How to Break Out of a Creative Rut

creative-rutDo you think that you are not creative? You are more creative than you think! However, you may need to get in touch with your creativity. Too many people shut their creative side down, almost as if they are afraid of it.

Here are some ideas from Copyblogger and me that can help you get your creative juices flowing.

Don’t be afraid of ambiguity. Most new ideas result from two different ideas colliding in someone’s brain. The less related those ideas are, the more interesting and creative the new idea can be.

Work and play do not have to be separated. Play can free your mind to make new associations and come up with brilliant new ideas.

Creativity and logic come from different parts of the brain. Trying to use both of them at the same time will slow you down and not give the best results. When you are writing, just write. Leave the editing for later.

Mistakes happen. Don’t fear them, learn from them. Keep in mind that when you make mistakes, you may be the only one who notices. In most cases even if others notice, they won’t remember. Do you recall the famous quotation from Thomas Edison? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Believe that you can be creative. If you tell yourself that only certain people are creative and you are not, you will not be creative. Anyone can be creative, if they are willing to try.

Don’t let others discourage you. There will always be people who do not want to change the status quo. Don’t let them get to you.

Avoid information overload. You’ve heard of “analysis paralysis,” right? That means gathering so much information that you are overwhelmed and fail to act. You do not need to know everything about a subject to come up with an effective and creative solution. Get just the information you need, then stop thinking and start creating!

Break out of your routine. It is difficult to come up with new ideas when you are doing everything the same old way. Shake up your routine. Do different things and do things differently.

Embrace your limitations. Limits can actually be freeing. When you accept that you may only have a budget of $X or only so many days or weeks to complete a project, your thinking can be more focused on coming up with a workable solution.

Do not assume there is one “right” answer. Back in school we were taught that there was one right answer to every question on the test. 2 + 2 always equaled 4. But many of the questions you face in life have many possible answers, any of which can be correct in a given situation. Do not stop looking for an answer just because you found one that seems to be right.

Let your mind wander. Many people say that they get their best ideas in the shower. When you are relaxed and distracted by performing a mindless task (such as showering) your brain is free to daydream and come up with creative ideas. So when all else fails, hop in the shower and get creative!

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