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Photo by: zettberlin | Source:  photocase.com

Photo by: zettberlin | Source: photocase.com

If you are suffering a creative block (or even creative apathy), try a different type of idea to combat it: Figure out another task, topic, or need that creates such a large sense of avoidance for you that it dwarfs your creative block. Then watch your creativity flow!

Yes, one answer to conquering your creative block is to find an even bigger block related to something you REALLY can’t or don’t want to tackle right now even more!

For me, if I’m struggling with writing a blog post, any type of involved administrative task can prompt a new rush of creativity. For example, now that it’s time to start focusing on preparing documentation for income taxes, I expect to have a rush of blogging ideas and legitimate interest in writing and finishing them.

If you can identify your bigger creative avoidance area, don’t be surprised to find you suddenly have renewed creative inspiration for what was previously your biggest creative block.

How’s that for a creative quickie? – Mike Brown

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creativity boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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We’re smack dab in the midst of the work week, and some of you (and by “some of you” I mean “me) may have even lost track of what day it is. That’s not good! So how about a creativity boost to get you back on your creative feet today! Here are 14 ideas for a creativity boost from a variety of different perspectives. These ideas will help whether you have a creative block or just need “permission” to boost your creativity in new directions today – or any day!

Photo by: nailiaschwarz | Source: photocase.com

  • Other people will simply see things differently than you. It is hard to beat the creative boost of letting others react to things in ways you would never think of by yourself.
  • Seek out those on the fringes of the areas in which you are interested. Also, seek out individuals on the fringe of areas that hold little interest for you.
  • Get somebody to dare you to complete something creative in only 10 minutes.
  • Agree to present a topic slightly outside your area of expertise as a great way to force new creativity and learning.
  • If you feel like your new creative idea is a fire hydrant and your supposed teammate is a dog, seriously think about finding a new creative team.
  • Sometimes, it is a lot easier creatively to start from scratch than trying to re-edit or re-format something old to fit in a new situation.
  • Do you really KNOW your way around “where you live”? Take the tour visitors take & see what new things you learn.
  • People often have different personal definitions for abstract concepts. Turn your definition into an image so it is easier to compare your definition with another person’s understanding of it.
  • If you need a creativity boost, maybe you are exhausted. Make time to get TOO MUCH sleep tonight.
  • Someone with Expertise + A Fresh Perspective from Someone Else + An Open Conversation = Definite Revelations
  • Conscious Immersion + Purposeful Repetition + Keen Observation = Startling New Insights
  • When planning a project, aim for as few “moving parts” as possible. Doing so really helps drive simplicity and boost creativity in your implementation.
  • If a new, blatantly good creative idea you had not thought of before surfaces, even one instance of it could be enough to make a creative change to what you are doing right now.
  • In new situations requiring creativity, do not start with why “I can’t,” “It won’t,” or “They’ll never.” It simply drains the energy and creativity boost you will need to actually accomplish something!
If you need a creativity boost today or any time during the work week, try one of these ideas and see how it can creatively freshen up your creative challenges. - Mike Brown

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” for help on how to be more creative! For an organizational boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Creative Ideas for CreativityFiguring out how to be creative when your creativity is blocked can depend on simply choosing appropriate creative thinking techniques to boost your creative inspiration.

Here are 26 creative ideas you can use when you are struggling with how to be creative and boost your innovative  thinking.

Pick as many of these tested creative thinking techniques as you need to re-start your creative process, find creative inspiration, and overcome a creative block.

Try Simplifying Things

Start your Creative Process with Things You’ll Throw Away – Decide upfront you’ll discard anything you create in the next hour, then simply dive in and start doing something toward your creative goal right away. You’re willing to trash it, so don’t let any self-criticism block your creative inspiration.

Doodle and Eat – Many restaurants use white paper in place of cloth table coverings. Go to one nearby with pens, markers, or crayons and doodle your way through dinner. Write, draw, diagram, or do whatever else will trigger your creativity.

Try Trait Transformation – Write down 6 descriptors or characteristics of your creative challenge. For each descriptor, ask how it would help meet your creative objective if it were bigger, smaller, turned around, removed, customized, standardized, or simplified. Asking these questions to twist your situation leads to lots of new creative ideas.

Create an Artifact – Find a small something to create that’s more easily achievable than your whole project (it could be working on something you’ve already put in the creative trash heap). Create your small start and use it as a tangible first step to get to your next bigger creative ideas.

Change Your Creative Environment

Finish Something – Maybe an obligation completely unrelated to your creative challenge is hanging over your head. Drop your creative project and focus on other nagging deadlines which may be affecting you subconsciously. Getting pesky non-creative deadlines out of the way can free you for a new perspective on creativity.

Go Get Sweaty – Studies show it and so does any great workout – physical exercise is a wonderful way to shake your mental cobwebs loose. Pick your favorite exercise and participate in it aggressively, putting your creative block to the side. When you’re done, you’ll see your creative challenge with new clarity.

Embrace Mindless Activity – Perform an activity you’re able to do without thinking or using any creative thinking. Maybe it’s cleaning or lawn work or driving around. It has to be active with plenty of opportunity for your mind to wander creatively.

Change Scenery While Staying Where You Are – Alter as much as you can about your current environment – vary the lighting, rearrange the furniture (avoiding creativity constricting right angles), sit in a different chair, stand up or lay down, look out the window, step away from the computer. Whatever you’re doing where you are, do things completely differently to stimulate your creative process.

Change Scenery By Changing Where You Are – Get as far away as you can from your creative block’s “home field.” At the office? Go to a museum or a hotel lobby. Spent too much time inside? Get outside as quickly as you can. Bored with your hometown? Start traveling. Whatever it takes, force yourself to change your physical surroundings for a creativity boost.

Take advantage of “Crowdspiration” – Go where there’s a crowd of people and use the looks, conversations, and buzz of the crowd to catalyze your creativity. Remember: the crowd can be in real life or virtual, because wading into the Twitter pool is another great source of random crowdspiration too!

Switch to a Bare Wall – Completely change the “canvas” on which you’re trying to express your creativity by switching to a new, blank one. If you’re stuck on a computer, get a new notebook and start handwriting. When you’re not able to draw something with a pencil on paper, switch to painting on an oversized canvas.

Borrow Creative Inspiration

Return to the Familiar – Use the forms, styles, characters, and media that are old standbys for your creative expression. Take advantage of familiar forms to get your creativity re-started.

Revisit Your Creative Pinnacles – Go back to a past creative success and create a variation on the theme. When stuck while blogging, redo your favorite post from a different perspective or angle. If the music isn’t flowing, play a favorite piece in a different key or tempo.

Seek out Someone Else’s Creative Pinnacle – Pick some output from one of your creative inspirations and do a BIG (i.e. non-copyright infringing) variation on a successful theme they used.

Use “Real Simple” Magazine – Real Simple, in particular, is a great creative inspiration. Take your creative block and go page by page asking how the images and headlines you see could shape your creativity, writing down ideas as you go. If you prefer a different magazine, look for one with lots of images and big headlines.

Random Wikipedia – Random inputs help trigger innovative thinking, so here’s a quirky approach to try. Take a period of your life, pick a starting point (i.e. an actor or author you enjoyed then), and look it up on Wikipedia. Click on a random link in the first Wikipedia entry and keep surfing for semi-random inputs. You never know what cool creativity will be inspired via Wikiwaves.

Stop Trying So Hard to Be Creative

Stop Everything – Walk away from your creative process and take a 30 minute nap (or whatever length leaves you refreshed). Let your mind wander and imagine anything at all as you go to sleep. Come back to your creative process refreshed and ready with new creative inspiration.

Tend to Your Basic Needs – Drink some water. Take a shower. Eat your favorite meal. Eat something you’ve never eaten before.  Take care of the basic needs of life and then restart your creative efforts.

Laugh Like Crazy – Watch an incredibly funny TV show or movie and laugh like you never have before. If laughter isn’t your best medicine for creative inspiration, pick something else to watch that you know will tug on other emotions. The key is triggering your emotions to open yourself to new creativity.

Be Patient – You know what? Now might just not be the time you can muster your creativity to respond to the goal at hand. Put the project to the side (maybe for an extended period of time), apply your creativity to areas where it is readily flowing, with the faith (you may want to say a creativity prayer) that the spark you need will happen at the right time, even if you don’t know when that is!

Seek Out New Creative Inspiration

Find Some Fresh Eyes – Ask a creative friend who doesn’t have any background in the area of your creative block how they’d approach your challenge. With a new set of eyes and fresh thinking, chances are the other person will see a creative key you’re missing.

Put Your Kids in Charge – For little kids, the whole world is new and full of creativity. Get your kids (or borrow somebody else’s, but ask first) and see what kind of creative fun they’d like to have. Whether it’s playing in the yard or going to Chuck E. Cheese, throw yourself into creativity with childlike glee to uncover new inspiration for creativity.

Seek out People with Dramatic News to Share – For some people, angst leads to creativity. For others, happiness triggers creativity. When stuck creatively, find the people in your circle with compelling stories to share – whether of challenges or of successes – as new inspiration sources.

Find Someone Who Loves Something You Created – People who think you’re creative are great creative catalysts. Seek them out and ask what inspires them about creative work you’ve done. Use how you’ve inspired them in the past to inspire your creativity now.

Host a Creative Happy Hour – Invite a group of cool, creative people to join you for a happy hour. Have fun, share some stories, ask for some creative input from your companions, and get in a creative spirit once again.

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” – This Brainzooming Ebook highlights 8 perspectives for how to be creative to stimulate innovative thinking.

Are You Inspired Yet?

These 26 creative ideas should get you started in your discover of how to be creative when creativity is elusive for you.

What creative process tips or creative ideas can you add to this list of creative inspiration techniques? We’d love to include your ideas to overcome creative block as well. - Mike Brown

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.

 

Taking the No Out of Innovation eBook

Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic ideas! For an organizational creative boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I picked up a copy of Ink, a free Kansas City entertainment publication, when leaving the local American Marketing Association get together last Thursday.

There were two great creativity articles worth checking out:

  • The cover story is 20 Ways to Let Your Inner Child Go Wild. The article celebrates the magazine’s second anniversary by suggesting a variety of fun things kids might do at a birthday party. As you know, doing what kids do is always sure to spur creativity. While the twenty suggestions list Kansas City locations to carry them out, all of them will likely have identical or similar options near you. Check it out and celebrate like the big kid you know you are!
  • Another Ink article worth reading, particularly while the season is still young, is a piece by Charles Gooch on how to fix what’s broken in baseball. He lists 10 ideas, all reflective of a great creative perspective that’s able to look at something very old with entirely new eyes. If only all of us could re-examine the familiar in such a novel way! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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You may have heard about the Kansas City blizzard last weekend. So much for the first day of Spring! Shoveling the wet, heavy snow on Sunday prompted building a snowman for the first time in years. And of course, the experience turned into a quick video creativity lesson. – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Most of the US has been pounded with cold and snow the past few weeks. Don’t know about you, but it makes me feel my creative spirit is at a dead end when things outside are cold, bleak, and dark.

So what to do to turn a creative “dead end” into a “live start”?

Here are the ideas I wrote down for myself the other day to break out of my creative doldrums:

  • Be around fun people
  • Spend some fun time with my wife
  • Nap without worrying about losing valuable time
  • Go someplace bright and warm
  • Go someplace dark and warm
  • Finish something (realizing that, unfortunately, blogs aren’t ever done unless you quit them)
  • Find someone who loves something I created
  • Seek out people who have good news to share
  • Appreciate what I have
  • Get worn out from working out and quit eating holiday treats
  • Make a cool handwritten font

That’s what I’ve been trying. Please add your ideas to the list too! – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at brainzooming@gmail.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Spare a minute to recall what stood out for you last week, looking for creativity triggers in your recollections. If you’re on Twitter, they make for great fodder to tweet as well.

Here are some things from last week on my creative quickie list:

  • Important relearning of the week? When introducing a new idea, deliberately put yourself in situations that require explaining it. It really helps refine messaging much more quickly.
  • Most interesting strategy question of the week? “In ten words, tell me what creates profit in your business?”
  • Most surprising street sign? This one below. Where, but in Kansas City, is there a 10 hour parking sign?


  • A good deed that’s usually appreciated: Invite an introvert to go with you to a networking function. (Or to paraphrase @trmndsblndtte: Help de-flower an introvert!) If you’re an introvert and someone asks you to an event, accept the invitation!
  • Greatest inspirational messages while walking down the street? These from the school at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago.


  • Most innovative job title of someone I met? “Chief Creatologist”
  • Most reassuring development? Encouragement from so many great people. Now to figure out how to engineer it happening every week! – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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