If you are working in digital advertising or marketing, creativity and innovation is a major requirement. Even when coming up with strategies on Search Engine Optimization, it’s a must to strive for a unique approach. But, have you ever had a creativity block where you can’t explain why you can’t seem to squeeze any ideas out of your mind? Have you ever had that moment where you just become too complacent with what you are doing so you’ll just stick to your routine to survive? How do you think it affects your business?
If thinking or conceptualizing is one of your primary daily tasks, there is a high chance that your creativity may not always be on point. Little did we know, creativity is an innate part of any human being – professionally and personally. Somehow, our brains are genetically created to be enticed by something different and innovative. Our brains are programmed to create something new. Thus, it shouldn’t be that hard, right?
Do you know that most creatives, since they are already aware of their talents, are getting used to some habits that are killing their creativity day by day? It makes them less creative, up to the point that the number of magical ideas they have are slowly going down. Here are some of the bad habits that you should be very mindful of if you want to stay creative and innovative:
1. Too much logic
We cannot limit our ideas. The more we look for something logical and rational, the lesser the chance for our creative juice to burst. Concepts are not like computer files that are programmed in our brains. Unique ideas usually come from illogical and out of the box thinking.
Say, for example, if you want to trend on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), do not be bounded by the search engine guidelines and algorithms. Try to focus on a different aspect such as the users’ behavior and emotions. Let your creativity flow without any boundaries. Logic is the major enemy of creativity.
2. “It’s Okay” is not okay
The problem of always wanting to be number one is that we always settle for whatever is already there. We always choose the first solution that comes out of our minds. This habit never motivates creativity. It’s basically killing all your creative bones; it’s becoming futile. Crafting for something that will shake the World Wide Web comes from the deeper part of your brains.
Instead of just grabbing the first “great idea” on your mind, gather some of your folks for a brainstorming session. Make it look like you’re “cooking” for concepts. Have them work on improving your idea and making it more mind-blowing. Never settle right away; the best (concept) is yet to come.
3. There’s only one solution
No, there isn’t. To fire up your creativity, it’s important to look for more ways than one. Concepts and strategies are not a yes or no question. It’s an open-ended question that requires multiple solutions. Surely, there’s a primary solution that most people are already aware of (or using) but, the beauty of applying creativity on all your works is that you can generate multiple approaches which makes the campaign more interesting.
Challenge yourself to give more than just one route to success. If that solution already works on something else, then make a different one. Setting the bar of your own expectation can make you a better creative and it can be more helpful to your business.
4. You don’t know what you’re talking about
Yeah, sure, you can fake it ‘till you make it. But if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of your industry, then you’re screwed. Lack of knowledge about the products and services that you’re working on keeps you from creating amazing ideas. If you have no experience in analyzing the “what’s” and “why’s” of your field, how can you create the “do’s” and “don’ts”? Researching is key. Study the basic information about your client (or your business) to be able to come up with various innovative approach for your campaigns.
Same goes for the clients. Don’t just ask your team to “be successful”. Make sure that you are also aware of how to craft strategic planning and how to execute innovative campaigns. After all, knowledge is power.
5. You know too much
It’s contradicting, we know. But, to be honest, knowing too much can also kill creativity. If you are too aware or too knowledgeable about your industry, you tend to limit yourself from creating breakthrough strategies. The thing is, it’s all about your ego. If you’ve got too many references on your mind, you tend to “kill” every possible idea that can drive your business to success.
What you can do is to make that knowledge an inspiration instead of a limit. Try to mix and match some of the ideas you gather from past experiences. Create something new using some pieces from the past. It’s not plagiarism, it’s called variation.
6. Data overload
In Search Engine Optimization, we are usually overloaded by statistics and reports. We tend to create strategies based on the current trends and on how well we performed in the past months. Apparently, focusing too much on (or having a lot of) data kills your creative process. We need those graphs and reports, sure. But, statistics block creativity real hard.
You can use those data as a reference. You need those information to know which aspect to focus on. But after that, put that sheets away and conceptualize based on improving your technique rather than increasing your numbers. Besides, statistics and numbers are just reflections on how well your creativity performs.
7. Because there’s always someone else
Because of the Internet, we are all exposed to many unbelievable concepts that will make you say “Why did I not think of that first?” And because of that (envious) mentality, we are pressured to come up with something that will somehow be on the same level of that amazing idea. That’s wrong. Every creative idea is different. Every brand or campaign requires a different style of uniqueness. So, do not think that you can’t do it because you’ve seen something heavenly better than your concepts. To each is own, as they say.
Also, there are instances where your idea was first executed by someone else – and that someone received tons of accolade because of it. It’s pretty frustrating, right? Especially if those concepts or plans are already in your pipeline and you are already on the way of executing it. But the thing is, if someone has already thought about it, it’s not really an amazing idea. So, just let it go.
8. Routines are deadly
The ultimate killer of creativity is your daily routine. From the time to wake up in the morning, up to the second before you close your eyes, whatever you do affects how you think. Be mindful of how routinely programmed your day is, and make sure to break it from time to time.
For instance, your travel to and from the office. If you’re usually taking the bus, try taking the MRT or try walking, or biking. If you change your route going back home, there’s a high chance that you will catch new sceneries and it can be your new inspiration. Same goes with the food you eat, the places you go to, the movies you watch, or the people you talk to. Explore as much as you can. Have a wider exposure for wider creativity.
You are your own killer
If one day you wake up and suddenly you’re no longer as creative as you used to be, it’s all your fault. You can’t blame anybody else if your concepts and strategies don’t work anymore. You cannot blame the clients for not accepting the concepts that you pitch. Your creativity is your own responsibility. It’s not too late, though. You can still break these bad habits or prevent it from overpowering you. Take a break, if you must, but never let your creativity die.
Don’t think too much, never settle for mediocrity, find more ways to make things better, continuously learn new things, challenge your imagination, trust yourself, and never stop finding new inspirations.