4 Nov

In a Creative Slump? Here Are 7 Ideas to Snap Out of It

By Erika Turan, APR

I’ve found myself on page 24 of a marketing plan more than once, with a brain that’s just deep fried. Coming up with creative tactics and innovative programming that ties back to strategic, measurable goals is challenging stuff, and at some point, just typing the word “brochure” in bullet points over and over again seems silly.

If you’re in need of an injection of creativity, or just need to try a new perspective, here are some tried-and-true suggestions:

  1. A group brainstorm. It works. You know it does. It doesn’t have to be a formal, two-hour endeavor with snacks. A quick, 10-minute huddle with a couple of people can infuse enough new energy to get you back on track (and I wouldn’t turn down a snack).
  2. A shower. There’s science behind why we have creative thoughts and problem solving in the shower. Our brains are relaxed, our bodies release dopamine – a hormone that plays a role in pleasure, thinking and planning – and we let our minds wander. There’s even waterproof notepaper that allows you to jot down your ideas, if you’re so inclined.
  3. Listen to music. The goal here is music that feels relaxing and somehow familiar. You don’t need to go with Enya or Mozart if that’s not your jam. But you do want to choose something that doesn’t distract, but instead lets your mind explore and unpack. If words are distracting, consider this lo-fi beats playlist from Spotify.
  4. Attend a professional event. With all of the wrenches that 2020 has thrown, it has made attending previously expensive industry events much more feasible with virtual options. Make it a goal to go attend a virtual or in-person event several times a year. You’ll hear ideas from other industries that may apply to yours. You’ll learn about creative approaches that someone else has already tried out. Just take notes so you can refer back when the time comes.
  5. Read a couple of blogs. Our very own Rasor blog library contains hundreds of articles that touch on public relations, marketing, design, digital, communications and more. Browse through our archive, or take in someone else’s. You’re bound to leave with more ideas.
  6. Ask your kids (or someone else’s). I’ve gotten great ideas, big and small, from talking to my kids. They bring a fresh perspective, and while some of their ideas are just dumb-dumb (“run fast straight into a door!”) others are the real deal. It’s like a brainstorm, with newer brains.
  7. Put your face in a bowl of ice water. For real. It’s clinically proven to re-set your mood (and you’ll have a lovely glow)!
  8. Go for a walk. Fresh air and new scenery can be the just the right ingredients for unclogging your creative pipeline. Just ten minutes can be enough to let your mind untangle while you ponder a new approach.

What are your techniques for getting past a creativity blockade? I’d love to hear them.