How to deal with creative block (on a deadline)

No one is immune to the invigorating experience that is “creative block.” Unfortunately, this mind freeze comes without an instant cure. For that reason, we came up with 5 steps to get you past this obstacle and back to what you do best.

1. Take a break

Step away from your creative brainstorming and into a new space. Move out of your usual environment (your office, your desk) to a less-visited space (an adjacent room, the hallway). Forcing ideas in your ordinary spot can cause you more stress than useful results.

2. Exert some energy

If you’ve been stumped for hours, get up and move around for a few minutes. Stretch, stand, walk outside, or tackle the stairs. Get those endorphins flowing so you come back energized.

3. Get inspired

TCD subscribes to CA magazine (Communication Arts) and keeps copies of Workbook on hand. We recently discussed the importance of taking advantage of this library of resources we have in our office. Rather than searching key words on Google and Pinterest, these creative publications can spark relevant ideas even through a contrasting topic.

4. Accept failure

The fear of failure can be a big contributor to creative block. Be okay with failing. Create something outrageous to become okay with trying ideas out of your comfort zone. Scribble all those bad and crazy ideas on paper. Getting over this hurdle will bring you closer to a creative break.

5. Find a solution

While still accepting the possibility of creating something “awful,” find a solution. That idea could be completely mediocre, but it brings you to solve your problem in one possible way. This step gets you past the pressure to find a solution. Now that you’ve found one, you can push this idea further, be inspired beyond this solution, or come back to the drawing board with a clear mind.

In the midst of the doubt and stress that creative block brings, remember the amazing breakthroughs you’ve had in the past. Using these 5 tips, we hope you’ll be a few steps closer to your next big idea.

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