Give one of these simple activities a try the next time you’re in a rut. Try an exercise for creative inspiration and brainstorm new ideas for your next blog post, product, article, or other creative endeavor!
People always ask me how I come up with ideas for blog posts. In all honesty: I have ten times more ideas than I have time to produce. Every month, I leave dozens of ideas on the drawing board. Maybe it’s the way my brain is wired, always looking for an opportunity to craft or DIY something 🙂
BUT… I know that not everyone is wired that way, and even the most creative people need help now and then.
How to Brainstorm New Ideas when you’re In A Rut
Here are 5 quick tips to help you boost your creativity and brainstorm new ideas.
Science has proven: relaxing makes you more creative. Take a bath, walk in nature, or meditate. Do whatever you need to do to relax. Unwind and let your mind wander.
I personally prefer the hot bath approach, because I’m a multi-tasker, and a hot bath may have the same effects as exercise! Woo!
2 – Tidy
Tidy Your Work Space
There is a link between clutter and depression. Clutter can negatively affect our mood, our stress levels, and our self-esteem. None of that can be good for creativity.
I find it difficult to work and be creative when my space is cluttered, when I see half-finished projects and reminders of everything else on my to-do list. So if you’re struggling to get out of a creativity rut, take a look around.
Place unfinished projects out of sight. Clear flat surfaces. Light a candle to change the energy in your space. I can guarantee you will find it easier to feel inspired and create.
Tidy Your Mind
Remember to take care of more than just the physical clutter. Mental clutter can be just as debilitating to the creative process.
Try a Brain Dump – Take a large pad of paper and a pen. Walk around your home or office and write down every ‘to-do’ item or unfinished project that you need to tackle. By placing these things on paper so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them, you can free space in your mind for more creative pursuits.
P.S. – If you’re ready to really tidy your mental clutter and time – read The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.
3 – Browse
This is my favorite thing to do when I have a general sense of the type or project I am working on, but I need help with the unique and creative details.
Take some time to browse. Browse Pinterest, Target’s home decor section, a flea market, a magazine, a museum. Just browse and find inspiration or a starting point for your next idea or project. The key here is inspiration, not imitation.
For example, I was working on a guest post for Somewhat Simple, where I am a contributor. I was brainstorming ways to decorate Easter Eggs. It seems like everything has been done there. During a Pinterest browsing session, I saw this image of a lampshade of a lampshade. I thought about applying the same technique to Easter Eggs, and the end result was these Love Letter Script Easter Eggs.
4 – Just Start
Just start making something. Anything.
I recently read the book Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham, and I left with two major takeaways. One, it gave this Gilmore Girls junkie a little extra fix after the Netflix mini-series left me wanting more. It also gave me a great tip for creatives: write every day.
Set a fixed amount of time to write, say an hour. Get rid of all distractions – cell phones, TV, internet, etc., and set a kitchen timer. For that hour, you are only allowed to sit and write – whether in a journal or on a specific project. When the hour is up, you stop. You can read more about it here.
I love the idea of making an appointment with yourself to create, even if you don’t know what you are creating yet. Just start.
5 – Don’t Lose Ideas
Creative inspiration can strike at any time. Keep a notebook, a journal, or a shoe box full of paper scraps and post-it notes. Whenever an idea or creative inspiration strikes, write it down right then and there. Then refer back to this resource when you are brainstorming.