Do This When You’ve Run Out of Ideas, Psychologists Say

Katie Sweeney

Being a freelance writer, I have to do a lot of pitching. This means that I need to come up with tons of story ideas. While I’m constantly jotting down ideas as they come to me, sometimes I need to come up with a batch of story ideas all at once. When the pressure is on, it can be hard to let creativity flow. However, according to a recent Science of Us video, there is one simple thing you can do when you run out of ideas. Psychologists have discovered that if you’ve hit a wall at work and find yourself in a creative rut, you should power through and continue brainstorming.

Don’t give up too easily! Recent research from Northwestern shows that when you encounter a creative block, the longer you spend tinkering with the problem, the more creative your solutions become. In most cases, the person who was in a rut ended up coming up with more ideas than they initially expected. They underestimated themselves and the longer they spent brainstorming, the more solutions they developed. Thus, sometimes the best advice is the simplest: Just keep at it and you might end up surprising yourself.

Learn more about overcoming creative blocks by reading Breakthrough!

How do you deal with a creativity rut?

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