Regardless of your occupation, everyone is expected to be creative in one form or another. When faced with a creative challenge, sometimes we nail it quickly and effectively. But sometimes we don’t, we’re stuck! How do we get unstuck?

We all occasionally face this “creativity slump”. Nothing seems to click. If you find this happening to you, don’t fret. It will pass – but realize you cant force it. . . . it has to flow naturally. Any attempt to drive creativity with brute force will only result in pushing it further away from you.

If you are seeking a new idea or a unique solution to a problem, try some of these things to help break the inertia and coax the ideas back into your realm:

  1. Take a creative break – stop thinking about the challenge at hand. Give your mind some relief – some “mindless” tasks.  If you have necessary billing work, appointments to make, expense reports etc. try tackling that. Far less mentally challenging – and likely re-charging the creative batteries in the background.  You have to do that stuff anyway, so get some of it out of the way.  It’s mental clutter!
  2. Listen to unfamiliar music. Yes – unfamiliar is the key. If it is your favorite music, it triggers familiar thoughts. You are seeking a departure. If you normally listen to pop/rock or perhaps country, try some jazz. Even if you don’t “like it” just imagine the art and the creativity it took to produce. Or better yet – dont thing at all. Just listen.
  3. Get outdoors – away from everything. Sun on your face, a gentle breeze and other natural stimuli will awaken your senses and change your mental state. Hopefully this gets all of those challenges out of your mind.  This one works magic for me.
  4. Explain your problems to your dog. Man’s best friend also happens to be an excellent listener. And has never been accused of giving bad advice. Seriously, the exercise of stating your problem out loud in a concise manner might just be the trigger you need.
  5. Read some poetry. Some “quick hits” of mind food can help. You could also try reading famous quotes – like those fount at Brainy Quote: Here is one to get you started – Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss”.

I hope these ideas can help you overcome the temporary challenge you face.  Rest assured everyone you know has felt the same way at some point! The answer you seek, ironically, is most likely to come when you aren’t thinking about it.

If you have any tricks you have used successfully to as a “creativity defibrillator” please share them in comments: