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Four Ways To Break Out Of A Creative Rut

As creative professionals, sometimes it's as if our minds are an endless stream of ideas and the river of creativity seems like it will never run dry. But then, just as quickly as starts, inspiration ceases to flow.

As creative professionals, sometimes it's as if our minds are an endless stream of ideas and the river of creativity seems like it will never run dry. But then, just as quickly as starts, inspiration ceases to flow.

Periods of intense inspiration followed by downtime are normal, but we can occasionally find ourselves stuck in a creative rut that's deeper than usual. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome this lull in inspiration. There's no one-size-fits-all solution, but below are a few simple things you can do to help reinvigorate your work and your mind.

Go Outside

Nothing jump-starts creativity quite like a change of scenery. Visit a hiking trail, find a bench near a calm lake, or simply take a few minutes to soak up some vitamin D on your lunch break. It's easy to feel discouraged when you're constantly surrounded by to-dos that you’re not feeling inspired to tackle, so stepping out of the office and diving into nature is a healthy, free and effective way of breaking a slump.

Meditate

A relaxed mind is more receptive to new ideas, so try meditating. You don't even need to sign up for a class! Find a comfortable place to sit, close your eyes and let go. Don't explicitly try not to think; rather, let your thoughts come and go without judgment, focus on your breathing and feel the tension leave your body. If you need more direction, there are some great meditation apps out there. 20 minutes is more than enough for a session, and you'd be surprised what ideas come to you when you've taken the time to practice a little mindfulness.

Embrace Art

Whether it be a visit to a local museum, a night of live music, or simply revisiting your favorite novel, set aside some time to enjoy the creative endeavors of others. We stand, as Isaac Newton said "on the shoulders of giants." Surrounding yourself with the creative giants of both the past and present is a great way to kindle your own fire of creativity.

Set a Public Deadline

Many of us do our best work when our competitive spirit is brought to life. By sharing a project publicly, it adds an element of social pressure, since we don't want to let our friends and coworkers see us fail. If you're a competitive person who thrives under pressure, setting a public deadline and speaking openly about your planned project(s) can give you the extra push you need to climb out of your creative rut.

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