Using external inputs to improve your creative process

How to wake up the muses and make them serve to your needs

How to use external stimulations to keep your team creative

There are many cursed words in the world of creativity; my favourite one is “there’s no budget, but it will sure give you a lot of visibility” (I know this is more than one word but let me pull out my creative license card here). Jokes aside, and even though my personal favourite situation is bad enough, there is an evenworse scenario that many creative professionals have to fight with almost every day. It doesn’t live under your bed, but you’d probably rather prefer it to be there than where it actually habits; inside your heads. Let us talk about the most feared “creative block”.

Let’s just not panic. Ok, panic.

You’ve been avoiding that task all day and, for some strange reason, even though you’re projecting all your disgust towards it, it hasn’t vanished from your desk. You know it’s bad. That briefing is due tomorrow, you’ve been butterflying around during the morning and you have one afternoon to come up with amazing, compelling ideas. Panic strikes in.

External inputs: that’s the mantra.

I could not stress this enough: when a creative block is approaching, better take a deep breath, have a short walk, get some fresh air and ponder the relativity of, basically, everything. Getting some present moment will help to clear out anxiety. After this, here are some tools that can help you improve your creative process:

- Images and music: either in books or on the Internet, visual stimulation can certainly help to spark that idea in your brain. Trust your eyes. As for music, now this is a tricky one. There are people that can’t think with music, but it is well known that certain types of sounds (and I’m not going to fall into the “listen to classical music” cliché) can help to focus and let the creative flow… flow. #alltheflow

- Ask for help: Getting external opinions is always productive, in general.

- Brainstorming tools: methods like Triggers, that challenges you with questions and new ways of looking at things, are vital to come up with ideas quickly and in a resourceful way.