5 Steps to getting out of a creativity jam

jamMost of the time, we feel creative. That’s why we are passionate about what we do.  Graphic designers, advertisers, writers, all of us are expected to be creative on a daily basis and frequently we are paid to be creative on an hourly basis.  But what about those moments when our creative juices are all jammed up and we can’t seem to get them flowing again?

Below you will find 5 simple steps to help get the creative juices flowing again.  These simple five-minute tips will help anyone who is in a creativity jam.

1.    Start doodling.
Let your brain take a short break from the rigors of brainstorming and just start doodling about the first thing that comes to your mind beside the project your working on.  If it works better for you, step away from your desk for a few minutes and go for a walk with a pencil and pad of paper. Doodling outside or somewhere away from your project can get the creative juices flowing again.

2.    Browse the Internet.
Use social networking programs like StumbleUpon to get random creative ideas.  You should also subscribe to at least a dozen blogs that interest you and are frequently updated with creative material.  Seeing what others are doing will help unblock your creativity jam. In fact, you should also subscribe to GraphicDesignBlender.com.

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3.    Call a friend or watch TV.
I know this one sounds a little weird, but do something to take your mind off of your current project.  Remember that the brain is an organ just like any other in our body. It gets tired and doesn’t perform as well if we don’t take good care of it.  Taking a short break from the situation and putting your mind to work somewhere else will give your brain a chance to rejuvenate and the creative juices will begin to low again.

4.    Use word association.
This method is my personal favorite.  When I can’t seem to think of anything creative, I grab a piece of paper and jot down the few words that describe the project I’m working on. Then under each individual word, I write every word that comes to my mind in relation to the original word. Remember, there are no bad ideas. After I have a huge list of random words I start to think of the different combinations each of the words provides. This gets me thinking creatively by pairing random words together.  For more on this method read Creativity by Random Word Association.

5.    Generate Random words.
There are plenty of Random-Word Generators on the internet.  I use the one found at WatchOut4Snakes.com. These word generators can be even more random than you could ever hope to be.  Just clicking through word after word is bound to spark something creative in your mind. For example, if you randomly generate the phrase “their brass letters,” you could be inspired to make a metallic logo design.

There are millions of other ways you can get your creative juices flowing again. What other ways have you found to be effective?

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  1. sir i read your artical . “5 Steps to getting out of a creativity jam” its great.. really amazing but in this artical u tell me about topic” Creativity by Random Word Association ” sir, pls tell me full book name because i did not found on internet. so pls sir help me. i want to read and gain knowledge on this topic.

  2. Let me get this straight. A website “dedicated” to design and creative professionals, with endless articles about how to maintain that strict level of professionalism, has ads for $5 logo-mills? This is beyond hypocrisy? “Here’s what we stand for…um…maybe not.” Sad.

  3. Nice read Preston. Some of these are unique and I’ve never heard of before, such as calling a friend. 🙂

    BTW, word association is great. You can definitely come up with some unique ideas by doing it.

    1. @Design Informer – so true, I’d never thought of word association before as a tool for generating ideas. I often use a thesaurus to find inspiration from the various other words that link in to the word you’re stuck with and could otherwise seem to have a very different meaning otherwise.

      Preston, thanks for this article – it’s thought-provoking and a great read 🙂 Add me to your list of re-tweeters 😉 And, nice to meet you! (Found you through a comment on DI’s article “Your Creative Drive”.)

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