Everyone knows how a creative block feels: suddenly, all your ideas dry up, your mind goes blank, and you don’t know where to begin. Use these tips to get your creativity flowing again!
Creativity is incredibly important for designers. But it is often overestimated: Creativity is not a mysterious or unlearnable gift, but rather a skill that anyone can develop. The writer Maya Angelou said that creativity cannot be used up. Rather, it grows the more you tap into it.
And it’s just like she says: creativity is a matter of practice and depends on your self-confidence, your ability to be positive and think outside the box.
Are you ready to get started? Then read our 10 tips to boost your creativity here, learn the 5 most popular creativity methods and get your creativity flowing.
10 essential creativity-boosting tips
1. Use a notebook
Write down your ideas so you don’t forget them. When you’re feeling stuck, you can flip through your book for new ideas or to keep track of your progress.
2. Practice drawing & writing with your non-dominant hand
When you use your “weaker” hand, you train your neural network – much like you train your muscles. The most creative people used both hands. So take a leaf out of Leonardo da Vinci’s book and try writing with your other hand.
3. Manage your time
You need a balance of intensive working hours and free time. Breaks are also very important if you really want to work efficiently and creatively. Notice what time of day you are most creative – and use this time to work intensively. Afterwards, call it a day and do something completely different.
4. Live healthy
The image of the social butterfly artist who spends their nights going out to the coolest bars, smokes like a chimney and forgets to eat is far removed from reality. In reality, sports and exercise as well as a healthy diet are the best creativity boosters there can be! And sleep is also important if you need fresh ideas.
5. Visit your creative islands
Look for places that make you feel especially creative and inspired. This could be your favorite café, a beautiful place in nature, or a library.
6. Create rituals
Experiment and find out which rituals boost your creativity. These can be daily habits as well as weekly rituals.
7. Listen to music
Creativity-boosting music is different for everyone and can be more relaxing or stimulating. Whatever your music taste, music promotes the release of dopamine and serotonin.
8. Surround yourself with inspiration
Read books, surround yourself with inspirational stories, and learn from other people’s success!
9. Learn something new
Practice honing a new skill every day – that’s how you exercise your brain and stay mentally fit. It can be anything from a foreign language to a musical instrument or a handicraft. And of course, it’s not about becoming perfect in that skill. The journey is the destination!
10. Practice positive thinking
Mistakes? There is no such thing! Negative thinking causes stress and blocks your creativity – but you can learn a lot from every mistake. So practice believing in your ideas.
If you follow these 10 tips, you will automatically feel more creative. But what if you’re planning a creative session and have something specific in mind? Then these 5 methods will help you achieve your goals.
5 Proven Creative Methods
These techniques can be used in all kinds of areas – not just designing! For some methods you need a group of people. So grab your friends or family members and make a game out of it!
During a brainstorming session, ideas are encouraged to flow freely in a group. Fresh input from others can get the wheels turning in your own head as more and more ideas end up on the whiteboard. The idea here is to collect as many ideas as possible. No bad ideas, no judgement.
2. Clustering & mindmapping
In these methods, you pick a topic and write it in the middle of a sheet of paper or on a whiteboard. Then, ideas build up around it so that you end up with a huge cloud of ideas.
While clustering is mostly about associations, mindmapping moves from a general idea towards something more and more specific. Work with symbols, colors or drawings to add depth to your mindmap or cluster.
3. The reverse method
This method is based on the idea that in order to change your thinking, you need to change the order of your thinking. And to see things from a fresh perspective, you can try turning your question around.
So, for example, instead of asking yourself, “Which designs would my fans buy?” ask yourself, “Which designs would my fans hate?”
4. The Walt Disney method
Do you like role-playing board games or are you a natural actor? Then this method is for you! You pretend to be at least three different people:
– The Dreamer: You have big dreams and anything is possible!
– The Realist: Sure, but how can you put your idea into practice?
– The Critic: What problems can you anticipate?
The dreamer is the visionary of the group and presents their ideas. Now the realist tries to put this idea into practice. The critic is the quality manager and gives constructive feedback. This sequence can be repeated as often as necessary until a result emerges that everyone is happy with.
This method is perfect if you want to achieve a specific goal. Visualize your success – in as much detail as possible. Visualization helps you to think positively. Also, you will find out what you need to achieve your goal.
We hope our tips for boosting your creativity lead to many creative breakthroughs, less writers block and more fresh ideas! Do you have any other methods to add? Tell us in the comments!