You’ve got a great idea. But somewhere along the way, your brain just fizzles. You’ve got no energy left to finish what you started.
It’s happened to us all. You need to stay creative, but it’s just not happening. The inspiration that got you started is gone.
Well, below are ways that you can get those creative juices flowing again and, hopefully, get your project or task finished.
Ways to Boost Your Entrepreneurial Creativity
Step Away from the Screen
Sometimes the best thing you can do to refresh your brain is to step away from your computer, tablet, or phone and just brainstorm on a whiteboard. As Boland Jones, President and CEO of PGi, writes in Entrepreneur:
“Regardless of your role, industry or responsibilities, visualizing data and ideas is an incredibly powerful tool to get your team thinking. Get off the phone, go in a room together (a virtual room will work, too) and use a whiteboard until your hand hurts.”
Set a long term goal first, then create a plan for how to achieve it. When it comes to solving problems, and keeping your creative spark bright, working backwards can provide a more unique and often smarter solution. As Jones says:
“Don’t worry about the ‘how’. Focus on the ‘what’. Your road map will literally unfold itself.”
Keep Notes on Everything
Writing down everything, no matter how small or insignificant, might save you one day. Jones suggests using a white board or idea board to keep your ideas prominent, and constantly writing and rewriting words and phrases. Snap a picture before you erase your ideas, and keep them in a special folder that you can easily navigate later.
Take Occasional Mental Breaks
Working yourself ragged isn’t good for your health or creativity. Boost your entrepreneurial creativity by taking a few minutes every hour or so to relax and listen to a song or read an article. It might be just what you need to push yourself over that last mental hump. It’s important to know when to keep working and when to take an extra five minutes for making the next pot of coffee.
Go Out for a Drink
Now and then, it’s best to trade the coffee mug for a cold, hard one. As Jones suggests:
“A single beer can relax your brain, making you less focused on the negatives, and less likely to squash your good ideas.”
Take a trip with a few of your most creative minds to the local bar, or sit down in the office with a bottle of wine, and let the ideas fly. Have everyone take notes, and come back to it in the morning when you sober up.
Use Some Mood Lighting
Turning down the lights might just boost your entrepreneurial creativity, and ramp up your creative thinking, writes Chris Weller in Medical Daily. One German university study found that dimming the lights can boost creativity, lower inhibitions, and even raise your determination. Next time you’re suffering from a bit of creative block, try simply changing your lighting.
Meet with Groups of Creative Thinkers
Surrounding yourself with other creative thinkers is a great way to get your brain in the fast lane. Medical Daily’s Sabrina Bachai writes:
“By surrounding yourself with other creative people, whether they excel in writing, music, or other art forms, it can help to propel your own creativity.”
Sometimes the best thing for our brains is to just let it wander. One study done by the University of California in 2012 found that letting your mind drift actually helps boost creative thinking.
Get Up and Do It
Sometimes the best way to boost your creativity is to just go ahead and plunge into a creative endeavor — if only to see what happens. Don’t let fear become a paralysis. You can worry forever if you or your ideas are good enough. At times like these, Bachai writes:
“Instead of sitting and wondering how you can make yourself creative, just go ahead and do it.”
Set Goals: Lots of Them
Writing at Create Hype, Lisa Jacobs suggests:
“If you don’t know exactly what you want from your business, take time to figure it out.”
Create a list of goals, both short and long term, and keep them on display somewhere you can see them and work towards them every day.
Revel in the Many Hats You Wear
As a boss, you’re much more than just a manager; you’re often your own assistant, copywriter, PR agent and sales rep. Its important to use this to your advantage. Since you’re the boss, you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. Don’t limit yourself to one role. Explore each one.
Take Constructive Criticism
Ask someone who doesn’t work for you for tips and advice in order to get the most honest answers. And be sure to take them into consideration the next time you sit down for a brain storming session. Being able to take feedback from someone who isn’t trying to fluff up your ego is important. Use that feedback to better yourself and your business. It’s an important step to boosting your entrepreneurial creativity.
Take a Bird’s Eye View
Take a few steps back and try to see things from a different viewpoint. Being able to separate yourself from the stress of troubling situations means being able to reach smarter and more creative solutions. As Jacobs writes:
“Businesses casually deal with the ebb and flow of the market every day — now you’re one of them.”
Being relentless in reaching and achieving your goals means you’ll be more willing to try new and innovative approaches. Never stop coming up with new ideas, even when inspiration seems to elude you. Give yourself a good shake and see what comes loose.
Break Down Your Problems
Take a problem or situation and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces, write Drew Boyd and Jacob Goldenberg in Bloomberg Business’s The Management Blog. Then, down the line, you can manipulate and tinker with these pieces to come up with new solutions and concepts.
Remove Something ‘Necessary’ Then Evolve
Sometimes, the best thing to do to boost your entrepreneurial creativity is to take something most people see as ‘required’ and remove it completely. When you take away something you think you need, you’re forced to come up with another way to make that idea work.
Keep a Journal
Having all your ideas in one place, like a journal or folder, is a great way to get everything into one ‘pot’ to start simmering, writes Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative and Consulting. Keeping your ideas organized in a journal, something you always have with you or have access to, makes it easier to jot down quick thoughts or add to one from last month.
Just scribbling in the margins of your notes during a brainstorming session can be inspiring. As Entrepreneur staff writer Kate Taylor explains:
“These quick sketches help unlock creativity, enhancing recall and lighting up neural networks that allow for cognitive breakthroughs.”
Don’t worry about skill, or making it perfect, just focus on getting the ideas down and letting them flow.
Love What Makes You Strange
“Some of the most successful people are also the most eccentric.”
Don’t stress about what other people will think or if they might find what you do ‘strange.’ Instead, embrace the strange and make it your own.
Don’t Forget to Analyze
Coming back to your ideas later and researching them to make them more complete is a great way to make your solutions more solid and boost your entrepreneurial creativity. This often provides more creative solutions. Not all of your ideas are going to be wonderful. It’s important to go through and weed out the bad ones to give the good ideas room to grow.
These tips will hopefully get that creative block you’re facing unstuck. And, of course these are only a few. What tips do you have for helping to rejuvenate that creative spirit?