Being consistently creativity is an incredibly difficult feat, I would know. I’m highly creativity, but I often find myself unable to find the words, visuals or motivation to complete a project or task. But I was born creative and it’s in my genes so why am I not able to always produce results? While some creativity is genetic, a lot more of it has to do with your environment and ability to connect the dots.
“Since the evolution of Homo sapiens, our world has been driven by flashes of inspiration, the process we call creativity. But while creativity may appear to be a spontaneous burst of new ideas, it is really the art of deriving the new from the old – the relentless reassembly of information we already possess.” – David Cox
But what happens when your brain isn’t doing what you’re calling on it to do? You feel inspired but as soon as your tasked with a project you just stare into the creative abyss. Lucky for you, this has happened to me and I’ve developed useful tools/methods to help me cultivate creativity on a more consistent basis while also protecting myself from the dreaded burn out. Burn out as a creative sucks. So how exactly can you be more creative? Here’s what I do, maybe it will work for you too!
1. Ditch The Smartphone
This is the number one suggestion I can make. Whenever I feel like I’m not being as creative as I can be, I put the iphone on silent in a different room. Normally my anxiety would take over and I’d be consumed by compulsion to go check on it. But when I consciously make the decision to part with it, my brain responds to this as ‘relax time’. I’m not worried about what’s new on Facebook or if my work email is blowing up (it can wait).
2. Take a Walk, OUTSIDE
When I was working in an office everyday, it killed my creativity. My brain was unable to get inspired staring at the same walls for 8 hours a day. I was super burned out but as soon as I began enforcing an hour lunch break outside of the office I began to regain my creativity. I would take my lunch outside, eat and then walk. Even if you can only spend 10-15 minutes walking and observing the world around you, DO IT.
3. Read and Look at Other People’s Work
I do this ALL the time. It’s the best way to feed your creativity and get inspired when you’re feeling like you’ve hit a wall. I’ll pick up a book, read some blogs, watch a movie, flip through a magazine. We’ve all heard the phrase “Good artists copy, great artists steal” and it’s pretty true. This school of thought goes back to the divergent thinking about past experience association for creative minds.
4.Take a Break
This is similar to taking a walk, but instead of actively searching for inspiration, do nothing. Allow your brain and body to simply take a break. For a long time I pushed myself far beyond the limits of what any normal person should be doing on a daily basis both professionally and creativity. The result? Complete burn out. Which was completely counter-productive and frustrating which then caused me unnecessary stress. (See where I’m going with this?) Even if you’re on a deadline, instead of trying to force creativity just take a 10-15 minute break and then pick up where you left off.
5. Schedule Dedicated Time for Creative Brainstorming
SO IMPORTANT. Since I’ve begun freelancing full-time and now rely on my creativity and art to support my lifestyle, dedicating time to creativity is priority number one. For years I put my art and creativity on the back-burner. I didn’t realize how important it was to my mental well-being and happiness. I thought of it as a hobby, not as a potential way to make money. When I changed my mindset and allowed myself to give it the time it deserved, my creativity began to skyrocket.