We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Shutterstock/Olena Yakobchuk
get creative

Have you got creativity phobia? 5 hacks that might help

Here’s how get your creative juices flowing.

WE’VE ALL BEEN there. You’re sitting in a meeting listening intently when all of a sudden your supervisor turns to you and asks you for a few ideas. On the spot. With no prior warning, whatsoever.


Before you even realise it, everyone around the boardroom table has turned to stare at you. Instead of coolly listing off a few amazing ideas like your colleague Linda just did, you sit there opening and closing your mouth like a clueless goldfish. The embarrassment.

Why can’t you be more like Linda? Why is it that some people are always brimming with excellent creative ideas? Believe it or not, It’s usually down to practice.

So, before you panic over your lack of creativity, try out some of these exercises first.

You never know, you might secretly be a creative genius.

1. Carry a notebook everywhere

The best ideas can come to you at the strangest times. Arthur Fry came up with the idea for the Post-It note while singing in a church choir. Mary Quant envisioned the mini-skirt while watching a local tap class.

There is no telling when inspiration may strike. It might be during your morning commute or even last thing at night – so make sure that you have a notebook and pen on hand to write down your great ideas as they come to you.

Billionaire tycoon Richard Branson and rapper Eminem are both big fans of this exercise. Even legendary Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis swore by this method. He said:

Always carry a notebook. Write everything down. When you have an idea, write it down. When you meet someone new, write it down…Writing it down will make you act upon it. If you don’t write it down you will forget it. THAT is the million dollar lesson they don’t teach you in business school.

2. Read more, watch less

Henri Peyre, a French Professor at Yale University once described television as ‘’chewing gum for the eyes’’ and we couldn’t agree more. That America’s Next Top Model re-run might keep you occupied while you’re eating dinner but is it really benefiting your creativity in the long run? Probably not.

In fact, research has shown that binge-watching television in the evening can disrupt your quality of sleep and leave you feeling groggy. On the other hand, reading can actually reduce stress, increase intelligence and even improve your sleep patterns meaning you’ll be well-rested and at your creative best.

Even Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is an avid bookworm. He started his own reading community called A Year of Books on Facebook in 2015.

3. Clean up your workspace

Ever heard of the phrase “A messy room is the sign of a messy mind”? Well it translates to desks too. If you want to be your best creative self then you need to have a tidy workspace. Not only will you have more room to work, you’ll also be more focused and more efficient.

Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist at Edelman describes his workplace on LinkedIn:
“I try to work with clarity, simplicity and portability, that’s why you won’t see much on my desk.’”

Can’t keep your desk tidy all day? At least clean it up before you go home so you will begin the day with a clean slate. Trust us, it works like a charm.

4. Listen to new music

Are you a massive house fan? Or maybe you’re more partial to a bit of rock? Whatever your musical tastes, it might be time to switch things up.

Research has found that the brain functions better and is more creative when listening to certain songs and compositions. For example, Albert Einstein believed that he did his best work when listening to Mozart. Today, we have the science to back up his claims.

The brain’s performance increases as a result of certain frequencies also known as isochronic tones and binaural beats. So, the next time you’re feeling a little lack-lustre put some Mozart on, pop your headphones in and start brainstorming. It could make all the difference.

5. Get up

The average person sits between 7 and 15 hours every single day. Pretty crazy isn’t it?

Being sedentary for such a long period of time is terrible for your health, your mood and also your creativity.

Research by Stanford has found that walking boosts creative thinking. So, the next time you’re feeling stuck in a rut take a quick walk around the block with a colleague or even just go out for a coffee.

LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and many other entrepreneurs regularly take walking meetings. While walking during work may not solve every crisis that comes your way it can help you to come up with more creative solutions.

More: The most important tips for managing any creative team>

More: 7 questions you CAN’T be asked at an interview>

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel