Have you recently felt uninspired or less creative than usual? This can happen to everyone—even the people you’d consider the most creative or imaginative. A simple fact is that we’re all creatives, whether we want to embrace it and practice it or not. As Maya Angelou said, “You can’t use up creative energy. The more you have, the more you have.” Creativity is a bottomless well of wonder. If you’re stuck in a rut, here are some ways you can get out of that rut and keep your creative energy flowing.
Start a morning routine
Starting a morning routine that involves time for yourself to reflect can radically improve your day-to-day creativity. Set aside 30 minutes or more and practice something that forces you to sit still and relax. This could be a time to read a book, meditate, journal, write a to-do list—the possibilities are endless. If your practice is consistent, it’ll help you get into the creative zone.
Unplug & move around
As great as technology can be, it’s also a double-edged sword as one of our biggest distractions. Instead of mindlessly scrolling on social media when you have a break, try turning your phone off and going for a walk instead. As cliché as it may sound, it does clear your head. Feeling fresh air on your skin and putting your body in motion does wonders for your mind—positively affecting your creativity as well.
Go to a museum
If you live near a museum and can go to one (or more), don’t miss out on the opportunity. Museums of all kinds are full of different art and artifacts that you can pull inspiration from in numerous ways. Walking around and being in the presence of art has the ability to get your creative gears turning. There’s a high possibility you’ll walk out of it with a plethora of ideas.
Have you ever grabbed a sheet of paper and written whatever comes to mind for fifteen minutes? If you’re a writer or previous English major, then probably. If you’re unfamiliar with this method, it’s straightforward. Just write and don’t fret about what you’re writing and how you’re writing it. This practice is one of the most underrated ways to not only clear your brain but also boost self-awareness and mental health. And you never know—you may get a brilliant idea from it.
Take a class for something you know you’re not good at
One of the most common reasons people don’t try new things is because they think they must be experts at it; they don’t want to fail or be embarrassed. This attitude towards trying new things, especially when it pertains to creative outlets, can limit your creativity as a whole. Have you ever been scared to take a painting class because you know you’re not a good painter? Have you wanted to try dancing but don’t want to embarrass yourself? We get it. It feels daunting at the time, but stepping out of your comfort zone to try new things will help unleash your creativity.
Be open to collaboration
Lastly, be open to bouncing ideas off other people who may want to give you creative advice or work with you on a project. This method can help you realize new things you may not have thought of before and will allow you to see other people’s creative methods and thinking, possibly inspiring you to think in a new light.
Andrew Ng, formerly of Google and now of Baidu, believes in this method.
“In my own life, I found that whenever I wasn’t sure what to do next, I would go and learn a lot, read a lot, talk to experts,” he said. “I don’t know how the human brain works but it’s almost magical: when you read enough or talk to enough experts, when you have enough inputs, new ideas start appearing.”