What triggers your creative side

Creative block? 6 tips to overcome them

Maybe you're a graphic designer or part of a creative team, or maybe you just design on the side. Either way, if you work creatively on a regular basis, you will eventually face the dreaded creative block.

So what do you do when you are under heavy pressure to come up with something clever and the deadline is slowly but surely approaching? You may find yourself squirming, distracting yourself with emails, or drinking a whole bottle of Chardonnay in hopes of redeeming inspiration, but that won't solve the problem. It's better to learn a few strategies that will help you overcome the hurdles and get your creativity flowing again.

1. Nature promotes (your creative side)

Many of us live in cities and suburbs where it is impossible to regularly drive into the great outdoors. But even if you can't go to the beach or the lake or the mountains, it still helps to go to the park - or take a walk and get some fresh air and a change of scenery. There is evidence that nature is extraordinarily helpful in clearing your mind. Green spaces have a calming effect on your brain and this helps stimulate creative ideas as your brain is not distracted from the hustle and bustle of city life. The fact is, this effect increases if you avoid distractions from your smartphone or text messages. Which leads me to topic number 2 ...

2. Turn off the internet ... if only for a few hours

There is growing evidence that smartphones, social networks, and the internet have become an even bigger distraction, making it difficult for us to focus on one thing and thereby “stifle our creativity”.

Spending your idle time on business emails and always busy texting may feel productive, but the loss of free time can damage your imagination. Your brain needs time to relax and be absent in order to come up with new ideas. So if you are struggling with your current task, do your best to avoid spending that time on status updates or looking at what Instagram posts are in your feed right now. Leaving the roaming mind brooding over an idea is key to sparking the creativity that you seek.

3. Lie down and try not to fall asleep

The creative team does a lot of the work sitting down. Or increasingly at standing desks - or even while cycling! But a study has shown that many ideas come to us when we are lying down. The study examined the ability of test subjects to solve anagrams, those tricky word puzzles, the solutions of which usually result in an “A-ha!”. You may have noticed this before when you found the solution to a complicated problem in bed.

So try lying down to get a different perspective when you're dealing with a creative block. Or, if you don't want to be the weird owl in the office lying under your desk, I suggest you always have your diary, coloring pad, Wacom tablet, musical instrument or other favorite things that encourage your creativity next to your bed to hand for the moment when creativity strikes!

4. Be a child again

I know you have a job and due dates and a busy schedule, but it really helps to turn off the logic of day-to-day thinking and play every now and then! Playing helps free your creative mind from the sanity and rigor of the brain. When you play, you often hold up critical judgments and are able to approach ideas from a completely new perspective. The fact is, companies like Google and M3 have taken the idea of ​​the fancy workspace by designing offices that look like classrooms or playrooms. So what can you do to let your inner child out? Rummage out your old Legos or sit on the floor (for a child's perspective) and scribble a little. Try to learn a new instrument or a new language! Join a team at the university ... Whatever it is, remember, enjoying the experience is important. So really do something that is fun!

5. Let your mind wander ...

Whatever you want to call it (mindfulness, attention, absent-mindedness), meditation can have various uses for creativity. Studies have shown that meditation helps reduce "cognitive rigidity" or the inability to look at ideas from a different perspective. And the attention it takes for meditation helps nurture the mind, which is more adaptable as it approaches new ideas. Studies have also shown that a short time is enough. The effects of 10 minutes of meditation can last for hours. In addition, meditation can increase mood and reduce stress! A UCLA study also found that the brains of people who meditate are less prone to age-related wasting than those of people who do not meditate.

Has it been more common lately that there is emptiness in your head? Maybe it's time to take a step closer and try take10.

6. Do nonsense

The pressures to be perfect can be huge, especially when you have to keep customers happy. And the feeling can constrict your creative flow. So it's important to remember to give yourself the freedom to be creative for the sake of creativity.

Remind yourself why you love what you do by creating creative work that is not meant for anyone and with no purpose in mind! Allowing your brain to create freely and without criticism can boost your imagination, much like playtime and meditation.

Do you need ideas for fun creative tasks? Make a flip book! Draw in a coloring book (inside or outside the lines). Write silly stories about inanimate objects ... just remember, no rules and anything is possible!

Share your tricks to get out of the creative hole. We can use them all!