We often hear the term “creativity” said aloud with little understanding of what it actually means. Creativity goes far beyond simply making something new or combining existing ideas. As creatives, our job is to constantly evolve and follow trends in order to provide good service for our clients.
But what happens when the proverbial well is dry and we have no idea how to come up with something new? What are some of the best ways to boost your creativity and start actively working again?
Open to new ideas
You might not like certain types of food, or going to the local ice skating rink. Creatives need to keep their minds open to anything that comes along, and that includes life experiences. Do something that you have never thought of doing before, like eating a new dish or going to a new restaurant or a coffee shop. This will rejuvenate your emotional and mental energy, preparing you to be more creative afterward.
It’s often said that creative people are simply children that managed to survive – and it’s not far from the truth. Creating new web design layouts or visual identities is basically as if a child is playing with crayons. The only difference is that stakeholders, companies and real money are involved.
Try playing a video game set in a comic book world or in space and imagine actually living in that world. Read a fantasy book or watch a good movie with creative creatures and worlds to explore. Playing pretend in this way will also help you develop creative habits in ways you didn’t think possible.
Keep a notepad close to you at all times. As a creative, your job is to constantly brainstorm about the world around you and the clients in your care. This means that you should scribble some names, logos, terms or even designs while you have your morning coffee or afternoon snack. Keeping your brain busy with creative thinking is the best way to be prepared when actual clients and projects come along.
Travel someplace new
You don’t have to go abroad or to a distant island to see something new and recharge your batteries. Traveling to a local site or a museum you’ve always wanted to see can be very beneficial for your creativity. Sometimes the secret to getting into a creative groove is not thinking about it at all. This is exactly what you can do by going on a road trip with your friends, family or by yourself.
Develop a schedule
Some designers and creatives like working at night. Some of them are good at early morning hours and are completely dysfunctional for the rest of the day. Find your sweet spot and stick to it. There is no shame in sleeping during the day if it means you will be more productive at late hours. Creative work revolves around deadlines and being creative – you can’t do that on a strict 9-to-5 schedule. Develop a schedule that works for you personally and don’t deviate from it if you don’t have to.
Rinse and repeat
Staying creative is tricky over extended periods of time. You will definitely have ups and downs, so it’s important to know when to take a break. Don’t push yourself to be creative if it doesn’t click at the moment – get up and do something else for a bit. Once you discover what buttons to push to make yourself more creative again, it will be easier and faster to get back on track whenever you feel unproductive.