Your Guide to a Light Bulb Moment

Have you ever noticed that when you walk away from a problem for a while, a new idea or solution just pops into your head out of nowhere?  Sometimes, you just need a break if you’ve hit a creative wall. 

Watching the cursor blink endlessly isn’t a solution, so try these ideas out and see where it leads your creativity:

Get some sleep.  Just like a car needs gas to drive, your brain needs sleep to fire on all cylinders to function properly.  Sleep consolidates what you’ve learned throughout the day, strengthening neural connections and creating new ones.

Start moving.  Exercise has long been associated with better thinking, such as improvements in memory and attention, along with increased creativity.  It’s possible that walking works by naturally improving your mood and creativity is known to improve when you’re feeling good. 

Grab a partner.  While Rodin’s solitary thinker may be the quintessential emblem of a creator, a growing body of research indicates the power of the duo.  Pairs are built for fluidity and flexibility, notes Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of the forthcoming book, Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, and they’re a social structure that allows idea to flourish.

Break out of your comfort zone.  New and different experiences that prompt you to break out of your comfort zone work wonders for exposing you to new ideas and people, expanding your knowledge base, and opening up the opportunity to see alternate possibilities.  

Practice.  No matter what problem you’re trying to solve or masterpiece you’re working to create, practice the skills required to get the job done. Consistent effort and learning from your inevitable mistakes are key for breaking through your inner turmoil and coming up with a creative solution.

Space out.  One of the best ways to solve a problem, experts suggest, is to stop thinking about it.  Letting the unconscious mind work its magic may do more than just help with novel idea generation; it can also help you identify which of your ideas are the most creative. 

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