There are plenty of times that I am just plain drained and don't have the strength of mind to continue working on a project whose deadline is quickly nearing. So, here are the top 5 things I do to get creative again:
1. Leave the environment you're working in. I work from home. That can be nice from the perspective that I could be sitting hear writing this in my underwear right now and you wouldn't know, but it can also be very unpleasant. The walls can begin to close in on me, the albino squirrel outside of my front window can suddenly start quoting Shakespeare, and I can just plain begin to go insane. So, I like to leave, go for a walk, go for a drive, or just amble through Target (I think security's beginning to follow me).
2. CAFFEINE! That's right: recreational drugs. Sometimes you just need that extra kick, that extra brain juice. And caffeine is it. This article proves it, and it's on the internet so it must be true.
3. Watch some TV or a movie. One of the greatest escapes for me is to sit down and enjoy a little bit of the 'ol boob tube. It gets my mind off of my current project and away from the same mindset that I've experience for the last 8 hours. Seeing a commercial or graphic can also spur brilliant ideas that I didn't see before.
4. Have a conversation. Some people are so driven that they think that if they take a break and chat with someone else it's wasted time. One thing I've found is that my brain gets dusty and it needs to be shaken up a bit. Telling stories and joking around can be that little extra jolt that I need.
5. Go to bed. Many creatives are workaholics. When we really get that itch to slave away it can be 3 AM before we finally look at the clock. Sometimes I'll work and work and work 'til the wee hours of the morning before I realize that I'm stuck. Even though I'd rather stay up and obsess about my project I hit the hay instead. Often, after a good 8 hours or so of uninterrupted sleep, the idea just comes to me. The cobwebs simply needed to be cleared.
So, what do you do for inspiration or to get the creative juices flowing again? Let me know in the comments.