the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas
That’s how the Cambridge dictionary defines what millions of people struggle to achieve – and that so often eludes them. How do you become more creative? And how do you get out of an inevitable creative rut?
I spoke to five marketers about their tips and tricks, and this is what they said.
Taylor Proctor, Madrivo: “My creative juices get flowing as my body gets moving.”
“The habits that fuel my creativity the most are moving my body and listening to podcasts (usually at the same time). I find my creative juices get flowing as my body gets moving and listening to personal development, marketing, or business podcasts always jump-starts my brain with new, creative ideas.
When I feel like I’m in a creative rut, I ask a trusted friend or my husband (neither in my industry) for their thoughts. It helps me see an outside perspective and release any feelings of overwhelm or judgment that I may be having about my creativity. I also like to write out all my ideas on a sheet of paper, allowing me to brainstorm and get out of the rut.”
– Taylor Proctor, Director of Marketing at Madrivo
Whitney Blankenship, Omnisend: “I have a set routine.”
“Many think that creatives are just spontaneous leaves on the wind, but for me, having good habits fuels my creativity.
I have a set routine for when I’m about to start writing: usually a quick walk, the right music, and a cup of tea. It makes it really easy to replicate a ‘creative routine’ in moments when you have to just ‘be creative.’
However, that creative rut plagues us all. When I start feeling stale, I do things that inspire me. For example, it might be as simple as reading an author I love, baking something and getting handy, working on a passion project, or painting something interesting. I find that channeling creativity in another way often translates back to whatever I’m working on, even if it’s something that has nothing to do with the original project.
When all else fails, walk away. It’s amazing what your brain does when you’re doing something mechanical with your hands, like taking a shower or washing the dishes. If I’m really, truly stuck, sometimes taking a break and doing something completely different helps jog some of those creative juices.
Finally, if I hit a stride doing something, I often won’t stop for anything. It’s important to capitalize on those moments when you’re at your creative best.”
– Whitney Blankenship, Content Marketing Manager at Omnisend
Iris Iordanoiu, ZeroBounce: “I stimulate my creativity through meditation.”
“My creativity doesn’t start from nothing. It always starts from an initial idea that I think about for a while. Then when I feel inspired, I develop it to its maximum potential.
Most of the time, I stimulate my creativity through meditation, long walks, shopping or by going out with friends.
Designing the environment where I spend my time can really help with creativity. I try to make it as inspirational as possible. I pay attention to colors, décor, and even the smell of my environment.
If I feel like I am in a creative rut, I try to think of it as just a stage in the process of my creativity, and simply try to regain my inspiration. It sometimes helps to find a new activity, work on another goal, or to learn something new in a different field. You can return and may find shifting attention has sparked your creativity.
Sometimes I just change my habits. Inspiration can come from a new outfit, a different fruit mix for breakfast, another perfume or even from a different kind of music than what I usually listen to.
Creativity can appear at any time, even from the small and unexpected things. You just have to get out of your comfort zone to make it happen.”
– Iris Iordanoiu, Customer Support Specialist at ZeroBounce
Berenika Teter, Prowly: “There’s nothing better than going for a walk.”
“Working as a content marketer, creativity is the key to getting my job done.
Whenever I’m preparing for a task, I first gather relevant examples and case studies that can inspire me to write my own content. I also tend to take screenshots and bookmark pretty much anything I find interesting, and then go through these ‘discoveries’ at least once a week. Otherwise, they’ll just get buried somewhere on my laptop, which doesn’t really boost my creativity.
If all this doesn’t work, I simply take a longer break and do something which I feel is underestimated: go offline. There’s nothing better than going for a walk, getting your favorite coffee or meal, or doing a quick workout to get your creative juices flowing.
I’ve learned that the best ideas strike when I’m actually NOT trying that hard to come up with something original. It might sound like a cliché, but a healthy work-life balance really works wonders.”
– Berenika Teter, Content Marketer at Prowly PR Software
Kassanndra M. R.: “I focus my attention on a different task.”
“Although we live in a digital era, nothing gets me thinking like when my pen or pencil hits a piece of paper. Breaking ideas down visually with cues helps me develop different perspectives on a project. I tend to add a few illustrations to the mix that bring ideas to life and keep them rooted in my mind.
Color-coding spreadsheets is another guilty pleasure of mine. But a habit that tops the list has to be making a jingle out of the most random lines, especially if I’m preparing to present an idea to a crowd. Adding a tune does help with memory power and relieves you of the nerves that come with a big day.
Escaping the creative rut is a feat, and thankfully the nature of my work supports rotation of tasks. If time isn’t a constraint, I focus my attention on a different task temporarily or take a mini-break until I’m ready to come back to the daunting task.
I feel better when I choose to make myself a cup of tea or take a short stroll somewhere instead of mindlessly scrolling on social media.”
– Kassanndra M. R., Product Marketer at Zoho CRM