Before using our creative tools, we need to be able to think more creatively. The world of creativity and design never stands still. Technology keeps on advancing, standards keep on evolving, and every month there are new things and ideas to try out that can make your life as a designer that little bit better.

Beginning your work with your full interest and attention only to find yourself stuck after the first sentence or step is frustrating, but what’s worse is staring at a blank page for what seems like an eternity, willing ideas to appear from somewhere. For people who create content every day, it can be difficult constantly coming up with new ideas. Luckily, if you’ve hit that creative wall, there are several techniques you can implement to get those creative juices flowing again. it all starts with consuming content that is way out of our comfort zone.

01 —
Always write!

Even if you’re not a fan of old fashioned tools, you might be surprised to know there are some proven benefits to going back to basics. Although technology continues to improve, it still hurts our eyes to look at it for too long. When compared to paper, reading or writing on a screen requires more effort and makes us tired faster. Even expert writers have been shown to write 50% slower when using a computer, compared to paper. Writing by hand with a pen or pencil has some surprising benefits, too. It also uses more of the brain, as you need to make several strokes for each letter, so your working memory gets activated, as well as brain areas used for thinking and language.

02 —
Ask questions

As we get older, we tend to stop asking so many questions. We accept a lot more, because it’s all been explained to us before. Perhaps it’s because of this, that adults are stereo typically perceived as having very little imagination. Maybe if we asked more questions, our content might be a little bit more imaginative. This is where the checklist technique can help. This is essentially a list of questions which you should ask yourself before beginning your work.

03 —
Get up and relax

People underestimate the value of being bored. If you work around screens all day, if can often prove both relaxing and rewarding to just get up and walk about for a bit. Let your mind wander instead of focusing on a task so hard it hurts. Take a walk around your local woods, indulge yourself in your own personal contemplation montage as you skim rocks across a pond. Let the miracle of nature, and that brief moment of what is hopefully peace and quiet, inspire and energize you.

04 —
A pair of headphones

Whether you’re working in an office, a coffee shop, or your living room, a pair of headphones can be handy when you’re trying to access that oh-so-elusive state of mind. Although silence can be just what we need when we’re concentrating on a difficult task, ambient noise will get our creative juices flowing and open us up to new ideas.
Remember that when it comes to exploring ideas, you’re limited only by your imagination. Don’t hold back either, even the worst of ideas may have some use. The more ideas you generate, the bigger your chances of finding the right solution.