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What does it take to get your creative juices flowing at a time when you need a bit of inspiration? This is precisely the moment when so many people find themselves feeling completely stuck and incapable of coming up with any new ideas.

Encouraging creative thought will require some conscious effort on your behalf. Here are a few of the approaches that can be expected to deliver the best possible results.

Exercise

What should you do when you’re not getting any ideas at all? The answer is simple – attempt something else.

Going for a short exercise routine in the middle of the busy day could be the best idea when it comes to bringing your creative powers back. In fact, 30 minutes of exercise per day could be all that you need in order to get better results.

Research suggests that this much aerobic exercise will improve nearly every aspect of your cognitive function. Actually, studies reveal that going for a jog or doing any other kind of physical activity may be better for increasing your creative potential than brainstorming.

This is a good idea if you’re already physically fit. A person who doesn’t work out frequently may get the exact opposite effect. Aerobic exercise is intense and it will lead to fatigue. Being creative when trying to combat exhaustion is definitely far from an easy task.

Exercise Your Imagination

Now that you’re done with exercising your body, it’s time to start exercising your brain. A few exercises can be used to encourage creative thinking.

Take a simple problem that you’re facing at work, for example. Instead of attempting to come up with a practical solution, try to find the wildest and most creative way to deal with the issue out there. Exaggerate the aspects of the problem and the facets of the solution. Look for opportunities beyond the obvious.

Another exercise is to think about someone you admire. What would they do in the respective situation? How will they approach a pressing problem? Attempting to think like someone else can open your eyes to possibilities that you’ve never considered before.

Finally, try some associations. Think of a word that’s linked to your problem or that can be used to describe it. Use this word to get a better idea about your subconscious thought process. It may suggest a theme, it may suggest an area of concentration or a pattern. Don’t be scared to be outrageous. Even if a word doesn’t seem to have any connection to the issue at first, it may be sufficient to get you thinking unconventionally.

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Also read: 10 Great Tips to Overcome Your Loss of Motivation

Plan the Work Process

Many people have the wrong idea that the creative process is chaotic. They couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In order to be creative, you have to keep yourself organized. Having a plan is one of the keys to discovering your creative focus and dedicating time solely to the processes that matter the most.

When you’re organized, you’ll find it a lot easier to deal with creative plateaus and issues like renewing your creative voice, for example. People who are organized can dedicate all of their time to the creative problem whenever inspiration strikes. Otherwise, they’ll be way too committed to dealing with mundane tasks to focus on the biggest issue at hand.

Some of the world’s brightest minds have recognized the importance of being organized as a creative individual. The late Joan Rivers was one such person. Reports suggest that she’d spent a lifetime organizing her creative potential, cataloging jokes and finding new ideas to entertain audiences with.

Enjoy Solitude

It’s always a good idea to spend some time alone. This way, you can eliminate all of the thought clutter and the buzz stemming from having company all the time. Solitude will give you an opportunity to look inside your mind for inspiration instead of relying on external sources.

Throughout history, creative people have had the power to appreciate solitude. This is probably one of the characteristics that differentiates the brightest minds from everybody else.

Getting used to such a routine may be difficult in the beginning because we live in a hectic environment. There’s a lot of information, a lot of clutter and tons of noise. Tuning all of these out to listen to your inner voice will require practice and commitment.

One thing you can do for the purpose is spend more time in nature. Turn off your phone, get rid of the tablet and go for a hike. The greenery, the sounds of nature and its peacefulness will create the perfect conditions for exploring your own ideas without any disturbances.

Don’t wait for creativity to just happen on its own. Train yourself and develop your imagination consciously. If you manage to put together the right routine and you learn how to provoke creative thoughts, you’ll soon find yourself capable of applying the process to any task at hand.

Also read: Riddikulus! Negating Imposed Self-Image & Stigmas