cooking, dancing, or any other hobby, can help distract the brain while remaining productive. When you’re ready to get back to work, you’ll feel fresher and less frustrated.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. — Steve Jobs

Being creative feels like play when you’re motivated intrinsically. That is, when you’re doing what you want to do, not because someone is making you do it, it feels great. When you’re intensely involved in the creative process itself, with no immediate thought of meeting client expectations or deadlines, you are more likely to get inspired and generate more creative ideas.