Certain professions require creativity – think graphic design, floral arranging, and composing, to name a few. And when an author struggles, a specific phrase describes the response—writer’s block. But entrepreneurs and managers can get stuck, too. Owning and operating a small business or department requires tons of creative moxie. If you solve problems for a living, you are bound to run into a creative obstacle at one time or another. So, what can you do if you find yourself struggling to come up with innovative ideas? Since we’ve been in advertising, printing and promotional products for over 40 years, we’ve learned a few tricks to get your creative juices flowing.
Pick one or try all four:
Take a break. We know, you don’t have time to do this – conversely you don’t have time NOT to do this. “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” writes Tim Kreider, in The New York Times.
So, give yourself permission to let it go. Take a walk, listen to some relaxing music or chat with a friend about anything but work. We guarantee that taking a break will lead to more creative energy in the long run than if you continued to dig in despite the block.
- Search for inspiration. Are you trying to come up with a new product or service or an out-of-the-box solution to a personnel problem? Don’t operate in a vacuum. Turn to experts in the field for ideas. Spend a few minutes on Pinterest, watch a Ted Talk, listen to a podcast, or look for the answers from experts in the field. With so many resources available in books, research papers, blog posts, magazine articles and videos, you’ll run out of time long before you exhaust available material.
In Creative Block: Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists, author and blogger Danielle Krysa writes, “It is when I find myself playing more than trying that I find my way out of a block.”
- Shift your perspective. Approach the problem from a new angle. Identify the source of the issue, set goals, brainstorm possibilities, and assess alternatives. Give yourself permission to try something new, even if you might fall flat on your face. In an article in Forbes, Robert Tucker points out that experience can be a two-edged sword when it comes to creativity:
“Years of experience in an industry, profession or job can give us invaluable experience. But they can also be a block. ‘It’s always been done that way’ or ‘we already tried that are often a sign that you and your team need to shift perspective to move beyond habitual thinking blocks in to imagine alternate possibilities.”
One simple thing we do is drive to work via a different route than the norm. You’d be surprised at the new things and people you see that make your brain function in a different way, giving you the creative edge you need.
- Download an Idea: Apps to boost creativity are available at the tip of your fingers. A few free ones include: Unstuck, Brainsparker or Simplemind.
On Target Promotions
Need creative ideas for using print, promotional and digital marketing to develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients? We’ve got them! On Target Promotions, is a national promotional products and printing company with a creative edge. We add impact and value to your programs. An agency without associated agency fees, we provide innovative and cutting-edge products and service solutions through our Inland Empire offices. We help clients use marketing materials and promotional products and other media to design and secure quality marketing programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our clients in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us today to start your project.