No matter our profession, we are always in search of something new and different. What’s the next big idea for you or your business? What can you do to get ahead and stand out from the crowd? You don’t have to be a graphic designer to tap into your creative energy. Here is a list of 10 things you can do to get inspired, motivated and rejuvenate your creative spirit.
1. Reflect. Take a look at some of your older work or past projects from a couple years back (or more). See how far you’ve come. Often times looking at what we have done before can help us to generate new ideas about what we will do next.
2. Volunteer. Do some volunteer work in your community. This can be specific to your line of work (for example, if you are environmental company, maybe you could find a project that involves planting trees or cleaning up the neighborhood). Other projects might include giving a career presentation or motivational speech to students at a local school, or volunteering for a local nonprofit event. First, its an excellent opportunity to expand your network. This is a who you know world, and opportunities dance with those who are already on the dance floor. You never know who you are going to meet or what conversations you will strike up, and volunteering is always a good days work.
3. Reorganize. Take a look around your office. Are there some items you’ve been meaning to go through or throw away? Refreshing your office space is the perfect way to start generating some new creative energy. Sometimes you have to let go of the old to make room for the new. This could be a simple as adding a new piece of art to your office for inspiration, a new bookshelf, paperweight or framed picture on your desk. But it can also mean sorting through old files and reducing clutter. This is your work environment, where you spend a good chunk of your time, so make it a space that makes you happy.
4. Motivation. It is your responsibility to motivate yourself. Every now and then you come across a quote, a phrase or a story that really motivates or inspires you. Clip those stories out, print them out. Keep them in a binder that is easily accessible. Write those inspirational quotes on post-it notes and place them in different areas around your office. We like to hide them on random days in our office planner, so when you turn the page you get a nice surprise.
5. Inspiration. What inspires you? You should make “getting inspired” a priority on your to-do list. Try different activities just to reflect and see what comes to you. We recommend a walk in the park, visiting a museum, or watching a documentary. See what new thoughts and ideas you might get while you immerse yourself in various different surroundings and activities.
6. Write. Keep a diary (did you just have an instant flashback to being a kid and having a sibling steal sneak peeks at your intimate thoughts?!?!? Don’t worry, we don’t mean it in that way). It is becoming more common for people to keep little pads of papers or notebooks that fit in bags and back pockets. They are small, convenient, and easy to whip out when you have a thought that you quickly want to jot down. Some people even keep these little notepads by their beds for those late night, mid-dream ideas. Try it and see what you come up with; see what you notice and want to write down. These notepads are also great for sketching.
7. Change. Go work somewhere different today. There are free wifi spots everywhere, from coffee shops to bookstores. A change of environment may be exactly what you need to generate some new ideas. We know some people who travel to another location locally or in another state just to get some fresh energy and a change of pace. In the warmer months, you don’t have to travel further than your backyard if you have wifi and patio furniture. Invite a friend to work with you if you prefer the company of another. Let’s see what a little change can do.
8. Explore. Go exploring without a purpose and see what treasures you find. Roam freely. Go without a plan. This is a fun activity that you can do by yourself or with friends and family. And, it can start by visiting local treasures in your own neighborhood, town, city or state. It can be as simple as spending time in a bookstore and walking aimlessly with no preconceived notion of what books you want. See what speaks to you and catches your attention. It can also be exploring a main street community with local shops and businesses. See what you may find if you look hard enough. Or, it can be taking a drive on one of those winding two way roads that have vista stops and look out points along the route. Go explore and see what this does for your creative energy.
9. Treat. Call up a friend or colleague and treat them to a cup of coffee just for the heck of it, no real reason, besides good company and good conversation. You’ll be surprised what comes up when you spend time with people and really listen. Pick someone who’s company you enjoy or someone you admire. Pick their brain or simply catch up on life. If it is nice out, order the cup of jo’ to go and walk outside. Creative energy is meant to be shared, gathered, and passed around. The more you interact with others and experience different things, the more the wheels inside your head will start to turn.
10. Read. You are online anyway for your social networking, why not also be on the look out for articles, stories and pictures that inspire you or generate good ideas for you? Bookmark those pages or create a folder on your desktop where you can store everything. First, it’s good to be able to have a source of inspirational pieces that you can call upon in your time of need. And second, it is great to be able to share some of those resources with others so that you can keep the good vibes flowing! Give it a try and see what you find. Blogs are an excellent start.
Ready! Set! Go! There’s nothing stopping you now from using the ideas above to rejuvenate your creativity.