Three Things Stopping Your Creative Flow

When your work relies heavily on creativity, it can be difficult to come up with new ideas on a regular basis.

How creative we are depends on so many things, from our mood, what we’re inspired by (and if we’re getting enough of it) and how in touch with our own creativity we are.

That’s not to say that you need to be constantly happy, ready for inspiration or spending every waking moment trying to create the next Mona Lisa. Creativity is cyclical – sometimes you’ll have heaps of the stuff and other times you’ll struggle to scrape together a thimbleful.

So, rather than turn you into a creative machine that never has a slow period, we’re aiming to help you navigate through the dry spells in the best way possible to help creativity kicks in that little bit sooner – you have deadlines after all!

Your Environment

Without us realising, our environment can stifle our creative flow until it becomes nearly impossible to create new and original ideas.

Working in a plain and drab area can leave you feeling just that. Something as simple as adding some plants to your desk can help you become less stressed and more creative. You should also be taking regular breaks from your desk, just taking a short walk outside on a sunny day can help you get out of work mode and give your mind a well-earned break.

Research suggests that other people are the biggest factor in your own creativity, as a survey by Edward Glassman, Ph.D., revealed.

Different perspectives can help you unlock your own imagination, and is the ‘driving factor’ in your creativity. If you work in an environment where you’re limited to talking with others by an unsavoury office layout, try to go out of your way to make chat to others in the offers. Either this, or change your work environment – it could be necessary for getting your creative spark back!


The wrong mind set can completely change a person’s attitude to their work, which in turn can have a detrimental effect on their creativity.

This may be due to an insecurity with your own work, or an insistence of perfection in everything you create. This attitude can make is difficult to create a new piece of work, so intense is the pressure you put on yourself to create something absolutely brilliant.

However, only by beginning and working through your failures will you be able to improve your work and create the best that you strive for.

Sometimes the negativity doesn’t come from yourself, but from others around. This doesn’t have to be a negativity towards your creativity, but may perhaps be a general negative outlook. If you find yourself surrounded by people with negative attitudes, attempt to be the person who brings the positivity and change their minds.

Work hours

If you’re working as a full-time employee in a creative industry, the hours can take their toll on your creative output. While employers within creative industries are becoming more accepting of flexible work hours, some employers may still expect you to work the regular 9-5.

If these hours are having a negative effect on your work, it may be time to consider going freelance. The flexibility you will have will allow you to create whenever the mood strikes you, as long as you get the work done.

Most creativity happens when you don’t expect it to, or, more accurately, when you’re not trying to be creative. When we wake and fall asleep are for most people the times when our minds are at their most creative. Take advantage of these times by keeping a notebook or sketchpad next to your bed. This way, you can make a note of any great ideas!

Are you having difficulty getting your creativity flowing? Do you have a trick that helps you manage your own creativity? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments