Here’s the truth about creative content marketing: We’ve all been stuck before. And that’s OK. Feeling uninspired is not a reflection of being bad at your job or that you aren’t creative enough. It may just be a sign for you to go back to the basics to get those creative juices flowing again.
With the fresh start of the new year, you may have been more motivated to get creative. Maybe it was even one of your 2021 resolutions. But now that we have the first month behind us, that creative spark may be feeling more like a creative rut.
Don’t panic — you’re not alone, and we’re here to help! To avoid getting stuck in your thoughts, the best thing to do is to develop habits that can help you stay creative.
Here are some tried-and-true tips on how to keep your creative content marketing juices flowing — and how you can really implement them into your routine so that they stick:
1. Work when you feel most creative
Figure out when you’re usually at peak productivity and try to get most of your creative work done during that time. These hours are different for everyone, so pay attention during the day as to what working hours will benefit you the most.
Once you’ve figured out your “creative content marketing hours,” schedule your day around them. Block out all distractions as much as possible to maximize your time. For example, silence your phone and put it away, turn off email notifications, close unnecessary tabs in your browser, etc.
Need a little help increasing your productivity? There are a variety of apps and trackers you can use, such as Google Tasks and Rescue Time. In addition, maximize resources that help you concentrate! For example, maybe put on some motivating music (browse your Spotify playlists for inspiration), light your favorite candle, or make a cup of coffee or tea to help get your creativity flowing.
Lastly, know that inspiration can come at any time from anywhere. Keep an idea book or a running list on your phone or computer. When a thought comes to mind, don’t forget to write it down — no matter the time or what you may be doing! And don’t delete your running list of ideas; they could help with other projects down the road.
2. Take a break
At some point in life, we’ve all been told to take a break. This usually is easier said than done, especially when you’re working on a deadline. But sometimes the best thing you can do is just walk away when your creative brain feels fried.
Walk away from your project — literally. Go outside and get some fresh air. Not only is it nice to have a change of scenery, getting fresh air and enjoying some nature can boost creativity by 50%!
Just like you schedule “creative hour” time, it’s equally important to schedule “downtime” and get your rest. In a study published in Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, researchers emphasized that sleep is vital to cognitive performance. Developing good sleep habits can help maximize your brain power. And sometimes, you just need to “sleep on it” to get those creative muscles working again.
Moral of this point, take the break! Mood matters in creativity, so go for a walk or catch up on that missing sleep. You’ll thank yourself later when you come back refreshed and ready to get to work.
3. Engage with others
Creative content marketing is so much more than just churning out content for your business. It’s about connecting people to your brand. Sometimes, the best way to get the creative juices flowing is to engage with the people you are trying to reach.
This may seem like common sense, but when you’re stuck in a mental rut with the pressure of a deadline, you can forget the resources easily available to help you…like your customers.
In today’s digital world, it’s so easy to connect and engage with your audience. Don’t be afraid to reach out through comments or direct messages. Looking through a different lens might just be the spark we need to put our creative thinking cap back on!
And don’t shy away from engaging with your colleagues. Something as simple as making small talk can lead to a bigger idea or spark creativity for a project you’re working on. You never know who can help when you’re stuck in a rut.
This year, be sure to check in with both customers and colleagues to keep the creative energy and conversations going.
4. Challenge your mind
Habits and routines are great, but it’s important not to become too complacent. Always be open to exploring new ideas, industries, and hobbies that are different than your own to spark creativity.
Admittedly, it can be hard to add something new into your daily routine — especially with how busy life gets. But make it a point each week or even month to try something new. It can be as simple as reading an article on another industry or trying a new recipe.
When you take yourself out of your comfort zone, you expand your creative mind. Don’t let the fear of trying something new get in the way of sparking your creativity this year!