November 11, 2016 1:53 pm

Similar to writers’ block, inventors may have those days when they feel like innovation and creativity is impossible. This is totally normal; your brain can be easily worn out by all the hard work that inventing requires. If you’re feeling fatigued and uncreative,  you can try out these ways to help be innovative.

Be curious and ask questions

As an inventor, it’s probably in your nature to be a curious person. As you go about your day-to-day life, inquire about how things work and why things are the way they are. Adapting a generally curious mindset will activate parts of your brain that are also responsible for problem solving, helping you to be more innovative.

Embrace being uncomfortable

Being uncomfortable helps to boost creativity and innovation by forcing your mind and body to react in different ways than it normally does. Get out of your comfort zone by trying out a fun hobby, cooking a new recipe, going to a workout class, or reading a challenging book. These new activities and ideas can encourage you to be innovative.

Do one small thing everyday

When you’re stuck in a rut, it can be hard to want to do anything related to your invention. However, it’s important to make progress each and every day. Even if you are only working 15 minutes, make sure that you’re doing at least one little thing that constitutes as forward progress. This could involve doing research, editing drawings, or sending out a few emails. Once you feel productive, you might be able to keep going and work yourself out of your rut.

Get a change of scenery

Home offices are great, but sometimes working in the same location for long periods of time can leave you bored and uninspired. Try taking your laptop and other portable materials to a coffee shop, park, or simply another part of your house. The change of scenery can inspire you to be more creative because your surroundings are different.

Meditate

Meditation allows you to slow down for a little while and be mindful. For the beginner, there are many websites and apps that can lead you through guided meditation. Many people find that these mindful breaks from their everyday, stressful, busy lives allow them to be more productive and creative because it clears their heads and allows them to focus. Give it a try!

Ask for Help

Reach out to a trusted friend or family member and express your concerns about being stuck in a rut. They may be able to offer some assistance or give you advice that can help you out. Since everyone sees things from a different perspective, a confidant may be able to help you find the viewpoint you need to feel more creative and innovative.

Seek out Inspiration

Sometimes feeling innovative can be as simple as seeking out inspirational materials. Whether that be quotes, books, movies, music, or other media, seek out motivation and inspiration from well-known thought leaders. Listen to their messages and really let them sink in and then develop a plan to help boost your creativity and innovation.

Brainstorming exercises

Performing task-based brainstorming exercises can really help to get your juices flowing. Find a book at your local bookstore or look for apps that can help. Some popular brainstorming exercises include developing a list of bad ideas (they can help trigger good ones), breaking or building ideas to generalize and specify, performing word associations, or creating a mood board with imagery, color, and visual-spatial arrangements. Walk yourself through these tasks, no matter how silly they feel, and let the ideas flow!

Free writing

This is a tactic often used by writers, but it can apply to inventors also. Get out a pen and paper (better to stay away from electronic devices for this one!) and just start writing. It doesn’t matter what about. You can write what you’re thinking about, what a friend has told you, or what you can see. The point is to let your mind flow freely. Don’t worry about staying on any one topic for too long (unless you come up with an awesome idea!)

Give it a rest

If you’ve exhausted the rest of the ideas on this list, you might just have to accept that you’re tired – and that’s okay! Our brains can get very worn out from innovation and creativity, and it is 100% acceptable to take a break for a day or two. Do mindless activities that allow you to rest, such as watching TV, browsing the internet, or reading for pleasure. Rest up so that in a short period of time, you’ll be able to go back to what you do best – thinking of new ideas!

 

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