Mental block, writer’s block, just a fuzzy brain. We all tend to have these sometimes and most of the time we either try to power through or just do nothing.

Powering through can often be an effective technique. A little bit of free writing can lead you to some good ideas. Writing even when you have nothing to say can quite often spark new ideas.

But have you ever noticed that your best ideas probably come to you when you’re either in the shower or when you’re driving. This is because your brain is in a sense, relaxed. The brain is in on autopilot doing some mundane routine activity so the creative side of your brain actually can generate new ideas. Sounds a bit wonky but there is research to back this up.

Quite often, the best thing you can do to foster creativity is to unfocus. Give yourself a break and stop trying to force new ideas. This is why people say, take a walk, go outside. Relaxing is important. And when you’re not thinking too hard, good ideas will come to you.

The second best thing you could do is empty your brain. This comes from David Allen from Getting Things Done. He makes a great point that if we are carrying thoughts of unfinished work or things to do in our brain, we have no space to generate that creativity.

Our brains are preoccupied with the massive list of things that we need to get done and we’re constantly stressed. This goes back to the previous line of that when we’re not relaxed, we really can’t foster creativity.

So the takeaway here is simple

  1. Relax and engage in repetitive, mundane activities
  2. Empty your brain of everything you need to do