When you are stuck in an idea rut, try something new. Take a different route to work, listen to unfamiliar music, explore a book store, problem solve with your non-dominant hand or watch an inspiring TED talk.
Keeping a journal and writing about your creative ideas is a great way to spark inspiration both now and in the future. Search for creativity quotes and read them when you need a boost.
1. Take a Walk
Taking a walk is one of the easiest ways to get creative. It allows your mind to free up and explore new ideas without the pressure of completing a task.
A simple walk can help you brainstorm and solve problems, and it also provides a great opportunity to get some exercise. Try walking somewhere that is unfamiliar or even unexpected, such as a different route to work or a new park.
Many artists have used walking as an opportunity to get creative, such as Salvador Dali who would hold a set of keys above a plate while dozing to generate inspiration for his paintings. You could also try walking in a room that is painted blue, which has been shown to encourage creative thinking.
2. Listen to Music
Music is a powerful creativity-boosting tool. In fact, some Domestika artists say that hitting the play button is the first thing they do when they sit down to work.
Research shows that listening to music while performing a task promotes divergent thinking, which is associated with creative thinking. Studies have found that classical music inspires creativity the most, with Vivaldi’s classic concerto four seasons being the top choice.
For best results, choose instrumental music that is upbeat and in a moderate volume to increase your arousal and boost concentration. You can also try other outside-the-box activities that inspire creativity, such as trying new foods or watching a TED Talk video.
3. Watch a Movie
When you’re in a creative rut, it can be hard to get ideas flowing. However, there are some simple things you can do to inspire yourself and get the creative juices flowing again: take a different route to work, try new music, cook with your non-dominant hand, problem solve in a different environment or watch a movie.
A good film can inspire you in many ways — by sparking your imagination, providing emotional connections, teaching storytelling strategies, offering visual inspiration and exploring completely different perspectives. Some great films to watch include Amelie, the Princess Bride and Pan’s Labyrinth. Then, you can feel like you’ve been inspired all day!
4. Read a Book
Reading is a powerful way to inspire creativity. It forces your mind to visualize a story with the power of imagination and can help you develop new ideas for your own work.
Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar, wrote Creativity, Inc. to share his secrets for creating a culture that encourages creative thinking. This book is a must-read for any creative who wants to achieve success in their field.
Another great read is Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. This short book will teach you how to find inspiration and develop your own original work.
If you’re looking for a more actionable book, try The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book is written in a course-like format and will guide you through various exercises over a 12-week period to unleash your inner creative.
5. Read a Quote
Sometimes, all you need to get out of a creative rut is the right words. Reading inspiring quotes can be a great way to get back into the flow of creativity, especially when you’re feeling stuck in a rut or when an idea feels too big to tackle.
Alternatively, reading about other people’s creative projects can be inspiring as well. If you have friends who are also creative, ask them about their current creative projects and how they got started.
Changing up your routine can also be a great source of inspiration for creativity. Try taking a different route to work, listening to unfamiliar music, trying new foods or even problem solving in a new environment.
6. Talk to a Friend
Talking to a friend can be a great source of inspiration. Ask about their creative pursuits and listen to what they have to say. Encourage them to reach their goals by offering constructive feedback and praise.
Let them know you believe in their creative endeavors and have high expectations for them. This is known as the Pygmalion Effect and can really help inspire creativity!
Look for inspiration in the most unlikely places. For example, if you’re walking to the grocery store and see an interesting pattern in the flooring, make sure to take a photo of it. This will remind you of the inspiration when you’re feeling stuck.
7. Write in Your Journal
If you struggle to find time for journaling, try this tip: carve out a few minutes during the day to write without any expectations. It may help stimulate creativity.
Writing prompts such as “what if?” can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing. You can also simply write about something that inspires you.
Creativity is not a magical ability granted to only a few lucky people, it is something that can be nurtured and grown. Trying some of these tips will help encourage your creativity and get you on your way to discovering new ideas and solutions. Good luck!
8. Talk to Yourself
Talking to yourself is a good way to spark ideas and can help you get over self-doubt. Remember to be gentle with yourself, not putting a lot of pressure on yourself to come up with perfect creative solutions the first time around.
Make yourself a delicious snack that’s associated with happy memories or experiences. Getting creative with your food can boost your creativity and give you energy.
Observe people in public places and write down their actions or words in your idea notebook. Then, try to replicate or combine them in your own creative work. The ideas will build on each other over time. This process can take a while, but it’s essential for developing creative thinking.