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Crack the barriers to creativity

Mind mapping can help with creativity – it frees you from the rigidity of lists for example – and with its visual approach stimulates alternative ways of viewing a problem. But here, Joann adds a barrage of other techniques to help you crack barriers to creativity.

7 Ways To Unblock Your Creativity

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Joann Javons

You have all the creativity you need to accomplish what you want! But sometimes it seems difficult to release it. Maybe you've wracked your brain but no new ideas, no new approach is coming. How do you unblock the creativity within you? Here are 7 ideas to get you going:

1. Stop Thinking So Hard

Creativity is not a left-brain analytical process. It defies logic, it defies rationality. It does not respond to pushing yourself. Creativity flows, it can't be called up on a moment's notice. You can analyze the project forever but at some point, let go of all that left brain thinking, even for a brief period of time.

2. Move To A Different Spot

Move away from your desk to a relaxing spot. I like to sit in a comfy chair, with the sunlight streaming in, and just take time to reflect for a bit. When I want to write, these questions always help me:

"What is inspiring to me?"
"What inspiration do I want to write about?"

And while you're doing this, deep breathe, gently and easily. See Chapter 10, "Breathe 7" in my free ebook "20 Little Ways to Stop and Smell the Roses"

3. Write Stream of Consciousness

Write 'stream of consciousness' without any analysis or judgment. This means writing whatever comes to mind, with no judgment, no editing, no censorship, no analysis. Just let every thought pour out on a piece of paper. For more on this technique, see chapter 7, "Write Stream of Consciousness" in "20 Little Ways To Stop and Smell the Roses"

4. Do a mind map.

This is a fun, creative technique that unleashes new ideas, connections, interrelationships. Doing a mind map is play and yet, you create a useful visual image that uses both right brain and left brain thinking. For a good article on how to do it, see

5. Meditate

Meditate and deep breathe to release tension, let go of the old and let in the new. Take time out to be on another plane, out of your analytical mind. Right-brain processes emerge more easily when you're not analyzing.

Deep breathing helps both the mind and body. For more techniques, see chapter 10, "Breathe 7" in my free ebook "20 Little Ways to Stop and Smell the Roses"

6. Jump in and see where it goes

You can't always conceptualize the end of a project. Sometimes you just need to jump in, play with it. Let it evolve, work with it and see where it goes.

When I used to throw pottery on a kick wheel, I loved the experience of seeing where it would go. Yes, I had an idea on whether I was making a pot, a plate, a vase or some other object but I never knew exactly what it would look like until I was finished. The clay forces you to mold it, moment by moment.

7. Disconnect

Remove yourself from the project for a while. Play with your kids' toys, take a meditation walk, work in another mode. Do something that will refresh and rejuvenate you. Your mind and spirit are asking for this. For more ways to disconnect, see Chapter 5, "Take 5 Vacations A Day" in "20 Little Ways to Stop and Smell the Roses"

Written by: Joann Javons

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Me? I walk out of the office and into the next room when I'm stuck. Staring out of the window sometimes helps, but I like one of Edward de Bono's techniques – opening a dictionary at a random page, looking at a random word and trying to fit it to what I'm doing. It often prods me onto a new and useful train of thought that I would never have found otherwise.

loanbug at gmail dot com 2007-06-22 06:14:32 link did not work. Thanks for the incites


I don't control that site, so can't fix it directly, but thanks for the heads-up. I have now removed that particular reference.
andy98034 at cs dot com 2009-11-30 12:15:19
Formulating a problem before sleep lets the subconscious mind do its work. Answers are found in the morning or even waking up in the middle of the night. This works for me.
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