Learn Something New
When you work for a marketing agency, you end up consuming a lot of information about the industry. You pick up books on design, read articles on best writing practices, learn new strategies for SEO; yet being focused on only way way of thinking is the fastest way to a creative block. By taking a disparate approach, learning new subjects that have nothing to do with your own field, you will find that inspiration can come from the most unlikely of places.
Take a Walk
It’s something that we office-dwellers do too seldom, as we sit at our desks all day, glued to our computers. And yet research from Stanford University shows that walking can increase your creativity by an average of 60%. This was true regardless of the environment, meaning that it didn’t make a difference if walkers were indoors on a treadmill or outside on a bike path. So the next time you’re feeling stuck on a rebrand, get up and move! You might be surprised what stepping away from your desk for a little walk will inspire.
Grab a Drink
When you need a little creative boost, it might mean you’re overdue for a Happy Hour. Research from UIC has found that being “moderately intoxicated” can improve “out-of-the-box” thinking. Why might this be true? While focus can be a good thing at the office, it can also restrict us from taking in new information or letting our minds drift off in new directions. By having a drink or two, we allow our minds to wander freely down new avenues of thought. So when you find yourself hitting a dead end, go grab a beer. And once you’ve had your “Eureka!” moment, be responsible and take a Lyft home.
Okay, so that famous slogan has been overused to the point of cliche but maybe it was seriously on to something. Social psychologists are now learning that giving yourself “psychological distance” from the project can help you to see things differently. This might mean looking at the project as an abstract idea or simply imagining how someone else might approach it. By creating distance between ourselves and the task at hand, we create room for new ideas.
Box Yourself In
It sounds counter-intuitive to say it. Who of us hasn’t wanted more creative freedom at one point or another? Nobody puts Baby in a corner! But sometimes too much freedom can be paralyzing. You sit down in front of a white screen and your mind feels just as blank. By setting limits and restrictions for yourself, you limit the chance of developing “decision fatigue” and give yourself a new framework for problem-solving.