When we are feeling creative, our ideas come more naturally and we see opportunities at every turn. But when our creativity is blocked we feel like we’re trudging through every step. So how do we get out of a creative rut and stimulate the creative process?
First of all, stop thinking that creativity means ‘the arts.’ Musicians and managers, painters and pre-school teachers are all equally creative. Believe that you can bring creativity to daily living and everyday tasks. You also don’t have to wait for the muses to arrive. Creativity is not a magical, mystical flash of inspiration but a perspective on life.
Then, think of how you want to be creative. Do you want to write more in your journal, or nurture your garden? Do you want to think of beautiful and affordable ways to decorate your living room? Maybe you want to start a business, or want an interesting hobby to help you de-stress after work. Write down 10 things that will help you feel more inspired, energetic, and excited about waking up in the morning.
Whatever’s on your list, one big step towards creativity is to widen your perspective. Read books, watch movies, listen to songs that you’d never have paid any attention to before. Look at works of creative people. Instead of griping about office politics, engage co-workers in meaningful conversation. ‘Who’s the most inspiring person you know?’ or ‘If you won a million dollars would you quit working? Why or why not?’
Make time for creativity. Give yourself at least half an hour a day to do something you enjoy. For example, set the alarm clock a little earlier so you have time to write in your journal before rushing to work. And when you get home, instead of logging on to Facebook, read a book or watch a Youtube video tutorial on a hobby you want to master.
And limit distractions, not just during your ‘creative time’ but throughout your day. Our minds are bombarded by stimuli—email, internet, round-the-clock conversations and worries. Periodically withdraw from this noise so you have time to think, digest what you are feeling and learning, or just be still. Part of creativity is listening to your inner voice or intuition, and becoming more aware of your emotions and ideas. Regular ‘quiet time’ makes you more attuned to yourself and more open to the nudges of your creative spirit.
Photo from ideachampions.com