As the days grow darker and colder, my creativity and motivation just want to hibernate like a pair of grumpy bears. Even the most creative, motivated, enthusiastic people have those times when their creativity is not exactly fired up. It can be because of the weather, it can be due to depression and stress or other health issues, it can be because of failures or even successes you are facing, or for reasons you cannot quite explain.
While I believe productivity is overrated and you don't have to be constantly creating stuff (I mean, that's not even sustainable), I know being creatively stuck can be frustrating. It's even worse, if your business or other work is based on your creativity.
Luckily there are some very easy and inexpensive ways you can boost your creativity today.
Relax and rest
Stress is the best way to kill your creativity. Keep yourself stressed up, and your creativity stays away. Stress can mess with your memory, learning, and creativity.
First of all it needs to be repeated that sleep is very important for your brain. Amongst other things, sleep enhances your learning and cleans your brain of toxins.
Did you know that your brain can be focused to a task only a limited time, an hour or two at most? After that, your mind will start to wander and you will start to get less creative. Your brain needs a break.
You can think it this way: rest is not unproductive. Rest, as a matter of a fact, is an important part of productivity and creativity. Without rest, you will become a useless unimaginative mess.
Relax and rest to keep yourself creative.
Do something different
As your brain can stay focused to one task only for a limited time, it needs variation. Keep doing the same creative thing for a long time, and you will start to get less than creative.
When your creativity starts to take naps while you are doing your usual thing, it is time to shake things up.
One way to do something different is doing what you usually do, but in a different way. If you are having a bloggers block, try creating a podcast episode or a video instead. When you feel like your paintings are all the same, make a collage or draw with pencils for a change.
Then again, you can do something you don't usually do. You don't have to commit to the new thing after this one time, and you may find a new hobby or other interest by doing something different.
Doing new things can motivate your creativity in surprising ways.
People are often scared of mistakes and failures. We try to protect ourselves from them, and we try to protect people we love from them. Mistakes and failing are often seen as something to be ashamed of.
Don't be afraid of mistakes and failures. Failing is part of success, and more you fail the more likely you are to succeed. Including with your creativity. While some mistakes can be bad for you, there are mistakes that can help you to boost your creativity.
Making mistakes is a family member of doing something different. Doing something different is likely to lead to failures. And that is good!
Mistakes and failures help you to understand your own limitations and strengths, lead you to learn and grow, and can make you a better person.
Make more mistakes to be more creative.
Practice your imagination
Imagination is a huge part of creativity. When you can imagine new and unknown, you can create that new and unknown in a way or another.
Imagination, as well as creativity, is something that requires practice. It may seem that some people are more imaginative than others. Perhaps their brains are wired in a way that makes them so imaginative.
But the thing about brains is that they can be trained to do all kinds of things. Even for imagination. I have previously published an article, which includes some tips and prompts for practicing your imagination similarly as meditation. Do check it out, if you are running low on imagination to keep you creative.
Let your imagination run wild, and you will find yourself feeling more creative.
Now before you panic, I want to remind you that physical exercise doesn't necessarily require going to a gym or taking a sweaty run.
For those who aren't that used to physical exercise I recommend doing something light and simple. Just take a walk. Do ten squats. Lift light weights.
Physical exercise is known to keep your mind active and brain healthy. It pumps oxygen rich blood in your brain. It helps your brain to create new connections. It can help with your depression too.
Boost your creativity with physical exercise, and keep your body and mind fresh and strong.
BONUS TIP: Be gentle with yourself
As I mentioned before, constantly creating stuff isn't necessarily that good. Plus your body and mind will need rest, time to unwind and just be.
Be more gentle and forgiving with yourself. You don't have to be able to do everything all the time. Understand and accept your own limitations.
Especially refrain from comparing yourself to others and their creativity. You are not that other person, and you don't even necessarily know what goes into their creative process.
It is okay if you cannot be creative all the time. It is okay to not be motivated or inspired. It is okay to feel less than enthusiastic. It is okay to take a break and just watch television or whatever. It is okay to make mistakes and fail. It is okay to be imperfect.
Let yourself be who you are and your creativity work the way it does. You will be likely to find yourself much more creative.
I'm Mervi Eskelinen
I'm an artist, nerd and creative business wizard, dedicated to help you build the business of your dreams, market your creativity, and find a meaningful way to support your lifestyle.