7 Strategies For Busting Through Creative Blocks & Increasing Sterling Productivity

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Everyone experiences creative blocks. But do you know what creativity means to you?

I'm always amazed by the varied and diverse responses I receive to this question.

Some call it creating something new. Others say it's coming up with an original idea. And there are those who call it a combination of different things.

To many, though, it means doing the same thing differently.

No matter what your definition of creativity is, it's an important aspect and dimension of fulfillment as a human being.

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Everyone uses creativity — no matter their background, talents, or profession.

While professions such as acting, photography, and painting are expected to engage creative people, as human beings, we use our creativity in everyday life, no matter the profession or task.

Every single person can be creative and the most mundane task can be made original. It's about tapping into this energy and letting it emerge.

Leaders everywhere want their people to innovate in their jobs to survive the competition, irrespective of the role or industry.

Creativity is a fundamental requirement for innovation. Although creativity resides within each one of us, it's not always easy to access it.

Are there times when you feel creatively challenged?

The vital thing to note is that creativity initiates in your right brain and manifests through left-brain activity into something concrete through action.

The birth of creativity happens in the softer emotional side of you, not the logical part of the brain. To ignite creative thinking, you must engage in stirring those dormant emotions.

As a writer, I find myself creatively challenged often. I've tried a few methods myself to overcome the blocks and come into a state of flow.

Here are 7 strategies for overcoming creative blocks.

1. Spend time in nature.

If you have spent hours preparing that presentation but are not completely satisfied with it, take a break and spend some time outside and then come back to it.

You will be surprised by the fresh ideas that show up.

2. Do something outside of your comfort zone.

This could mean different things to different people. Inquire what that means to you.

Some things you can experiment with are spending time with people you usually don’t, such as children or elders.

Doing things you have never done before is helpful. If you've never cooked before, then try your hand at the culinary arts.

3. Take time for self-care.

Get that extra hour of sleep, hit the gym, or treat yourself to something you enjoy doing but don’t usually have the time to do.

You can call it productive and valuable time in the service of extracting your creativity, which will be useful for thinking and productivity.

4. Take up a hobby.

Bringing out a coloring book and spending a few minutes scribbling away can open channels of creativity.

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5. Take small steps.

If you are working on a project that demands large-scale creativity out of you, it can be overwhelming.

Get to work by deconstructing into smaller pieces and chip away at it, bit by bit.

6. Set an intention to be creative.

Setting intentions for little things can be potent. By setting the intention, you promise yourself to notice, acknowledge, and allow the newer ways of thinking to come to you.

7. Keep judgments at bay.

Creativity in its finished form is natural for anyone to admire and appreciate. However, in its initial stages and raw form, it can be easy to dismiss and judge.

Allow ideas to be half-baked, unclear, and fuzzy, and trust yourself to be able to sharpen them as you go along.

The thing about creativity is that it's softer, subtler energy that cannot be forced. It can hit you when you least expect it.

One method may do wonders in one instance and may not work at all another time.

To propel through those creative blocks, understand the environment that's conducive for your creative juices to flow and surrender to that.

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Bhavna Dalal is a Master Certified Executive Coach MCC ICF, speaker, and author of Checkmate Office Politics" who helps people develop their leadership skills such as executive presence, strategic thinking, influencing and networking, women leadership, and so on. To know more about her work, visit her website or find her on LinkedIn

This article was originally published at Forbes India. Reprinted with permission from the author.