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Get a Creative Idea

Phone a friend. Sometimes a little conversational stimulation can shake things up just enough to get the creative ideas started. You can use this short chat (ten minutes is a good length to shoot for) as a mini-brainstorming session where you ask your friend for ideas (even if their ideas aren’t all that great, they may spark something inside you), or just talk about anything else. It’s an easy way of breaking the “I can’t come up with a creative idea” pattern that you’re in.

Take a walk. This is similar to number 2 up there. When you’re stuck in a creative rut, one of the best things you can do is take a 15-20 minute walk. Ideally, you’d take this walk outdoors in a natural, green setting (the color green has been shown to spur creativity), but really, almost any place will work. Taking a walk helps your creativity in two ways (and that’s in addition to the health benefits!). First, it gives you (and your brain) a change of location, which, again, is a great way of breaking a mental pattern. Second, as you’re walking, you’re pumping more oxygen into your brain. This is good. Brains like oxygen. When you feed your brain oxygen, it feeds you-ideas!

Travel through time and space. Okay, this one may sound a little weird, but a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that when a creative task is portrayed as originating from a far rather than close location (with regard to both time and/or place), people tend to come up with more creative responses. In other words, imagine solving your problem or coming up with your idea in Paris in 1910, or Hong Kong in 2050.