Six Ways to Nurture Creativity

Six Ways to Nurture Creativity

So you sit down to work in Figma on a new set of wireframes and nothing is coming to you. Or, you successfully launched a big project and that project was amazing but now you think you will never have a good idea ever again.

I've been there, and I'm still working on understanding the mystical ways the creative muses come and go. But I have a few tips on getting the juices flowing again.

Six ways to nurture creativity

1. Go for a walk

Go for a long - minimum 30 minutes - walk without headphones. No music. No podcasts. Listen to your thoughts and explore the corners of your brain.

Your subconscious brain needs space to connect disparate ideas. Forcing ideas to happen doesn't help if the brain hasn't connected the dot yet.

2. Do something with your hands that requires focus on the physical task at hand

There's research that suggests that doing menial labor with your hands - folding laundry, fixing a broken thing, doing woodwork - engages the brain in really stimulating ways.

Doing something that requires your focus on something tangible relaxes your focus away from a screen and/or away from your anxieties into something practical.

3. Make something artistic that is not an interface

Paint a painting. Cook an elaborate meal with gorgeous plating. Do a photoshoot. Knit a scarf.

Do something with color, shape, line, volume, and space that gets your brain connecting other areas together.

4. Reflect on how you live your life and what things you feel might make you healthier, happier and more productive

What are the life hacks you've set up for yourself that support your wellbeing? What are your routines, what gives you joy, what makes you feel connected to source/family/friends/community? These are all things that other people might find valuable, and perhaps there's something to be built there.

5. Listen to what your friends complain about

What do your friends complain about? How they can't get their clients pay them on time... how their dog needs their ears cleaned out... how setting a time and day for a date is so annoying on the dating apps... All of these are pain points.

Necessity is the mother of invention. See what things people need.

6. Learn a new vertical and feel the pain points of that new space

What industries still use a fax machine? What do people in the architecture industry dread doing? What do people in the nonprofit space do?

Learn the workflows and pain points of other industries and see what things could be smoothed out.