By: George Cowin, co-founder of Cowshed Social
Pssst, I’m going to let you into a secret. Even the most successful creatives get stuck in a creative rut sometimes. In fact, it’s as inevitable as it is frustrating. And working from home for so long has created a whole new set of challenges. But there is something you can do to help get out of the fog and on with developing amazing, client-pleasing ideas. In fact, there are seven things that are sure to set you on your way… even when you’re still working from home.
- Stop thinking about it! Yes, you heard correctly. When we’re non-stop going over a brief in our brains it can act as a stopper to ideas forming and flowing, as we’re restricted to thinking about the problem as opposed to the solution. Try moving onto another task and letting your mind focus on something else and revisiting it as a later time.
- Absorb yourself in amazing content. Instead of trying to force creativity, as tempting as it can be, sometimes just sitting back and engaging in other people’s creativity can spark ideas. When watching the content, ask yourself, what am I getting from this? Once you’ve figured that out, try to get inside the creative’s head and think about how their idea was triggered. Then channel that into your own brief.
- Fresh air is a wonder drug – fact. A walk outdoors can work wonders for getting the creative juices flowing, so get away from your desk and prepare for the ideas to flood in. Many famous authors, including Stephen King, claim walking outdoors is the secret to keeping the ideas coming.
- Notepad and pen. An old school approach but it really works. Keep pen and paper by your bed for when a great idea pops into your head whilst you’re drifting off to sleep as they inevitably do. Many songwriters swear by this method too. Sometimes the best campaigns and songs have been literally dreamt up.
- Whiteboard and sticky notes. Sometimes, just writing key words and headlines helps develop bigger ideas further down the line. Stick a note to the wall, and I can assure you, when looking at that wall, an idea will spout from that one word. Starting small gives your brain the space it needs to think without bombarding it with more data.
- Meditate. Even if it’s only for five to ten minutes a day it can really help to take your mind away from the stresses of everyday life and allow you to relax to let the ideas flow.
- Talking. As simple as it sounds, try just talking it out. There is nothing worse than racking your brain for ideas whilst stuck in the confines of the same four walls on your own. Grab a colleague, friend, partner, or even your dog! Jump on a video call or meet up if you can. Speaking the idea aloud helps you to get into the right space more quickly and makes your ideas begin to make sense… or not. If it’s latter, you know to move on to the next idea and that’s not a bad thing.