Creativity isn’t something reserved for just us designers – every profession requires an element of lateral thinking. So if you’re struggling to be creative and have hit a bit of a wall (it happens to the best of us first thing on a Monday morning) then why not try some of these suggestions to stimulate that often stagnant left side of your brain.
1. Get out of the office
Go and do a few hours of work from a cafe, or wander the streets to clear your mind. Removing yourself from your usual environment can stimulate creativity and let new ideas flow.
If you’re stuck on a particular task or need help with new ideas, why not discuss it with your team? If you work alone, call a friend or family member. Even call your mum (provided you’ve got time to discuss what that crazy uncle of yours is up to). Sometimes problem solving as a group can lead to more creative results.
3. Take a break
If you’ve got an epic task ahead of you that might take the rest of the day, you may find it hard to keep motivated and your creativity will quickly dwindle. Break up that workload into smaller chunks and take a few breaks along the way. Perhaps you could do 2 hours of work, then take 15 minutes to walk around to the park, then another block with another break and so on. You’ll often see us aimlessly wandering the streets of Adelaide… don’t worry, we’re being creative! There are also some fantastic apps to help you manage your workload and build in breaks to stay on task, such as the brilliant Focus Booster.
4. Tidy your workspace
Sometimes simply tidying your workspace can help you be creative. Move that pile of jobs off your desk and out of sight (no, not in the bin), so you can focus on the task at hand. Maybe add a pot plant next to your computer, and change your computer desktop background to something a bit more inspiring. A simple tidy up might help you come up with exciting new ideas (and you might rediscover that Kit-Kat hiding under your paperwork!).
5. Read and learn
When we’re struggling for ideas in the office, we have a whole bunch of graphic design magazines to sift through to help release our creative juices. We also jump online to read some blogs or articles related to what we’re working on to help get us in the mood. If you’re stuck on something, try reading something to help you out of the rut. Often blogs will have a series of links unrelated to the actual subject matter so be sure to stay focussed and don’t get distracted by the cute looking cat articles with catchy titles such as ‘10 amazing reasons why this is the cutest catlord in the entire galaxy’.