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“I don’t have any ideas!”
Sometimes when we try to get ideas for creative projects or for our business, our minds go blank.
I hear this a lot. In fact, this might be one of the biggest Creative Blocks I encounter.
Luckily, it’s an easy one to deal with.
The world is freaking FULL of ideas. Absolutely stuffed with them. The trick isn’t finding ideas and inspiration, the problem is that most people just need practice in getting ideas from all the things around them, and hanging onto those ideas once they get them.
Here’s why getting ideas is hard sometimes:
A shortage of inspiration isn’t the problem. The problem is that we’re constantly bombarded with stimulation, and it’s tricky to filter what we really need.
What really speaks to you? What stands out? What parts do you like, and what parts do you dislike? What drew you to this thing in the first place?
The other problem is that a lot of us just aren’t used to paying attention. We always have so much on our minds that we forget to slow down and notice all the amazing things around us.
Here are my 3 favorite tricks for letting ideas come through:
1 – Slow down – Take a couple minutes to just sit outside and listen, look, notice. Build little breaks like this into your day at around the same time so you can practice letting your mind slow down. We receive ideas when we’re most relaxed. That’s why a lot of us get our best ideas in the shower, or when we’re falling asleep at night!
2 – Pay Attention – We might actually be getting tons of ideas throughout the day, but if we’re busy, it’s easy to dismiss them. Maybe something catches your eye on the street while you’re walking to your mailbox, or maybe you overhear a conversation at lunch that sparks something in your imagination.
If we’re in a hurry or doing something else, it’s easy to brush these off and forget, but teach yourself to think in capital letters, “I’M GETTING AN IDEA!” Practice pausing for just a moment to acknowledge that you’re being inspired. You’ll get better at this. Once you realize you’re getting an idea…
3 – Record your ideas – Don’t kid yourself and think you’ll remember that great idea in the morning. You won’t.
When you get a flash of inspiration, make sure that you record it, or it will float away back into the ethers. Figure out a way you like to record ideas and stick with it. I like to carry a notebook around or use the notes app on my phone. You can record yourself speaking into your phone, use a system like Evernote. Another great way to keep track of ideas, especially visual ideas, is photos. Make a special folder or album in the photo app on your phone just for pictures of things that inspire you.
Ideas keep very well, and the best part about recording your ideas is that you have a stash ready to go when your inspiration is running low. It’s like insurance for those days when you’re just drawing a blank.
With these three tips, I always have way more ideas than I know what to do with, which is a great problem to have sometimes! I can always find inspiration when I need it.
Give it a try! I can’t wait to see what you create.
We’d love to hear from YOU…
How do you keep track of your ideas? Do you find that you have a lot of ideas, or do you have creative “dry spells” sometimes? Leave your answer in the comments below!