Becoming Creative on Demand

Throughout the years I’ve had to constantly create in my profession even when my creativity tank feels like it’s running on empty. Most people have to create on demand at their jobs.

Businesses are demanding more creativity out of their employees. I’ve always enjoyed brainstorming sessions in group situations at work. However, when I’m on my own, I often have to pull myself out a creative slump. Instead of calling the challenge a “creative block,” I think of it as a reminder to fuel up for a trip down imagination lane. Here are a few of the different ways I get back in the creative groove:

Work in the dark

One strategy I try when I’m feeling stuck is to get working. I pretend that I have the answers. Even if my mind feels blank, I start working on the canvas (or computer) in front of me.

Jot down ideas

I jot down ideas in a notebook even if the ideas seem stupid. Oftentimes, one idea will lead to a more innovative idea. If I’m having trouble coming up with my own ideas, I talk to friends or family members. They may not have the exact answer, but the conversations usually help me tap into my own imagination.

Carve out quiet time

Whether it’s doing something mindless or staring at the ceiling, everyone needs a mental break. If I have tried other strategies and still feel stuck, I stop thinking and start staring. I eliminate distractions and noise.

Change my people scenery

Sometimes I need to go outside and take in the fresh air. But oftentimes, it’s the people scenery that needs to change. Everyone benefits from diversity. I spend time with children and older people. With a family of all males, sometimes I need to get together with my female friends. Nothing stifles my creativity more than hanging out with people my same age, ethnicity, gender, religion or political affiliation. It helps to be around people who have different careers.

Exercise my brain

To increase unleash my creative energies I engage in creative activities, but not necessarily the one related to my profession. I draw pictures, work on a challenging math problem, decorate cakes or arrange flowers. My grandmother solves crossword puzzles to keep sharp.

Sometimes I like to zone out but can’t afford to do absolutely nothing. During those times, I switch to mindless but necessary tasks. If nothing else works, having a zap of caffeine or brain food such as fish will give me the fuel I need to meet my deadline or get to my destination on time.

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