Sometimes you sit down at your desk armed with a cup of coffee and then you realise that you’re just not getting any mountains moved today! If you’re working an office job at some corporate firm, there’s probably a ton of small tasks that are equally uninspired and in need of your attention. Mindless, trivial stuff that don’t require a muse to get you going.
When you’re a business owner, and especially one in a creative industry, you don’t have the luxury to flit around aimlessly without getting yourself in a bad place. Even when I’m doing admin tasks, my brain is still firing on all cylinders to get creative ideas and plans forming. It’s like my brain is baking cupcakes while I’m busy cleaning the kitchen.
So what if you can’t get those mind cupcakes baking, and inspiration is on holiday, far, far away from your desk? Then honey, you need to crank it up, change your game plan and buckle down for the storm.
Grab a hot cup of something and scribble these ideas down for the next time you get creative block.
1. Draw a writing prompt out of a hat and bash out a first draft.
Part one of this tip- start writing down prompts or ideas for blog post topics, posts or whatever kind of content you need to create, stick them in a hat (or box, or bowl or something similarly “container-y”) and when you just can’t think of something to write or post about, stick your hand in there, swirl it around and be amazed at the brilliant idea you just grabbed.
Part two- Don’t get too caught up on the content you’re creating, just smack those words down and play around. Pretty soon you’ll be able to edit it into something usable. The important part is to START with something, no matter how awful it is.
2. Go online
Nothing like firing up the old Google machine! If you don’t know what to write or post about next, go to google, type in a few words (use keywords from your niche) and then make a note of the suggestions. Here’s an example- I want to know what people are searching for in “small business” so that’s what I enter. Google tells me that people are looking for small business ideas, loans, funding, development and training. From this I can plan a series of posts that educate people about small business ideas, how to do market research about your business idea, where to get loans and funding, how to build a business plan and so on. We can be here all day making lists of the possibilities this tip gives you!
3. Crawl social media
Especially Reddit and Pinterest. On Reddit, you can join a community that is very broad or very niche, and from these subreddits you can find ideas to write about, you can see what people are discussing, what’s trending and what questions people have. Same goes for Pinterest, but on Pinterest you’ll be looking out for boards that address a specific topic or niche.
Bonus tip: Reddit has a subreddit that’s dedicated to writing prompts- people share their great ideas for writers to use, and all you need to do is find one you like and write like the wind. I try to do a writing prompt every month, just to challenge myself and keep my writing skills sharp. I don’t let these pieces see the light of day, but the point is to keep yourself challenged and your mind out of the box!
Easy right? Yes, in fact it is. Make a small change and see how your brain reacts, then go bigger until you’ve managed to break the creative stifle. Move your office around, go somewhere else for lunch, buy a magazine you’ve never read or go INSANE and book an appointment at the hairdresser for a REAL change. Remix your environment and you might just get yourself out of the rut.
5. Rework your own
Revisit some of the work you’ve done- blogs, socials and designs and look at them with a critical eye. What would you change? What could work better, and what is currently failing? Not only will you refresh your own content without too much added effort but you’ll have the opportunity to focus your work to match where you’re currently at. By changing images and editing work your brain gets pumped to see new ways of solving problems you have (plus, this is really good for engagement on social media)
Two (or three or four) heads are better than one so book a coffee date with your business bestie and brainstorm some ideas. Think about the issues you currently have, write them down and get a set of fresh eyes on them. When you return the favour you might just find inspiration to create new things all of your own. I host a monthly “girl boss” meet up during which we focus on one or two aspects of business and bring solutions and ideas to help each other out. We’ve created some ingenious solutions to problems that we couldn’t overcome on our own and sharing a few laughs (and some wine) never hurts!
7. Get some rest
The worst slumps usually come after periods of being really productive and creative. If you’ve been in the zone and you’ve worked hard for a while your body and brain might head for the bench. Don’t fight it every time. You need time to rest, time to reflect and time to revitalise yourself. Step away from the work and get some sleep. I’ve learned to anticipate the slumps and once you know when to expect it, you can plan for it.
If these tips were helpful, please share them with a few friends.
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