How to Get Over a Creative Block
Getting over a creative block isn’t always easy. And between looming deadlines and strict timetables, they’re more than minor inconveniences. Everyone has their own tricks to getting over them (if at all), but here are a couple suggestions that the ever-growing field of psychology has verified for our collective benefit.
1. Keep reading this blog
Or really, do anything other than the thing you’re supposed to be doing, even for a little bit. In his TED Talk “The surprising habits of original thinkers”, psychologist and Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant breaks down the virtues of procrastination. The entire talk is worth a listen, and it touches on a couple ways forward thinking shows up in the workplace, from startup business models to web browser preferences. He offers up two huge takeaways between them, the first being the necessity of perseverance in trial-and-error. But the second is a lot more useful to the blocked-up brain: “Procrastination gives you time to consider divergent ideas, to think in nonlinear ways, to make unexpected leaps.”
2. Don’t think too much
If you’re just flat out stuck, it might be better to take a complete break. In a study published by Bar-Ilan University, researchers gave participants cognitive tasks of varying difficulty, and then gave them a word association task to measure their creativity. Long story short, those participants with less intense mental tasks were able to connect more unique word associations than those with harder tasks. The conclusion is kind of comforting. As summarized by NY Mag: “creativity isn’t entirely a fixed, inborn trait; it’s an aperture that can be opened or closed.”
Need a few more minutes before taking on that next project? Check out our blog — we cover everything from website design and the user experience to improv techniques and creativity.