We’ve all been there. You come to work and have a project looming over your head and have no idea where to start or how to execute it. What’s your natural instinct? You put it on the back burner until you are inspired to start again. Or, you keep looking at the project until you force yourself to come up with something and burn yourself out. We don’t recommend either option.
Every professional at some point in their career has had a hard time finding inspiration. To consistently keep innovating and finish genuinely amazing projects, we can’t just cower under our desks and hope the project goes away. We have to go out and get inspired! So, how does one get creatively inspired? Here are some of our secrets:
1. Leverage the people around you that are different and have more skin in the game.
You will always find someone at your job or in your close network that keeps it weird at work. Getting to know these people not only gives you a new perspective on how to think differently, but it will also inspire you to embrace your inner weirdness. Letting your guard down gives you the confidence to throw the craziest of ideas around to see if they stick and promotes innovative thinking. You never know when that outlandish idea that you kept quiet could be the dealbreaker for a big project. When we live with the mindset that what we create may fail or isn’t good enough, we aren’t allowing ourselves to open up and uncover our real potential.
No great project has ever been completed or left a mark by doing what is comfortable.
There is always going to be someone better than you. There is also always going to be someone that is different from you. There is always going to be someone that has been doing a similar job longer than you. It’s essential to break through all of these subconscious thoughts and take the time to create a pool of individuals to use as a resource to widen your perspective and push you to be better.
2. Put every idea you have or think of to paper.
Sketching or putting your ideas down on paper allows you to explore, express, and communicate your thoughts and intentions to your team. The design itself doesn’t have to be pretty or refined – that’s the beauty of sketching! The concept of the practice is more about not letting a potentially winning idea slip away. Regardless if the idea is a quote, a logo you saw while at a restaurant, or an idea you have for a current project, creating a sketch allows you to establish the foundation for the bigger picture, the finished product.
3. Google it!
You can only find so much inspiration from your coworkers and immediate surroundings. Sometimes, you need a little boost! One of the best places to find inspiration from thousands and thousands of other people like you is through search engines. Here, you can view articles, tutorials, images, webinars, eBooks, and so much more! Just Google the information or design idea you’re looking for and prepare to be exposed to a rabbit hole of resources. Our designers frequent sites like Pinterest, Behance, Creative Bloq, and Smashing Magazine to get inspiration or learn new methods for specific projects.
4. Better your craft through tutorials, webinars, and articles created by industry experts.
Finding a mentor or a go-to person that has more experience at your job is a great way to enhance your skillset. Another great way to educate yourself and get inspiration for current, or future projects, is to leverage the content created by successful professionals in your industry. For example, say you want to find a way to market to your current Clients more efficiently through email marketing. By leveraging the Internet, you may find that one of the industry experts, Hubspot, has a slew of webinars, blog posts, and even free certification courses available to enhance how you market to consumers through email. Finding this information for this specific campaign doesn’t just give you short-term knowledge, it also improves this part of your skill set for when it’s needed for future projects.
5. Get yourself a killer Spotify playlist.
Music plays such a pivotal role in inspiring people because it pumps you up, forces you to see things differently, gets your creative juices flowing, starts a little dance party in your head, and for some, calms the mind. At the core, music evokes an emotion in everyone. For this reason, creating an awesome playlist and using it as inspiration is a great way to cure any stagnancy or block you may be experiencing with a project.
Everyone has their way of dealing with project lulls or creative blocks. Instead of resorting to subpar ideas or pushing the project off even further, embrace and master the power of inspiration to create something memorable!