Whether you’re a strategist, a copywriter, a designer, or a developer, we’ve all been there -- working on a new project and you hit a wall.
The right word is eluding you or the design just isn’t coming together the way you imagined. It’s time consuming, frustrating, and worst of all disheartening.
Like most agencies, here at IMPACT, we often find ourselves under a time crunch. With deadlines to be met, we can’t just wait around for inspiration to hit us, so we have to find ways to keep the creative juices flowing.
Having been there myself, I went to my IMPACT colleagues and asked,
“What do you do to overcome a creative roadblock?”
1. Take a Break:
“For me, it's incredibly important to step away from my desk. If I am trudging through a project and I am feeling uninspired I will go for a quick walk or go talk to someone about what they're working on. Take your mind off it! If you're not working on a short deadline leave it alone for a day or two and work on other things; come back to it with a clear mind.
If I really need to get something done and I'm not feeling it I'll check out what other people are doing on similar projects. As a designer, I check out dribbble a lot. It's a great place to get a quick snippet of what other designers are working on. Try emulating someone else and then put your own spin on it!” - Marcella Jalbert,Creative Lead
2. Go for a Drive:
"I get in the car, turn on the radio, and go for a ride. Getting out of the office and finding a change of scenery helps get those creative juices flowing again. Whether it is designing or developing, being alone in the car helps me overcome those crazy creative roadblocks." - Melissa Smith,Sr. Front End Developer
3. Don't Force It:
When I hit a creative roadblock, I have to step away from what I’m working on - forcing an idea only makes it worse. I find when I have that issue, it’s usually because I have a lot on my mind already, so I take a break and do something stimulating. It can be as simple as browsing my LinkedIn feed for interesting and inspiring articles or if it’s after work, meeting up with some friends for good conversation and a glass of wine. When I return to my work, I’m refreshed and ready to break through. - Brie Rangel, Account Strategist
4. Use an Inspiration Board:
“I stay inspired and get past a roadblock by creating a digital inspiration board. I am a completely visual person, so having a tool like Pinterest helps me to collect all the ideas or articles I like in one convenient place. I draw also inspiration from life so my inspiration board is filled with quotes, photography, and places (I’ve been or want to go.) After letting my mind wander through this board for a few I usually can overcome any creative roadblock.” - Amanda LeClair,Client Resource Manager
5. Join Forces:
“...Surround yourself with people who are better, those that have different or better skills than you. Don’t be the smartest person in the room. Be around those that believe in your cause and that are intrinsically motivated. Collaborate with them, meet for coffee, and talk about all the “bad” ideas you had this week.” - Amir Hamdi, Creative Lead
6. Check Out the Trends:
When I'm having a hard time coming up with strategies for clients I usually steer towards Inbound.org or GrowthHackers.comand look at the trending discussions. I'll also look at my Twitter feed and see what influencers are sharing. Reading articles by other inbound marketers usually gets me thinking of new ideas and how they can relate back to my clients." - Erica Dube, Account Strategist
7. Find New Context:
“The best way to get over a creative roadblock is to take your design and put it somewhere out of its usual context, but also where you'll keep seeing it repeatedly. Over time you'll form opinions and perspectives on it that you wouldn’t have normally.” - Tim Ostheimer, Sr. Front End Developer
8. Take a Walk:
“This just happened to me! Instead of pulling my hair out or twiddling my pen, I took a walk. A change of settings usually helps me think of things I wouldn’t normally think of, and from a different perspective.
Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration either: ask one of your coworkers to come over and watch you work. I did this recently. I explained what I was working on and why I needed help with it, and as soon as I finished, I got hit by a good line of copy.
Basically, do something different. Just like a real roadblock, you have to find another way around, and you’re not going to find it by doing the same thing you’ve been doing.” - Derrick Weiss,Account Executive