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Offline ways to keep your creative fluids going

"Inspiration can be found everywhere". But what if you're simply empty and have no fuel in your creativity tank left? You can always get stuck at a creativity block, which could have a very big impact.

To prevent this phenomenon from happening to you, I compled a list with 10+ offline ways to keep your creative fluids going to prevent a creativity block.

Be Creative

As you can see by the title of this article, this list aims at the offline ways (by not using your computer) in order to turn your creativity spark into a bursting creative flame. Feel free to share your number one way to keep on being creative! Where do you find your inspiration?

Take a break and rest

Sumo Lounge

Taking a break or resting is one of the best ways to keep your mind of the subject to boost your creativity once again. I personally love to relax in my Sumo bean bag (the version I have is the Sumo Gamer). Just lay back and chill! At work, we have a true bean bag (filled with little beans), but the Gamer version from Sumolounge is stuffed like a huge pillow. Perfect to lay back to fill your inspiration tank.

Also, the Sumo Gamer comes in different colours which can fit in your work area. When you choose a colour that's totally different than the colours you're already using in your workspace, you can create a creativity boost too!

Take time for yourself to relax, take a break and rest. I personally like to use the Sumo Gamer to do so, but I'm sure you know other ways to make some time and relax.

Read a book or magazine

Books about a certain subject can open your eyes and give you new insights about the problem. For example, when I read the jQuery 1.3 with PHP book, there were some examples I've never thought of. This can open up new doors for new ideas.

This also counts for magazines. They usually bring you information faster than books, so a great way to be on top of the game. Also, the covers from several webdesign related magazines can be enough too!

Come back to it later

Leave the project to rest, sleep over it or take a walk outside. In simple words: Keep your mind off the project. Taking a small break can be enough to give you a creativity boost!

Change your work area

By rearranging your office/work area, you change your surroundings and with that, you break your "natural way" of doing things. Don't make the change a small one - try to place everything in a different place. Why not place your desk at the other side of the room with different light surroundings?

Take out your pencil


Creating drawings or paintings can be a great creativity booster. You don't need to kick up Photoshop; A pencil, paper and eraser can do the trick too. Even creating simple sketches could help you pop out a new idea.

Wireframing for new ideas can be pretty great too. Janko started his redesign using wireframes too. It allows you to easily start over and take a whole new perspective of things. You can even use some pre-made wireframe sketch templates so you can fully focus on the design.

Get inspiration from others

Although the sentence Inspiration can be found everywhere might sound a bit cliché, it's true. Take a look at: art, fashion, architecture, interior design, hardware; it's full of inspiration. Just make sure that you get inspired to create something new and creative and not copy it directly. I personally like to draw inspiration from architectural buildings (like the ones in Dubai) and Hardware (iPhone design etc.).

Look at nature


Nature can be a beautiful place to find inspiration and get creative. Take a look at some beautiful plants or animals (like insects). Go outside and be adventurous; Look at what nature brings you and you'll most certainly get a creativity kick out of it.


Creating mind maps (or other techniques to brainstorm a problem) is a great way to explore new possibilities. Approach the problem from a different angle to see if something totally new pops up. Feel free to write down all the things you want - even if you think they're stupid. Maybe, later in the process, they don't seem stupid at all! Of course, you can ask the opinions of other people too.

Listen to Music


And I don't mean listen while you work; Take the time to actually listen to the music. This can also be combined by relaxing (just like laying down on the Sumo Lounge) and float away to the beats you're listening to. This will most certainly help you get your creativity spark back to a burning fire!

Do something totally different

Doing something which is the complete opposite of what you're trying to do can really help you out when you have a creativity block. Designing something in Photoshop but you can't seem to finish it? Go outside and climb some trees! Just to something completely different and it might give you new insights on your problem.

Build up confidence

When you have more belief in yourself, you are more likely to do things totally differently and explore more of your creative brain. Stand up and feel free to share your opinion. Believing that what you produce is correct and making sure you have a solid opinion can come a long way when thinking about creativity.

Make notes


Carry a notebook (like this Moleskine) with you all the time. It's great to write ideas down that suddenly pop in year head in the middle of the day. Write down the small things, just like Jacob Gube does. Check out how his Moleskine looks on CreativeOverflow - now that's pretty creative!

Write down lists like this

When I was compiling this list, I was looking for more ways keep my creative fluids going. It opened my eyes too when thinking of stuff to achieve this goal. You can simply pick up a piece of paper en think of some more offline ways to be creative that are not on this list!

So, what do you think? Are there any other offline ways that you like to use to keep your creativity spark going?

Tags:  tips offline inspirational programming design

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