Overcoming Creative Block

Day Forty

Have you ever stared at a blank page wondering how in the world you’re going to fill it with words? That’s writers block, a form of creativity block.

Perhaps it’s a presentation deck that you currently have no bright ideas for, but the deadline is looming regardless. Or maybe it’s a challenge you’ve been contemplating for a while to no avail.

Below are 8 steps you can cultivate to enhance the chances of your mind being sparked with a brilliant insight or innovative thought that will help you overcome creativity block.

1. Decide it’s possible: thankfully the first place we canstart is to recognise that being creative is a matter of choice. Finding insight is a matter of first believing that you can. So, decide that you want to be more creative and that’s possible for you

2. Become a tourist: how do you spot a tourist in the crowd? Easy, they’re usually the ones paying close attention to their surroundings. They’re the peoplewalking slower, noticing, and observing everything around them. Before smart phones, they had a camera near by and often they would stop random strangers to ask questions – “excuse me, can you tell me how I get to….” Now its your turn, it’s time you look at your work with the curiosity of a traveller. Ask questions without the fear of looking silly and take notice of details. A good question to ask is “how would someone new to this approach it?”

3. Take a shower while walking: or do one after the other.Remember that time you got a really cool idea in the shower? Or what about that time you were out for a walk when a solution to a problem you’d been trying to solve just popped in your mind? Insights and ideas often enter our minds when we’re in a relaxed state and not consciously trying to complete a task. So increase opportunities to relax and switch off, you never know what doing so could spark in your mind.

4. Use some empathy: sometimes reminding yourself of the needs of those you are doing all of this for and remembering the context of why you are doing it can help you come up with more innovative ideas and solutions because you’re now doing it with greater empathy.

5. Touch it, smell it, taste it: getting out there in the field and being a part of it all can do wonders in sparking insight. It’s one thing to read about ice cream, we all know, it’s a totally different ball game to taste it. So go out there and get involved

6. Ask questions like a toddler: ever been around a little one who constantly wants to know “why?”, it’s infuriating! Each answer that you give is met with a pause and thenfollowed by another ‘why?’. We somehow lose thiscuriosity as adults for fear of annoying others. Well, feel the fear and do it anyway because asking why can brush past the surface of details and get to the heart of the matter.

7. Sit in a different chair: what I really mean is reframe how you are looking at your work. We can get consumed by our approach and perspective that we often overlook one obvious thing? How we see it is not the only way to look at it, there’s always a different point of view and our willingness to explore it could unlock the insight we’re after.

8. Ask for help: Yes, perhaps we should have started here first but very few of us ever do so it rightly belongs as the final step because we unfortunately often ask for help as a last resort. Creativity and insights can flow more easily (and be more fun) when collaborating with others. The more people that help you the better as it also means everybody will be sitting in a different chair i.e. bringing a different point of view to the matter.

I hope you enjoyed that. I wish I could take credit for these steps as my own but alas, I can’t. I asked for mental help and got it from a book! ‘creative Confidence’ By Tom & David Kelley (pg 74) what I did do was restructure and reword the concepts to a more organic way for me.

Try a few of them and see if they help

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