Every creative person at some time or another has a tough time getting the right ideas, right words, or right colors to materialize for a project. It is even tougher to be creative on demand.
That is the plight of a web designer. The client is secured, the contract is signed and now the next part of the process is to be creative. That means be creative “right now”. It reminds me of a skit where a person while being introduced to a comedian demands the comedian to “say something funny”.
Each time I hit a brick wall in the creative department, I know I have to take action. It is up to me to counter the stagnation before it discourages me. I have learned over the years that there are steps you can take to keep the creative juices flowing to facilitate the process of design. This holds true for creativity in web design as well as quilting, painting, cooking, writing etc.
Creativity is the fabricating from one’s own thought or imagination into something tangible. So it starts with the mind. Here are my steps to getting back on track after an imaginative mind-block.
1. Get enough sleep
It is amazing how many people try to burn the candle at both ends and then can’t seem to focus on the tasks at hand. A good night’s sleep has been proven to improve the memory. On the contrary, lack of sleep makes concentration difficult and can shorten our attention span. Sleep is restorative for not only the body but for the mind, even though the brain is active. Yes, the brain continues to work but different parts rest during the normal sleep cycle. Any shortage of awareness, physical performance, or good disposition isn’t conducive to stimulating ideas. Besides, I have found great ideas and inspiration often come while dreaming.
2. Clear your mind
Sometimes to get the creative flow going again you need to unclog the brain. That’s right, it is like a clogged sink that you need to clean out. Get out your imaginary plunger and spend some time in relaxation. This is not a nap time, which was step 1. This is a time you purposefully set aside to “zone out”. Look out the window at the clouds or sunset. When a thought or stress tries to form in your mind just observe it then stop the thought from being a focus. Go back to looking out the window or at nature. Embrace the quiet and stillness. Even just a few minutes a day of relaxing your mind will make you feel refreshed.
3. Eat brain food
Keep your brain energy level up during the day. Certain foods help the brain to function at its optimal level and be more productive. One good list is on this website: http://www.increasebrainpower.com/brainfoods.html. Eat some tasty morsels and remember that saying: “food for thought”.
4. Get exercise and/or fresh air
Get away from the desk and into the sunlight. You can simply take a walk or complete a full work out, it doesn’t matter. Energize by doing something. Seriously, do you want to dwell on the uncompleted project or design framework? Smile and laugh to shake off that sluggishness. Breathe in fresh air deeply and slowly. Are you now feeling the creative juices starting to flow?
5. Create, Create, Create
Creative people are usually creative in more than one venue. Try a different creative outlet.
When the web design isn’t coming together, try painting or writing in a journal. Cooking a gourmet meal could be just the breakthrough you need. I usually have more than one project going at a time. It is better to have diverse ways to express yourself artistically. I quilt, design, write, cook, and produce glass art. Switching from one to another seems to break down the blockage and move me in the right direction.
It isn’t fun to feel like innovative ideas are eluding you. Try these steps and see how much faster the creative juices will flow. What works for you?
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