There it is. That blank sheet of paper. Or a blank Word doc with the blinking cursor. Or blank Wrike task. It’s daunting to think about that deadline due in two days, or two hours, or 24 hours... you can feel the panic creeping in. You're in desperate need of a creativity boost.
Forcing a creative state feels downright impossible. When you're in the zone, the ideas seem to come to you out of thin air. So what can you actively do to fuel creative inspiration? Next time you're stuck, just remember to B.U.I.L.D!
Yes, you heard me right. Actually try to be bored... it's not as easy as you think! Technology has opened a vast horizon of stimuli; between mobile apps, search engines, social networks, and instant communications, we reflexively reach for our phones when we have nothing else to do. The reason we so often come up with our best ideas in the shower is simply because we have nothing else to do but think. When you find yourself with a creativity block, try to daydream. Instead of tapping into an app, tap into your subconscious. Who knows what you'll come up with when you let your mind wander?
Unwind with a drink
Looks like Don Draper was on to something! Drinking (a little) alcohol has proven to help boost creativity. In a conducted at University of Illinois at Chicago, two groups of individuals were asked to perform the same creative task. The only difference: one group was slightly inebriated (BAC = .075) and the other group was stone-cold sober. To no one's surprise, the inebriated group performed slightly better on the task than the sober group. The study determined that a person's "creativity peak" is reached at a BAC of .075, just under the legal limit. Of course, too much alcohol is almost guaranteed to give you an even bigger creativity block (not to mention a headache). But go ahead, pour yourself a glass of wine and get the ideas flowing!
Inspire with color
Believe it or not, there are colors that can help influence creativity. Blue and green in particular can help boost both creativity and productivity. Red helps with focus and concentration. Having a blue or green desktop image, or even just sitting next to a window and looking outside once in a while, will enhance your ability to focus and be more creative.
Listen to music
Music can trigger different emotions from different listeners. Oftentimes, writers listen to the lyrics of a song to get inspired or to simply alter their mood. Mood can often reflect in your writing, so it's important to make sure you're selecting your music choice appropriately. The type of music can also effect how you write as well. Classical music, such as Haydn or Mozart, helps with concentration and focus whereas Impressionist music, such as Debussy and Ravel, helps trigger creativity and imagination.
Music can also act as a powerful anchor. When you need to remember the feeling or emotion of a specific moment in your past, music can trigger that memory and mental state. Music is a truly powerful tool when it comes to creativity and it's fairly accessible, so make sure you turn up the radio when looking for inspiration.
Draw on paper
Although there are many tools available on your computer to inspire you, sometimes it's good to get another perspective — a pen and paper perspective. In their book, , Drs. Carrie and Alton Barron show how it's better to capture your ideas with pen and paper first. So grab some supplies and just start jotting down words or even doodling. It'll help clear your mind of distracting thoughts keep fresh ideas coming.
How do you jumpstart your creativity?
What are your favorite ways to get your creative juices flowing? Tell us in the comments!