If you’ve worked in any creative capacity you’ve probably experienced brain drain every now and again. Brain drain is the enemy of interesting and creative ideas, and if you let it linger you can get stuck in a cycle of generating sub-par ideas which are “good enough” but not going to get the results you want. Surely, you want to be great, and just not good, so below you can find some tips to make sure you keep your brain drain at bay and your creativity firing on all cylinders.
Take a walk
Did you know that the simple act of getting up from your desk and going outside for a walk and some fresh air can help get those creative ideas sparking?
Taking a walk not only disrupts your day and gets you away from the task you’re struggling with, but it can also reset your brain. Studies have shown that your creative output increases by 60% when you go for a walk. That’s 60% more creative power when you have a low battery, so make sure you find time to step away from the screen regularly so you can continue reaching for that Eureka! moment.
Outsource your creativity
Sometimes, you can cure your brain drain by leaving your own brain out of the creative process. Inspiration and great ideas can come from anywhere, and that’s why it’s incredibly important to go outside your own team circle and open up the floor. Otherwise, you may find yourself in a rut with all your ideas and creative energy exhausted.
Some of the best ideas we’ve had as a team have come from someone on a different team randomly saying ‘wouldn’t it be cool if…’ or ‘I saw this and thought…’
Everyone has the potential for creativity, so go ahead and open up your problem to your wider team. You’ll be amazed at how many great and inspiring ideas come from just going outside your own circle.
Sleep on it
This may be cliche advice, but it honestly works! I’ve lost track of the times I’ve been faced with what seems an insurmountable creative challenge at work where I’ve been stuck, but then after a full night’s sleep, I’ve come back and had a renewed sense of creativity. So, if you’re having trouble being creative, put your project on pause and get some rest. You may be greeted by some great new ideas bright and early when you wake up.
Disrupt the status quo
A little while back, our creative team decided that disrupting the status quo of our regular creative brainstorm meetings could reap great rewards and ensure that we are constantly firing on all cylinders to churn out fun, unique, and engaging creative ideas. To do that, we created a deck of cards called the disruption deck.
When things get stagnant, we throw a card into the mix with a specific instruction on it from ‘reimagine something mundane in a fantastical popular universe’ to ‘banning certain campaign formats we know work to inspire us to think differently’.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to actually create physical cards to disrupt the status quo. You can employ the same principle by creating a specific theme or rule for a creative meeting or finding a way to change up the format of your meetings. Anything goes really as long as you disrupt the creative status quo for you and your team.
So there you have it – four simple and actionable ideas for you to get those creative ideas flowing again. I hope to one day run into you sleepwalking whilst talking to people outside of your team and disrupting the status quo just so I can overhear the pinnacle of your creative ideas!
I’d also like to hear ways that your team has avoided getting the dreaded brain drain. Let me know down in the comments!