January’s Midweek Spark theme is Creativity and Your Business Success. Last week’s Midweek Spark: What is Creativity and how Important is it to Your Business? was about the role that creativity plays in business. Creativity is part of all aspects of business. It is one of the key skills that will make the difference in your business and help you take it to the next level.
But what do you do when the creative juices are not flowing? How can you move from feeling stuck into creativity and solutions?
Here are 7 ways to get your creativity juices flowing:
1) Free Flow – Pull out a piece of paper and put a circle in the middle identifying the main idea. Then let the ideas flow! Just write them down anywhere on the paper and then start connecting the ideas. This technique is called mind mapping. It allows our mind to think without a predefined structure. It is an extremely powerful way to create something quickly and look at different combinations. There are various free online mind mapping tools; I use Freemind.
2) Look for Inspiration – in the current news, a book or website that you follow. Whether trying to write an article or solve a problem, there is probably someone who’s written about it online. Studying someone else’s perspective can help solidify our own ideas.
3) Ask a Friend – Sometimes all we need is a spark, someone to provide a different point of view that is removed from the details or the emotions of what we are trying to do. This trusted advisor, partner, or friend can help us see beyond our current thinking and provide the ‘spark’ that will allow creativity to flow. Once that happens, it’s amazing how the ideas will start to flow as part of the conversation. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, particularly if you have a trusted friend who sees things from a different angle.
4) Get Moving – Go out for a walk, a run or go to the gym. Get away from your computer and office. Moving your body and focusing on something different allow your mind to relax and the ideas start to flow. When I’m really stuck, I take my dog for walk. She loves it and I find I have some of my best ideas when we are out.
5) Step Away and Focus on Something Else – Put away whatever it is that you are working on and allow you mind to focus on something else; particularly something you know you can do to feel a sense of accomplishment. That positive sense of accomplishment allows you to approach the activity you were stuck on with a new energy.
6) Ask Yourself Creative Questions – Questions that lead you to think beyond the obvious. For example, if dealing with a difficult client who expects you to provide a “new” solution, you could ask the following set of questions:
- What is important to the client? What is motivating them?
- What one thing could we do differently?
- If we changed X, what would happen to Y?
- What other solution are out there?
7) Do Something Fun – Some of the best ideas come from having fun and not thinking about the business. Get out and have some fun. Do something that uses a different part of your brain. If you love to cook, make a new recipe. If love golf go to the driving range. Grab a coffee or drink with a friend who always makes you laugh.
The next time you are feeling blocked try one of these 7 ways to get your creative juices flowing. What other ways do you get your creative juices flowing? Please share below.