How to generate your best ideas
In our wildly competitive, content-driven world, creativity is currency. We believe that the ability to create great things, and create them well, is what sets a successful brand apart from the rest, regardless of industry or niche. ‘Creating well’ isn’t about good-looking design (though it helps!), it’s about having great ideas in the first place and finding even better ways to execute them.
Unfortunately, if you’re like 99% of the human population, great ideas don’t just come on tap.
For some, it can be quite difficult to get into the right state of mind to generate ideas at all - we lead busy lives and don’t often give our ideas the time and space to ‘breathe’. Not because we aren’t totally capable of doing it, but because it’s really, really hard to get into the right state of mind to let it happen. You may find yourself in a creative hiatus occasionally or often - a place that is both disheartening and seemingly never-ending.
Luckily, there’s things you can easily and quickly do to help bring back your creative flow.
1. Change up your routine
We can often find ourselves stuck in a routine for years or decades, yet expect new ideas to continue to come to us. If there is no new stimuli in our environments, how can our minds feed off different influences? Switching up just a few basic aspects of your routine can lead to massive breakthroughs as we begin to see the world through a different lens. Perhaps take a break and walk in the park, spend half an hour journalling or listening to a podcast, or shut down your social media apps. A change in your surroundings might just be the thing that gives you the shift in perspective you need.
2. Make time to daydream
There’s a reason people have epiphanies in the shower, on the toilet or in the middle of the night; their minds were free to wander. It might feel child-like for a while, but just for 5-10 minutes, actually stop what you’re doing and allow yourself to daydream with no agenda. As small business owners, we tend to be ‘on’ all the time, but it’s hard to be creative and inspired when you’re constantly forcing a tired mind. By allowing your mind to relax, wander off and focus on different matters, new perspectives you hadn’t thought of could be brought to the surface, shedding new light on what you’re working on. Regardless of what you let your mind do, just enjoy the process - you never know, a spontaneous solution may just pop up!
3. Expose your mind to something new
We spend so much time on our devices and can be sucked into an echo chamber of information from the same sources. Take the time to follow your interests - browse Pinterest, watch that show you’ve starred on Netflix, read the news - go where your interests take you, with no expectations of what you might discover. Exposing your mind to new ideas, influences and stories adds a layer of ‘context’ to what you already know. You don’t always need to be on the hunt for something work or business-related. What are you really interested in? Try letting your mind go there for a little while, instead of focusing on the ‘thing’ you’re trying so hard to create.
Great ideas can come about any time, sometimes in the most unexpected situations. That’s why we think you should carry a pen and notepad with you everywhere you go. Even a small insight, paired with what you already know could be the start of a totally new way of thinking.
Finding yourself in a creative rut happens to the best of us and is inevitable in the process of growing your business. While there will always be a new roadblock, having simple, and easy techniques to shift creative blocks can be invaluable in getting back to a state of creative flow sooner.