Human beings are adaptable creatures. We learn quickly, picking up skills with ease, constantly investigating boundaries and finding new ways to push them. But because of this part of our nature, we can just as easily find ourselves growing bored and settling into complacency as the novelty of what was once new wears off. This can pose a challenge, especially if we love what we do, and want to have a long-term career in one field. Finding ways to recharge your creative spark and inspire yourself is not only worthwhile for growth, it's imperative. Here are five tips for re-inventing your creative relationship with your craft.
1. Call yourself out.
If you’re feeling burnt out and uninspired, know that "this too shall pass" -- but only with dedicated action. This feeling you have is serious, and it deserves your attention. Your career fulfillment is important, and writing off your brewing discontent as a bad week or a low month could be doing you a disservice. Take accountability for how you’re feeling and realize that nothing is wrong with you! It’s in our nature as human beings to need challenge and change.
2. Don’t forget to dream.
Remember when you first started out in your field of choice? There was such magic in everything; every spreadsheet was Mt. Everest, every meeting was a an Olympic event and every sale was the greatest success you’d ever seen. Ask yourself: what was it about those days that was different? Perhaps you celebrated your successes more than you do now, and all you need is to add that ritual back into your life. Or maybe you actively challenged yourself to hit higher and higher goals and you haven’t done that in a while. Regardless of what’s changed, one thing is generally true: we often forget to dream as boldly as we did when we first started out. Don’t be afraid to set goals that seem outlandish or impossible.
3. Take your work on a field trip.
Take a trip somewhere work-related that will give you a larger view of the impact your role has on the rest of your organization. Perhaps you’re a sales rep and you want to visit your distribution centers, or you may be a baker who wants to travel to the oldest bakery in Europe and study their core processes. Widen your lens to what is possible and gain inspiration from the masters around you.
4. Change the scenery.
If it’s possible, take a day to work remotely in an unconventional environment. Perhaps it’s a coffee shop, an airport or a public library. The weirder the location, the better. Disrupting your neural pathways in this way can lead to some pretty astounding breakthroughs.
5. Write down your burning questions in a journal.
You are a pioneer. You are a philosopher of your craft. If you don’t ask the questions, who will? Keep a little journal (on paper, a computer, or in your phone) where you can write down all your burning questions about what is possible. “What if we tried using a different type of plastic this time?” “What if we tried making this in-house instead of outsourcing it?” “What if we focused more on the aesthetics than we ever have before?” As you start answering these questions, check them off. You don’t need to answer all of them; all it takes is one revolutionary idea to inspire your work again.