Unblocking creativity: five ways to ignite your imaginative spark

Lightbulb with the sunset as a backdrop. Idea concept.

Creativity is the foundation of every creative business. It drives innovation and is essential for business growth and success. However, even the most inspiring creative entrepreneurs sometimes struggle with imaginative or original thinking. 

Creative block happens for various reasons – like burnout, lack of inspiration, perfectionism and even self-doubt. If you’ve hit a wall with the project you’re working on, there are things you can do to get your creative juices flowing again. Try the following…

1. Change your working environment

Your creative thinking is affected by the environment you find yourself in. So, if you’re sitting at your desk day after day, looking at the same four walls, you might not feel very inspired to come up with new ideas. Consider moving to another room in your building, working outside, or even trying a different workspace layout or design. Introduce new colours or different lighting and decorate your desk with plants (they can increase creativity by 45%!).

2. Recharge your batteries

Most creative sparks don’t happen while staring at a blank screen or having your pen poised, ready to note down an idea. Taking a break from the task at hand can help you recharge your creative batteries. Allow yourself to go for a walk, listen to music, read a book, write in your journal or practice meditation.

3. Stop striving for perfection

Perfectionism can be a helpful quality in that you’ll push yourself to keep trying in the face of challenges until you achieve your goals. However, being a perfectionist can actually hinder your creativity – having extremely high expectations can mean you avoid thinking of and trying new approaches for fear of failure. Look out for perfectionist tendencies and remind yourself that it’s okay to make mistakes – creativity requires letting go of certainties.

4. Break down your project

Perhaps you’ve already come up with a big idea but are completely overwhelmed with how you’re going bring it to fruition – and so the idea gets put on the back burner for another day. In this case, the trick to seeing your vision through is to break down your project into small, manageable steps. Start with what you want the outcome to be and work backwards, outlining precisely what you need to do for each stage of the process.

5. Seek inspiration

Inspiration can strike from anywhere – a TED talk, a podcast episode, a Pinterest board – and by connecting with other like-minded people. Through networking, for example, you can access fresh opinions and new perspectives, and use your connections to help guide you through something you’re struggling with.

Whether you’re an artist, writer, designer, photographer, architect or marketer, creative block is something you’ll probably come across at some point. Try some of the tips and techniques above to see which works best to ignite your imagination and get your creative project moving in the right direction.

Wondering what to read next? Check out our essential reading for creative entrepreneurs and ten podcasts to help you get things done.