Each and every person is creative to some degree. Some have huge confidence in their ideas, others are better at noting down their ideas or explaining them to others. The creative process can be different for every freelancer. Channeling your creativity and staying in a mindset of creativity can be a challenge. With so many new ideas flowing and the diversity of projects there is a risk of waning creativity. However, removing a creative block or boosting creativity is possible with a few simple actions.
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Carry a Notebook:
Almost every freelancer has been hit with an amazing idea when away from their desk. This usually means a scramble to find a napkin or dry cleaners ticket to jot in down on before the idea dissipates. However, by always carrying a notebook you will always have a resource you can refer back to. Don’t use it as a general scribble pad for things to do or groceries lists, but rather keep it exclusively for ideas and creative brainwaves. Being constantly prepared to jot down ideas will keep your creative subconscious mind always alert and prepared for action.
Immerse Yourself in Culture:
There is so much culture around the world which is steeped in creativity and inspiration. Try to immerse yourself in different aspects of culture and absorb the creativity. This could be going to art or museum exhibitions, reading books, visiting historically significant places around the world or watching films from world cinema. Not only with this be immensely enjoyable but it will allow your creativity to flourish. The inspiration you receive from different cultures can provide a superbly creative project which pays homage to the wonders you have experienced.
Break the Routine:
This can be a very common way of becoming stuck in a creative rut. Working in the same way in a boring routine can stifle creativity, so it’s a good idea to break the routine once in a while and get out of your regular way of working. Breaking the routine will allow you to explore working and relaxing at different times and in a variety of places. This will allow the potential for new experiences which may boost your creativity in unusual ways.
Regardless of the type of project you are working on, brainstorming can be an excellent way to boost creative ideas. Simply take a blank piece of paper, write the title at the top and let the ideas flow. Try not to concentrate on what you are writing; just allow ten or fifteen minutes to write down each idea or theme that comes to mind. Pose the questions what, who, when, where, how and why. Once the time is up and I would suggest having a timer or alarm set, walk away for a few minutes before coming back and reviewing the ideas. You can use the best ideas for your project and you never know, you may have some ideas which are perfect for another project you are working on.
This is a diagrammatical process which represents ideas, words and relationships in a visual format. This can be a great way of organizing the results of your brain storming session, to link the best themes and ideas, but mind mapping can be done as a strategy by itself. There are even mind mapping software applications which allow a quick creative session while you are away from your desk and on the go.
Compare and Discuss Ideas
By looking back at the qualities of past successful ideas and discussing their creative value, you may be able to create an amalgam of the best elements and create a whole new concept. Discussion with others allows a different perspective of strengths or weaknesses of ideas, themes or campaigns. Having someone to act as a creative sounding board can help to improve idea flow and boost creativity. You could even look to brainstorm as a group activity and see how a variety of personalities and perspectives can increase the flow of ideas.
Of course, you don’t want to share all your creative flow and genius with others, but you do not need to disclose all your secrets. General discussions or talking with non-professionals can sometimes boost creativity. Children provide an amazing out of the box thought perspective which can really give your creativity a jolt.
Rearrange your Schedule:
Each and every person has a more creative time of day when their thought processes are more geared to creating ideas. For some people this is early in the morning, others are night owls. Identifying the time which you feel more creative can allow you to rearrange your schedule to maximize this creative potential. You should also schedule in time for exercise and breaks. This will not only keep you physically healthier but will help to clear your mind and keep your thought patterns fresh. Don’t waste your creative peak on mundane tasks such as admin or answering emails, schedule these tasks for later in the day and make sure your time during a creative peak is used well creating ideas.
Create a Creative Environment:
Assess what your creative needs are and the environment that you feel more creative in. This might be an outside space or at your desk, but ensure it is free from mundane distractions and equipped with all the tools you will need to allow the flow of ideas.
Having confidence in your ideas and themes will carry them a long way. Even if you are not one hundred percent certain that your idea is perfect, if you present it with complete confidence you may be surprised at the response it receives. Of course, there is a fine balance with confidence and being over confident. This balance is something every freelancer has to become accustomed to, having the strength and conviction in your ideas but open to recognize when an idea is not working and needs to be re-thought.
Exercise your Brain:
This is the major key to boosting your creativity. Just as you wouldn’t contemplate running a marathon without some physical training, you should exercise and stimulate your brain to boost your creativity. This could be anything from word puzzles, crosswords to brain training exercises. This will keep your brain completely stimulated and open to new ideas.
Author bio: Elena Simionescu handles PR for Pixel77 and Inky Deals. She takes design tutorials and design deals pretty seriously and in her free time, she watches a lot of movies. Like a lot, a lot. Get in touch with her on Twitter and Google+.