We’ve all felt the frustration of staring at a blank computer screen or piece of paper when it needs to be full of ideas or content.
In a time where our intellectual property is so highly valued, it is important for us to be able to come up with new ideas, innovations and content at the drop of a hat even when inspiration is nowhere to be found.
So how do you keep your creative juices and ideas flowing? Here are four tips to help you push past the point of no inspiration.
1. Break it down and plan
While it can save time going from idea right through to completion in one go, don’t feel pressured to do this every time. Break your task into stages.
Even the simple step of writing down what you need to do, what you want to achieve by it and the framework of how you are going to do it can be enough to get you going. For example, if it is a blog post you need to write, determine your audience, set the topic, write down the main points you want to cover and what you want your reader to know and do by the end of it.
If it is a proposal or pitch you need to produce, briefly outline your target audience, their current frustrations, how you can make it better (with proof) and what they need to do to act.
Starting is often the hardest part but by taking the small step of planning you not only give yourself more clarity around the project, you save time and make completing the task far easier.
2. You don’t need to have it all figured out immediately
We often put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything figured out from the start, but ideas are a work in progress.
If you feel you are stumbling over a word, sentence, section, page or particular task mark where you are up to and move onto the next word, sentence, section and so on. Don’t get so bogged down in perfecting your work that you stop making progress. Remember no one needs to see the planning or working version of your task except you.
3. Eliminate all of your distractions
Give yourself every opportunity to focus on the task at hand. This means turning your phone onto do not disturb, unplugging from the internet and bringing order to your workspace.
Many of our thoughts can be silenced by the noise and distractions that fill our daily work day. By eliminating those distractions you give yourself the opportunity to think and focus.
4. Step away to move forward
Sometimes the best plan of action is to give yourself some space from the task at hand. The longer you are in a stressed state the longer your ideas and thoughts will be stifled. To break the cycle you need to change your state.
Get some fresh air, change your work environment, run on the spot or take a break, do something that will relax you and ease your stress. While you can think you don’t have time, this will clear your mind and get your ideas flowing again.
How do you push past the point of no inspiration?
You can help us (and help yourself)
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany supporter.