OpenText Hightail

Six tricks to get your creative juices flowing


June 3, 2014

Have you ever found yourself carefully examining the intricate patterns of dust particles on the window by your desk at work? Or caught yourself staring at your computer screen unable to come up with another comprehensible thought?

In other words, have you ever been stuck in a rut, had writers block or just felt like your brain has stopped working? Getting those glorious creative juices flowing might be easier than you think. Here are six ways to get your workflow back on track.

Coffee - HightailThe first (and most obvious way) is to wake up your body with nothing other than caffeine. Whether you can’t do without your daily cup of Blue Bottle coffee or are satisfied with a good ‘ole cup of Starbucks, caffeine will definitely wake your brain up which in turn will wake your body up and give you the strength you need to get back to work and make some magic happen. Just don’t drink too much, or you will be wired for the rest of the day.

While partaking of your short coffee break, you just might want a snack to go with it. Eating a healthy snack is the second way to jog your creative memory. “With the right ingredients, you can boost brain power by as much as 20%, according to the World Health Organization.” And don’t turn your nose up at healthy. The proper mix of berries and dark chocolate could be just what the doctor ordered for you to get your engine going again. Check out this article to see what other brain foods you can eat to improve your creativity

Not hungry but still stuck? Get some exercise. We know you may not have time to go for a five-mile run (besides, nobody wants sweaty people around the office) but there are some quick exercises you can do that will give you a break from sitting on your bottom all day and refresh the body and the mind. This video gives you an idea of how easy it is to stretch out your body at your desk.

Speaking of your desk space, what does it look like? Does it have the right feng shui? Are there old water bottles that need to be thrown out, magazines you meant to read five months ago or printouts of PowerPoint presentations that you no longer need? If you are anything like me, and your desk space can sometimes look like a tornado, it’s time to organize the space around you. A cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind, which is not conducive to productivity. (And if you are a complete neat freak already, try re-organization. It can also give you the breath of fresh air you are looking for.)

In the event that you can’t manage to muster up any bright ideas within yourself, perhaps it will help to draw inspiration from others. Find a way to get inspired. To start off you can visit sites like where budding writers bounce off their latest ideas and stories on the Medium community. They even let you know how long it takes to read each article (“The 30 second habit with a lifelong impact” is a pretty good one.) Or check out our Highly Inspired project for your daily dose of photography heaven.

Highly Inspired Hightail

An inspiring story or a jovial read gets your brain back in gear and ready to work.

Last but not least, when you’ve completed one or more of the above tasks, sit down at your desk, and put on some tunes. Studies have shown that “melodious sounds help encourage the release of dopamine in the reward area of the brain, as would eating a delicacy, looking at something appealing or smelling a pleasant aroma.” Music will also make your time at work fly by and help create the perfect atmosphere for your creativity to flourish. Find out what music genre works best for you in the work place. Listening to the band that you rock out to on the weekends might not be the best music to keep you focused, but who knows…maybe it is.