Finding inspiration

Don't we all sometimes have the feeling that we are stuck somewhere in a creative process. You got an important meeting coming up and still need to prepare a killing presentation, your boss asked to write a vision document, you don't seem to get the UI right for a new prototype document. You got stuck, it probably happens to all of us, I know it happens to me a lot. What do I do about it?

Some of the things I do
  • Stop the struggle and go do something else
    • If you are in the office, try to get out. You can think out of the box when you're locked in the office box. Go for a coffee, walk, massage or to the gym.
    • If you are at home, try bugging your spouse with your challenge. Most likely it's not understood and your are forced to simplify the problem and probably puts a new perspective on things.
  • Move into another environment, a variation of the above topic. I like to go places where I can observe people. In the summer a terras is a good place, because most people are relaxed, enjoy the weather and a drink. Stress is nowhere near. In winter a also like a university as an inspirational environment, full with young ambitious and motivated people. The future at work!
  • Imagine what would happen if you didn't do anything to solve the challenge. In a worst case scenario you might loose your job or business, but at least you are still sane and have your health. We tend to make problems and challenges often a bit larger than reality.
  • Talk about it with someone who is not aware of your challenge. For you it's a big thing, but for the other is a challenge not much different than other challenges. It helps putting your challenge into perspective.
  • Don't hurry! Yes you have a deadline and people on your back to deliver, but it doesn't change the situation that your are stuck. You first need to get out of deadlock before you can get any further. I rather deliver quality and miss a deadline than delivering a poor result on time. 
  • .... and at all times remain calm, because stress only makes the situation worse.
Now all this time away from the challenge might seem a waste of time, but in reality it's time you needed to process all the details, inputs and variations of the challenge. A lot of this happens unconsciously. By the time you feel inspired again, you complete the challenge in no time and deliver a great result. Just keep believing in a good outcome.

How do you deal with dead-lock?

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