Information overload, long days in front of the computer, meetings, deadlines, assessments, tax returns, payments, calls, more meetings, bills, technical errors (or otherwise). Most days are just a tough-crazy-tedious ride. They might even seem harder and longer for those who tinker with the technical bits in their daily professional routine, while also juggling the creative ones. In this uncluttered maze, finding inspiration could prove quite a challenge when that most precious asset called TIME is lacking or comes in pocket-size amounts.
However, recharging your creative batteries is essential. And although browsing other people’s portfolios on your smartphone can be considered research, it hardly is a reliable source of inspiration. You never know when you’ll get yourself in a copyright pickle, right?
And why would you do this when inspiration is literally all around you? Suggestions? OK, we’ll make it quick and to the point. Time’s precious.
First scenario: Be mindful.
Let’s say that you only have your lunch breaks for recharging your batteries. All of them. Go get that lunch but don’t eat it in front of the computer. Even better, go wild and just stay out of that office building altogether. There must be a park nearby. Savour your food. Close your eyes and imagine all those tastes in your mouth. Look at the food in front of you like you’re some alien who’s just come across 3 pieces of falafel squeezed in a pita with red cabbage and mayo (hold the onion!). What about the texture and the aromas? The smell? Let’s call it mindful eating and it can turn the run-of-the-mill daily fuelling into something a bit more special. We’re not machines after all. But it’s not only mindful eating, you can apply mindfulness during your commute or even while walking from one place to another. The guys at Headspace can help if you feel a bit lost.
I know, and you probably know by now too that there’s a lot of talk about mindfulness these days, and that’s because more than ever people need to reconnect to themselves and step outside the much talked about box. Literally.
Second scenario: Vintage & Retro Shops
Skip online shopping, switch off your mobile and forget about everything for a couple of hours in a vintage or charity shop of your choice. Whatever you fancy: antique, vintage, retro, repro, secondhand. Clothes, vinyls, books, you name it. Rummage through shelves, boxes and piles of stuff, revamp the old ideas you come across. You know, everything was new and exciting when they first came into the world. From old obscure record covers to the textures and fading colours of handmade coats, anything can trigger new ideas.
To find your way to the nearest retro oasis, try a charity locator first.
Some “findings” might even remind you of your own childhood and adolescence. Funny how we hardly think about the past, even the best parts. Since we’re at it, you might want to pin some old family photos to the door or around your desk. Go through those boxes where you stored memories. Don’t get too nostalgic though, this is a task you need to complete. Keep them ideas flowing. Don’t get stuck.
Third scenario: Nature
I was thinking trees, but maybe nature is better, just in case you live near a desert or on Mars.
Never underestimate the power of nature in general, and trees in particular. Not only do trees make people live longer and feel happier, according to new much talked about study, but they do come in all sorts of sizes and shapes, fascinating structures, reliable companions while browsing your busy mind or, au contraire, while looking for inner peace. All senses are alive when you are surrounded by nature. Make sure you notice it though. Don’t just wait for that branch to hit you in the face with ideas.
Yes, you’re right again. Most scenarios encourage you to stay off line once in a while. Not everything is there on the www, although I’m sure somewhere there’s a banner stating the opposite. Make your chase for inspiration part of your life, and your life an… inspiration. Ha! Talking of banners I bet you can even print this on a poster. Or a banner. These guys at Aura Print Ltd might be able to help.
Changing the medium is an essential step. For a change, recharge your batteries in old-fashioned style, far far from the maddening viral world.
Feature image curtsey of Justin Mezzell