Posts tagged: Creativity

A few of Unstuck’s favorite tips

November 30, 2014

You asked for more, and we listened! We’ve launched our four new Tip Card Decks, the latest in-the-moment tools from Unstuck (available at

We condensed, distilled, unpacked, and repacked our very best tips into potent bite-size actions designed to get you unstuck. But it’s not a random deal of the cards.

The decks include Stuck Moment cards to help you zero in on the right tips — and that’s what makes them so powerful. When targeted correctly, your efforts don’t have to be big or showy or imported from Mars. They just need to trip the right wires in your head and heart.

But don’t take our word for it.

Read through four of our favorite tips, one from each deck, based on common Stuck Moments. If you like what you see, buy a deck or two. At $25, they make a unique stocking stuffer (or gift for yourself). ’Tis the
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Creative release: Stray from the usual

November 17, 2014

When we’re really really good at something — whether whipping up a new blog post or finding our way around town — our thinking can start to get a little stale. We slip into autopilot, instead of tuning into our senses and staying open to fresh connections. 

One way to shake yourself out of a creative rut is to toss out the map. For example, an app called Drift aims to reintroduce delight and serendipity into your familiar environment through a random series of creative prompts. You’ll be taken on a walking tour/scavenger hunt of where you live, pausing to fully notice and absorb what’s around you. The cues helps trigger your sense of play and adventure, so that you can see, feel, and think in fresh
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Creative release: The secret to better brainstorming

October 1, 2014

Brainstorming as a group can be fun and energizing, but the results aren’t always better than when individuals ideate on their own. To get the most out of your next brainstorming session, the trick is for everyone to first spend time alone thinking up solutions — and then to get together to pool, discuss, debate, and refine. This format allows you to build on great ideas to make them even better. And don’t be afraid to fully engage with each other. According to research by Dr. Charlan Nemeth at the University of California at Berkeley, “Debate and criticism do not inhibit ideas but, rather, stimulate them.”

Source: “Groupthink: The brainstorming myth,” Jonah Lehrer, The New more

Creative release: When you can’t find the solution, consider the problem

August 28, 2014

When graphic designer Tom Balchin gets creatively stuck, instead of looking for an answer, he digs into the problem. Is there a tension that is getting in the way of a solution? More often than not, there is, he says. Emotional investment versus financial cost, for instance. Or personalization versus broad reach. Once the opposing forces are known, he finds it much easier to reassess what he needs to do.

Source: Breakthrough! 90 proven strategies to overcome creative block & spark your imagination, Alex Cornell,
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Creative release: 5 things to try when you when can’t step away from your problem

July 24, 2014

Illustrator Marc Johns likes to go for a walk or do dishes to relax his mind, but when that’s not possible and he needs to push through a creative block, he tries one of five things:

1. Instead of coming up with one solution, come up with 20.

2. Shorten your deadline to 10 minutes from now.

3. Put away all digital devices.

4. Use different materials, like chalk, crayon, paper and pen.

5. Pretend you are a pastry chef or a pilot or a hot dog vendor (you get the idea). How do these people look at the world?

Source: Breakthrough! 90 proven strategies to overcome creative block & spark your imagination, Alex Cornell,
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Creative release: Do something that makes you feel good about yourself

June 20, 2014

When designer Paula Scher hits a creative block, she does two kinds of activities. To get outside of herself so she can think in a different way, she might go to the movies, read a junky magazine, or take a long walk. To feel good about herself, she will indulge in a small self-improvement project like cleaning her closet, getting a haircut, or buying a new pair of shoes. She says, “When I feel good about myself I am ready for the next thing.”

Source: Breakthrough! 90 proven strategies to overcome creative block & spark your imagination, Alex Cornell,
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How to play your way out of a stuck moment

May 22, 2014

As we grow older, the world of horsing around and letting our imaginations run wild slowly fades to sepia tone. We may feel nostalgic for those carefree days, but the demands of the adult world make play a tiny footnote to our schedules. In School of Life 101, we learn that a serious mind is prized over a playful one. That, when in doubt, it’s better to button up and sit still than to let loose. That focus — not free-styling — is what gets us into the flow.

But actually, play is all about flow. It puts our brains and bodies into a joyful place where things just click. And that’s when magic can happen. This playful state of being can have amazing benefits in life and work:

• Play fires the brain, revealing patterns and creating connections that drive creativity, innovation, and problem-solving.

• It’s a social glue that helps us
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Creative release: Cook something new

May 16, 2014

When a problem refuses to be solved, it might be time to make yourself something to eat. Cooking is both a routine and creative process. You lean on skills you already have, stroking your competence. And you stretch those muscles with a new recipe or technique that causes your brain to search for patterns and connections. Such a tasty way to your next aha moment.

Thanks to Shahirah Majumdar of SY/Products for this
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What do you do when the system stops working?

April 11, 2014

Stuck moment: You love when things run smoothly — some say you’re a master at it — and right now it’s the opposite of that. As far as you can tell, nothing has changed. Still, you’ve started over…several times. Checked and rechecked. Even referred to the manual. Why. Won’t. This. Work! 

Such is the frustration of Perplexed Planners. So full of determination to make it work that they can only see what is, not what could be. And that’s a major handicap when it comes to solving a problem. 

We’ve all been there from time to time, but not always in the same way. There are at least three shades of Perplexed Planners. To find out your tendency, take our mini-quiz below. We’ll follow up next week with tips for each type of Planner.

MINI-QUIZ:Think of a time when a tactic that’s always served you well stopped working. It might be how you
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Creative release: Address your assumptions

March 30, 2014

Sometimes we block ourselves by unknowingly adding constraints to a problem we want to solve. To give yourself more solution-finding elbow room, write out what your assumptions are about the problem at hand and the desired solution. Then step back and look for the biases and beliefs that may not apply. (It may help to ask someone else to review your assumptions as well.)

Thanks to Jessica Tillyer of SYPartners for this
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