How many times has it happened, where you seem to be bursting with ideas when you are working on the most mundane projects, but when you need to be brainstorming for something that requires serious creative play, all your mind can come up with is a naughty nursery rhyme or a twisted form of a fruity logo which will definitely take you a serious step backwards in your career ( wow that, was one long sentence).
We’ve all had them.
A mind block that affects our work, interests, attention span and even makes us doubt our competency in the field we work in- usually passionately, whether designing, writing, baking, cooking, advertising and absolutely anything that requires even an ounce of creative thinking. It feels like a vicious cycle, you are running away from methods that result in mainstream mediocrity but you are so stressed from the running that the good, satisfying, simple but sweet solutions are sprinting further away from you, faster and faster.
Here are some ways to pull yourself out of this quicksand before you lose it all:
- –REMINISCENCE: Look through some of your old work. Remember the kind of comments and criticism you got, how you want it to affect your current project positively. Rewinding to the time you were brainstorming and in the design process of your previous works can instill the sense of excitement and eagerness that you tend to lose when you brain is on hibernation mode.
- –JOURNAL EVERYTHING: Have an ‘idea’ book. Whenever u have ideas, whether plots, topics, design concepts, etc, jot them down in this book. You will never regret it. This will be your go-to when you are in need of inspirations, ideas, and a creative push. These could be doodles for an illustration, key words for a write-up, jotting down combinations of different ingredients that you want to try, bubble diagrams for future design blueprints, just about anything! it doesn’t even have to be understandable to everyone, just as long as you are able to make out what you meant to record at the heat of the moment.
- CASE STUDYING: This is my most favourite thing to do.One of the kinds of studying that doesn’t feel like StuDying (pun intended). Many a times, we are so bent on, and concentrate on the quality of the end product, that we forget to enjoy the process, and mostly, this is what puts us off track. Reading up on case studies related to your topic of interest, and thereby getting into the minds of creative geniuses, understanding their way of conceptualizing, the design process, can and most probably will create a spark and hit you at the right spot, and bring back your love and reignite your passion for the work and not just the result.
- –THE REVERSE- MENTAL WORKOUT: Google something totally unrelated to what you are brainstorming for. You will be surprised as to how things link up in your brain and create greatness. Watch random tutorials, read a little anecdote, learn a little calligraphy, bookmark some recipes, anything except work related things. This gives your mind a ‘ time-out’. This, in turn, helps you to relax, and gives you time to refresh and re- energise your gray matter. these mental exercises may also help you give a different perspective and bring up different ideas for your project, espcially in cases where you are in the zone of conceptualizing.
- – GET IT OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM: Have you come across the meme which states that the best of ideas come to a person while taking a shower, and in some extreme cases, while doing your businesses? There’s so much truth to it! A shower or bath can help you relax and take your mind off all the impossibilities around the task and the possibilities of all things that can go wrong, and hence help you focus better. Other ways to achieve this is going for a run, doing puzzles, and basically any task that requires you to move away from your work station/studio.
- – THE POWER OF NAPS: Take a power- nap. You can use this as an excuse to catch up on some zZz’s and make you more productive. Don’t believe me? Here’s an exerpt from WebMD on power-naps, ‘The length of your nap and the type of sleep you get help determine the brain-boosting benefits. The 20-minute power nap — sometimes called the stage 2 nap — is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing and playing the piano’. Disclaimer: You should stay away from this if you are known to hit the snooze button on your cellphone-alarm more than recommended, and/or required. Your power nap should make you more alert, not result in a snooze fest.
Are any of your ways to get out of creative blocks on the list? What are some methods you employ to get out of such mind-blocks?