11 Things to Do When Creatively Stuck


It happens. The ideas don't come. Or the ones that do just aren't "it." And, time is running out. 

Since everybody has a "Top 10" list, I've decided to be at least a bit creative and give you a list of 11(!) things to help you when creativity just isn't happening…

  1. Get Up From Your Desk. Move – walk, run. I've come up with more ideas in my 30-second walk to the kitchen for a glass of water than just about any other way.
  2. Play with your children. Or borrow one. Play gets your mind engaged in a much different way than "work" and allows for new connections and solutions. 
  3. Modify an existing idea that worked before. Don't reinvent the wheel, just put in on a different car.
  4. Exaggerate. Make it huge. Make it tiny. Make it ridiculous and memorable.   
  5. Talk to someone. Get on the phone. Instant message. Text message. The topic can be anything, but a new idea might come from a different perspective and not looking directly at the problem. 
  6. Pray! Feel free to do this before you get stuck, as well. 
  7. Unplug. Get away from the computer. Turn off the phone(s). Go low-tech. Concentrate on the project and hand and limit distractions.
  8. Do something with your hands. Cook. Doodle. Knit. Fold laundry. Build with Legos. Engaging different areas of your brain will allow for different ideas. 
  9. Listen to music. Find music that fits the "mood" of what you're trying to create. Or go the opposite direction and listen to quiet music for a high-energy project. 
  10. Go for a drive. Get your mind engaged in another task, and let your brain percolate and simmer on solutions. 

What are your favorite ways to get creatively "unstuck"?