“ I am just bored.”
“ I don’t feel like doing anything.”
“ I am not creative enough to think of new ideas to get things done.”
These sounds familiar.
At this point of time when the crisis is hitting hard with everyday news of struggle and pain and death on an overwhelming basis, it’s equally challenging to keep ourselves composed. And to make it a nightmare, our responsibilities as a student or as professionals demand us to become more creative. We’re expected to get things done. We’re expected to become more productive. When trying to come up with new ideas, there is a surge of creative block. And that’s when we look up to our peers who are “creative enough” and end up wondering why would that “creativity” not come to us.
Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian physiologist and a Nobel prize winner who discovered Vitamin C, quotes: “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. ”
This rings so true. When we’re accustomed to looking at everyday things always with the same perspective we don’t really think different thoughts about them. We just move on. For example, the person who came up with the idea of bags with wheels aka suitcases, was able to see how a bag can be used differently while normal people didn’t. The point is we all have those “creative genes” in us that help us to think differently.Its just that we need to look within us.
Getting back to our creativity concern again, I am not an expert. I had just tried and tested a few things on my own and that actually turned out to be a good way to snap out of having a creative block. Here are those 5 creative hacks.
1. Make the first move
Whenever a random idea strikes in your mind, find yourself a way to make the first move immediately. If you’ve got an idea of starting a nutrition blog, DO NOT think of how much time it takes to learn and build a website or of how much of a perfectionist you are that you need hours to write fully researched and well “informative” articles, something you’re going to put up in your blog. Just scribbling the first draft of your article may be your first quick move. After a first move is made, our brain starts seeking for the possibilities of the next right move.
Yes, I know. Not everyone can draw well. But the thing is we all have drawn something in our primary school days. Again, let’s not focus on doodling something really good. Because that way, again our focus and energy goes towards perfection and we end up not doing it. Let’s get back to our old self when we first started to draw. Maybe a flower. Maybe a house. Or maybe you can even draw your own study room. This way of starting really small is actually tricking our brain which is wired for perfectionism. The idea of being perfect is an illusion which enables us to become afraid enough to not take real action. Once the momentum sets up, you start thinking of ways to do more and be more.
Again, not everyone is Gordon Ramsay. Okay let’s not go that far. Not everyone can cook as good as their mom or dad does. At least not me :p. What I did was, I customized my YouTube Homepage such that it mostly recommended quick and easy food recipes. That actually made me watch a LOT of food videos. And trust me, even if you don’t know how to cook, you will at least try making and serving food. It works. The whole point of this story is to trick our brain. There are a lot of videos to make you tempted enough to give a try.
4. Try something you’ve never done before
Our mind becomes fully present and focused when it gets exposed to something really new. The reason we get happy, when we’re wearing new clothes, or when we own new furniture, or traveling to a new place. We’re fully present and aware of the new thing we’re experiencing. And that’s another trick. There are a lot of free online courses available these days. Choose a topic totally new which you’d never known before. Explore it. This actually help us develop a different perspective on things.
5. Play ‘5 true things’ game
I made this up. :p. But its cool. Maybe. Okay.
Take a sticky note and a holder pen. (It’s okay, simply pen and paper works too).Think and write 5 things you know to be really really true about yourself, about your family, friends,country, world, anything. And stick that to your wall (or somewhere you can see them easily). Just 5 true things. After you’re done, look within yourself. You just were aware and present and just reflecting. This exercise of reflecting actually helps us get close with our emotions and thoughts.
Whenever we feel like we don’t have our creative juices flowing, we generally end up using all the energies ‘preparing to prepare’ for the work rather than the actual work. What follows is demotivation and guilt of not being able to execute the work. And we end up taking this particular reference of “us” as an excuse to not make things happen in future as well.
I have actually tried and tested these ways. They’ve worked for me. Taking the first move always helps us gain momentum and go deeper. I hope it works for you as well! Have an amazing time.