Keep an Open Mind.

New day, new project.

Time to sit back and wait for inspiration to strike. (That’s how it works right?)

The best ideas are often evasive. They don’t just show up on their own.

We’re creatures of habit. We fall into routines.

But that doesn’t mean we have to fall into a creative rut.

Lately, we’ve been thinking about tricks to open our minds, even when we can’t open our schedules.

The things that help get us through writer’s block and discover design solutions ahead of a tight deadline.

These are a few of the tricks up our sleeve.

Brainstorm without boundaries.

What happens when you stop trying to come up with the best idea and try to come up with the most ideas instead?

Big ideas. Weird ideas. Fat-chance ideas and predictable ones. There’s magic in the chaos we create by throwing everything – even half-baked concepts – on the table. One person’s “bad idea” might be steps away from a teammate’s next brilliant solution.

But filling the room with ideas means making room for them. Ego and judgment take up a lot of space. A good brainstorm calls for giving your inner critic the afternoon off.

Be an idea hoarder.

We’re not big fans of throwing ideas away. There is no wasted thinking.

But we’ve got sketchbooks and notebooks and files full of interesting concepts that still didn’t quite work out. So we scrap those ideas for parts and recycle pieces of the solutions that show promise. Borrowing from past thinking can help us jump-start ourselves out of a creative block.

Consider other perspectives.

We can’t always agree on everything.

(Except wanting to be right. We all want that.)

It’s hard to find the right answer if we can’t admit that we’re headed in the wrong direction somewhere along the way.

In some cases, considering a different perspective helps us find the weaknesses in our own ideas and make them stronger. In others, a critical eye might be what it takes to prove we’ve been on the right track all along.

Either way, we welcome a little friendly debate.

Use brute force.

Sometimes that flash of inspiration is still elusive.

But you have places to go, things to do, deadlines to hit!


The only choice is to muscle through.

Voltaire said “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

Sometimes, “Good” can be the enemy of getting started.

So go ahead and get to work anyway. Don’t worry about “good” yet.

Just set a timer and focus on generating something.

Great work can start with a really, really rough first draft.

If the end result is what matters, it’s no big deal if the process looks a bit messy.

When it comes to staying open-minded, the tricks up our sleeve aren’t really tricks.

We have to admit that it’s not magic. It’s not effortless.

Having preconceived notions is human, and having strong opinions is part of our job.

The things we think we know can be our worst creative blocks.

When we hear each other out and challenge our own ideas, we aren’t fighting each other.

We’re on the same side, fighting for the best solution.