The Big List of 101 Ways to Get Inspired That You Can Read in 5 Minutes Or Less

Techniques/ Tips

The Big List of 101 Ways to Get Inspired That You Can Read in 5 Minutes Or Less

For us creatives, inspiration comes and goes. When you’re exhausted, overworked, or if your tank is just running low on passion for a given project, it can be challenging to find that spark that you need to get started. And if you try to force the issue during these lapses, you usually get the reverse effect and become even less motivated.

So, what can you do to reset your energy when the work that you love suddenly feels like actual work? Here are 101 ideas, in no particular order, that you can read through in five minutes or less. Some take minutes, while others require planes, trains and automobiles. Some even become projects of their own. Either way, pick one and try it out! You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to break through a creative roadblock.

  1. Close your computer and sit outside with a pen and pad.
  2. Sit outside with nothing at all.
  3. Turn your phone on silent and place it upside down on your desk.
  4. Leave your phone at home and go for a walk. Ignore the element of time.
  5. Chill with your pet.
  6. If you don’t have a pet, visit a zoo or aquarium.
  7. If commuting, take a route you’ve never taken before.
  8. Walk somewhere that you would normally consider outside of walking distance.
  9. Treat yourself to a nice meal.
  10. Research something new.
  11. Work outside your craft. (If you’re a photographer, try painting; if you’re a writer, take up photography, etc.)
  12. Browse hashtags like #inspiration and #creativity on social media.
  13. Try a new social network or tool.
  14. Go to a bookstore – an actual, physical bookstore.
  15. Read the first chapter of a new book.
  16. Observe the clouds.
  17. Call and catch up with a relative.
  18. Reconnect with an old friend.
  19. Reconnect with an old college professor.
  20. Write down all the reasons why you don’t want to work on a project right now. (Chances are you have less than you think.)
  21. Plan a day trip.
  22. Plan a road trip.
  23. Make plans for the weekend.
  24. Watch a TED Talk.
  25. Explore art history.
  26. Explore world history.
  27. Clean your workspace/office.
  28. Deep clean your home. If you get an idea, go straight to your computer and start on it.
  29. Search for a birthday gift for a friend or loved one.
  30. Collaborate with someone new.
  31. Read a short story.
  32. Work out.
  33. Cook an elaborate meal.
  34. Listen to old music and bask in your memories of what you were doing when the songs first came out.
  35. Sign up for a course, workshop, seminar, etc.
  36. Sing – even if you’re bad at it.
  37. Dance – even if you’re bad at it.
  38. Write a poem – even if you’re bad at it.
  39. Visit an art gallery or museum.
  40. Take up a new hobby.
  41. Rediscover an old hobby.
  42. Learn a new language.
  43. Join a collective or professional organization.
  44. Go to the movies.
  45. Polish your resume.
  46. Apply for dream jobs.
  47. Apply for a job that would require relocation.
  48. Browse inspirational quotes.
  49. Ask coworkers what they do when they’re uninspired.
  50. Write a bucket list.
  51. Talk to a mentor (if you don’t have one, find one).
  52. Donate money to a cause.
  53. Volunteer somewhere.
  54. Make a cold call to a potential client.
  55. Browse the music charts and listen to what’s new.
  56. Take a day off.
  57. Revisit and critique an old creative project.
  58. Read an autobiography.
  59. Read a classic. Write or visualize your own alternate ending.
  60. Buy a new accessory or piece of clothing.
  61. Meditate.
  62. Stretch.
  63. List your goals for the next year.
  64. Create an action plan for attaining those goals.
  65. Visit a theme park and let loose.
  66. Go to a concert or live music gig.
  67. Find a new website or blog to follow.
  68. Research stats and trends in your professional field.
  69. Watch a standup comedy.
  70. Download a new app.
  71. Talk to a stranger.
  72. Start a new personal project.
  73. Visit your parents.
  74. Start or join a creative meetup.
  75. Go to a new restaurant.
  76. Try a new type of food.
  77. Make yourself a fancy beverage.
  78. Bring your work to a coffee shop.
  79. Visit and appreciate a tourist attraction in your city – even if the idea sounds horrible at first.
  80. Wake up an hour or two early.
  81. Watch the sunrise.
  82. Watch the sunset.
  83. Stare out at the horizon. In your head, map cities and towns in the distance.
  84. Add a new word to your vocabulary.
  85. Read a random page of a dictionary or encyclopedia.
  86. Study a distant culture.
  87. Study an endangered species.
  88. Watch a sporting event.
  89. Go to a sporting event.
  90. Write a metaphor.
  91. Make a list of things you’re grateful for.
  92. Start plans for the next holiday or family get together.
  93. Read the newspaper.
  94. Write a letter to the editor.
  95. Submit a personal project for recognition somewhere.
  96. Disengage from social media for a week (or even just a day, for those who are fully immersed).
  97. Admire the work of your favorite photographer, artist, etc.
  98. Use a whiteboard to brainstorm.
  99. Print out a map and see how many countries or states you can label.
  100. Break a project into small phases.
  101. Remind yourself that you love what you do.

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