Sometimes, I have to force myself to think. During these moments, I spend hours staring into the screen of my laptop, watching the cursor rhythmically blink. It serves as a constant reminder of my massive writer’s block, which conveniently surfaces the minute I have a deadline to meet or a paper to write.
We’ve all been there. Here are four ways to get your creative juices flowing:
1. Take a breather
Confining yourself to a room for an extended amount of time can really trump your creative thinking. It creates anxiety and frustration, especially if you have a deadline to meet. In such a case, sometimes the best thing you can do is take a short walk to get some fresh air. It helps clear your thoughts, acts as a de-stressor and allows you to refocus on the task at hand.
2. Distract yourself
Ever realize that your most profound thoughts come at 2 am in the morning, when you are trying to sleep? The minute you crawl into bed – exhausted from the day – your brain decides to ponder the meaning of life. To recreate that effect, temporarily distract yourself long enough until your mind actually begins to wander. Your thoughts come in a series of bursts and connections, so one idea will trigger another and another and another…
3. Write down your thoughts
Once again, your tricky mind works in strange ways. One day, your brain will feel like mush and the next, you’ll have one “Eureka” moment after the other. Make sure you collect these moments by writing them down. Particularly, a dream journal is an excellent way for you to come up with the most bizarre and interesting concepts that only your individual subconscious is capable of creating.
4. Imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes
This strategy forces you to think outside the box. In fact, it forces you to think like someone else or in some way else. By doing so, you can consider differing perspectives in your work, which tend to be neglected – especially when you are constrained by your own previous experiences or memories.