If you're a creative* then you've faced the dreaded creative block: that mind-numbing period when the ideas just won't come to you. It's frustrating, there's no doubt about that. But, a common misconception is that there's nothing you can do about it.
* writers, marketers, designers, thinkers, brand owners, developers, strategists, business gurus, artists, retailers, managers, and anything else that requires you to think outside the box.
We've talked numerous times about the power of the outdoors. It's why our workshops are now walkshops, and our networking is now netwalking. But - and we can't stress this enough - it's not just neo-hippie mumbo jumbo. We're not just throwing out the office thing because we're trying to be that edgy agency that does things differently for the sake of it. It works. It really, genuinely works. We don't know exactly why or how (though we have our guesses), but being outdoors stimulates the brain in an incredibly powerful way.
This morning, Louis - one of Bare's co-founders - was sat behind his desk. Blocked. The sad thing about creativity in the context of the 9-5 is: it's impossible to just switch it on. You can't just be creative. It doesn't work that way; ideas come and go, inspiration comes and goes. So, rather than waste his time creating something that probably wasn't inspired, he decided to get out into the elements.
The 90 minutes or so he spent cruising through the woods wasn't downtime (though he definitely had fun); he was re-engaging his brain. He was mixing up the things that were stimulating his thought patterns (isn't it pretty tough to get inspired staring at the same desk 24/7?). He was clearing his mind of all the things that were muddying his ability to focus (and muddied his bike instead).
The tasks that need doing in a given day are usually allotted to someone because it's reasonable to get them done within that timeframe. A challenge if you're not in the right headspace; what if you're unable to think of anything that's going to amaze or excite your clients? Do you just send it anyway and hope for the best?
We don't think that's the best way to do things. The 90 minutes Louis invested in the forest left him feeling refreshed, inspired and full of momentum. It gave him time to think - something that he'd need to do at his desk anyway - and those thoughts were more focused, useful, insightful and different too. All from a change of environment.
Next time you're feeling the pain of creative block, leave the desk and go outdoors. It's changed the way we live and work. We know it can do the same for you.
If you'd like to venture out for your first session with some likeminded creatives, join us on the next Netwalk. You'll find all the information you need right here, on our Eventbrite page.