Gone past the honeymoon stage of your startup? Then things are about to get ugly. And very, very real.
Once you’ve ridden out the first heady wave of coming up with an amazing idea, getting together the perfect dream team and getting your company going against all the odds – then the real work is about to begin. And it’s not easy. It can be uninspiring. It can mean real soul-sucking drudgery as you seem to spend more and more time stuck on spreadsheets and endless discussions, and less and less time on all the fun creative stuff that gave you your spark in the first place.
So how do you keep the creative buzz – or if you’ve lost it – how do you win it back? Read on for some essential tips!
Creativity is not going to come from another website
If you can’t remember the last time you saw the walls outside your office space, then it might be a sign that it’s time to get out. It doesn’t matter how ‘creative’ you make your work area. Bean bags, space hoppers and vintage arcade games are all amazing things to break up the stuffiness of an office and give you a way to blow off some steam when you need to – but sometimes, you need some outside intervention. So get out. Close the laptop. And the tablet. And leave behind the smartphone. Treat yourself to a digital detox for a day and discover a new way for creative thinking to happen.
Learn to cross-pollinate
You might be the most awesome person in your field – but when you’re doing the same thing day in, day out – the ideas can start to run dry. It’s ok. Sometimes you can find yourself getting stuck in a rut when you’re limiting yourself to just one way of creative thinking – so how do you get out of it when you hit the inspiration wall? One great way is to expand your field is by not limiting yourself to a single field – but training yourself to excel in different activities that use a variety of skills. This might mean something as simple as starting up a side project or activity that lets you flex other muscles. Maybe you want to start running, painting, coding or playing music. Whatever it is, use this time and space to explore creativity in a different way – and then come back to your work, feeling refreshed and energised.
Use tools effectively
One of the biggest suckers of your creative spirit is poor time management. When you’re spending hours and hours doing work that feels like drudgery, the thought of coming up with a single creative idea can feel like a mammoth task.
So how do you get around it? After all, you still need to get those pain-in-the-ass things done, right?
Easy answer. Use tools to help you do things more effectively. This post on Brand Anew has some great tips on using tools to manage social media better – but you can find tools to improve virtually every aspect of your work – from better organisation, to managing and sharing projects with team members more effectively.
By cutting out some of the stress and hassle of what you need to do – you’ll find there’s a lot more energy left over to think creatively again.