If you have ever spent any time sitting and looking at a blank word processor screen or spreadsheet you know the frustration of a creative block. Most creative people have experienced it at one time or another.
As a matter of fact creative blocks can be an issue in most jobs out there today. If you are looking for a way to work through creative blocks, here are some strategies you can try to help you through a creative drought.
Practice with Effort
It is very easy to slip into cognitive laziness. This is particularly true if you have spent any amount of time doing a job and you have a “routine” that you use when you are looking to come up with a solution to a problem or create something. Sometimes all you need to do is expend a little effort.
Take a look at a child learning a new skill. Many times when they stumble and fall they get right back up and get back at it. They don’t take time to dwell on the failure, they just learn from it and move on. They are making an effort to practice the new skill and make it their own.
Approaching creative work this way can help to break down a creative block. Expend effort. Try and fail, then learn from the failure and move one step closer to success.
Don’t Close Off New Ideas
Saying “that won’t work” without actually thinking a solution through can become habit. Many jobs and bosses even encourage critical thinking of any new ideas. This is because new ideas have risk inherent in them. It can be very easy to slip into a “yes, but” mentality where you are too willing to shoot down a new idea before you give it full consideration.
To work through creative blocks, open yourself up to anything, even the absurd. While you might never implement an absurd solution you may be able to refine something on the borderline of crazy into a great solution to a problem.
Step Back and Think
It is possible to be too close to a problem. The closer you get to the details of the problem you, all of a sudden, begin to lose track of the big picture. You become so focused on the end game and the final product that the actual steps to get there are forgotten. In this case, it might be prudent to take a step back to clear a creative block.
Stepping back and looking at what the next step is instead of looking only at the final step can give clarity of direction. While a project might seem overwhelming, anything can be tackled with the right process. Spending some time focusing on the process and the steps that need to be taken can actually help the final solution come into clear focus.
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