Finding out how to combat a creative rut and make creativity something that you and your team look forward to is a must.
When I first started at Firespring as a marketing strategist, after leaving the world of journalism, my creativity was at an all-time high. I wanted to try new things, test the limits of campaigns, experiment with marketing and messaging—anything you can think of that was outside of the box, I was ready for.
There’s something special about being in that zone, where you feel like every idea you have is the next big one. Where you feel like you’re at the top of your game, and there’s no challenge that you couldn’t conquer.
Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to keep that state of being at all times.
For me, as the pandemic progressed, the Zoom fatigue and back-to-back-to-back meetings really started to wear me down. It took me a good two months to realize that although I remained productive, it wasn’t the same kind of productivity as before. So, I’ve forced myself to go for more walks, do yard work, ideate while doing the dishes… whatever it might take to reignite that spark. And guess what? It worked. Sometimes just admitting you want that motivation and freedom is all it takes to get started down the right path.
Here are three ways that I like to increase my creativity when I notice it’s lacking:
Exercise is different for everyone. For some, it’s spending hours at the gym or mountain biking or swimming. For others, it’s taking a walk or even doing yard work. I’ve found my most clear moments come from playing basketball and working in our backyard. Really, it comes down to utilizing your hands, moving your feet and not focusing on the idea or work you’ve been stuck on.
2. Consume content
One of the things that I notice is that when I’m in a rut, I actually consume less content about my field. I think it’s something about feeling guilty. In my head, if I’m not ready to do a creative brief, I certainly don’t want to listen to My First Million or Dave Gerhardt. But, what I’ve noticed is that forcing myself to listen to those podcasts or read that book instantly flips the switch for me.
Yep, you read that right. Many of us, especially in the world of marketing and creativity, struggle to turn the switch off. A lot of the time, all it takes is just closing your eyes and calling it a night or simply taking a nap. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken a nap in the middle of the day instead of forcing through a blog or a piece of content. It completely resets my frame of thinking. I highly encourage it.
It doesn’t have to be these three, but I do recommend discovering two or three ways that you can hack your creativity to get back into the “zone” and learning to recognize when it’s time to take a step back to reset.
What are some things that you do to spark creativity individually or with your team? Leave your comments on my video.