1. Change Your Environment
The very first thing I do when I feel uninspired is to change my physical environment. While routine can be a great thing for personal productivity, sometimes it can kill your creative spirit. You get too used to the way things are and need a change to spark new thoughts and ideas.
If that doesn’t work, maybe it’s your office space itself. Even the noise levels can influence your creativity. A study from Juliet Zhu found that a moderate noise level provides just enough distraction to encourage creative thought. Find a few different spaces that work for you, and change your environment when needed.
2. Take A Walk
Stanford researchers have found that walking improves creativity. On average, creative thinking increases by 60% when there is walking involved. Not only does inspiration form while walking, but then it continues to come even after you return to your desk.
3. Make Something For Play
Think back to some of your most creative years in life. Most of us think back to our early elementary years. At the age of five, you’re at 80% of our creative potential as you’re inventing all the time.
Remember the finger painting, drawing, snowmen building, tree forts, and everything else? The only difference between then and now is that back then you allowed yourself to just play. There was no plan, no set goals, just an idea and the freedom to make whatever you wanted.
Give yourself room to play. Just do it. I promise you won’t regret it.
4. Try Something New
Lately when I hit a creative road block, I find a new hobby to pursue in order to give my creative thinking a new perspective. For me as a graphic designer, that means playing with watercolors, hand lettering, woodworking, video, and other forms of creative mediums that I wouldn’t consider myself to be a pro at.
For you, it might mean writing a short story, cooking a new recipe, or going to a new class on the weekends. Do something new to not only grow your creative background but to give a refreshing break to your usual practice.
5. Take A Trip
Maybe it’s not enough to change rooms or even change buildings for that matter. Maybe you just need a trip out of town to be around a new culture. Take a trip with some friends and enjoy your time together.
“New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain,” according to a study done by Adam Galinsky. Even new experiences that are totally unrelated to creativity can bring new ideas and perspectives when you return to the office. Designer Stefan Sagmeister closes his studio once every seven years to do just that.
6. Have A Mentor
Creative mentors are some of the best mentors. Mentors can range from a friend, a hero in the industry, or to someone else at your workplace. Mentors are there to listen to the problem at hand and lend their expertise to help you move forward.
They can also introduce you to others that might be able to help you, making for awesome new connections and further expert advice. After all, networking is critical to finding a job you love—and one you could possibly be even more creative in.
7. Read A Book
At CoSchedule, we have several team building activities, but one of my favorites is our book club. Once a week, we get together and go over a chapter in the book that we’re reading through as a team. We discuss anything and everything that we’ve found interesting. That leads to a great conversation with a variety of topics that often influences our work through actionable steps.
Start with this awesome list of creative books. Find a book that’s interesting to you and learn through another’s story. You may even find blog ideas from reading.Find a book that’s interesting & learn through another’s story. #Iamreading
8. Listen To A Podcast
There’s a podcast for almost anything. Podcasts are great for car rides, but also for a music replacement while you work. Instead of listening to your favorite music stream, check out a podcast that will bring new insight as you work.Recommended Reading from Neil Patel:The 6 Types Of Social Media Content That Will Give You The Greatest Value
My current favorite podcast is Design Observer as Debbie Millman interviews a variety of creatives from all different industries. Look to your professional heroes, and find a podcast or TedTalk that they’ve spoken for.
9. Collect Creative Sites
While Pinterest is arguably the world’s largest inspiration site, there are several other places that may suite your industry best. For designers like me, that’s Dribble or Behance. For you, that might mean TechCrunch, Mashable, or Convince and Convert.
Whatever you enjoy, find those key sites that you can bookmark and refer to for creative reminders when you hit your creative road block.