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Staying Creative in a Cluttered World


As the Social Media Recruiter for Celebrity Staff, my role inherently comes with its fair share of demands on my creativity reserves. I also work in an industry that has constantly evolving problem-solving demands. Normally these demands are the types of challenges that keep me motivated and excited to come to work each day. However, a few weeks ago I hit a pretty major creative block that caused me a bit of panic. My creative block, legends say, happens to human beings. Luckily for me this was not my first rodeo and I ended up relying on my trusty list of items that help me stay creative. It is my hope that this list would serve as a resource to anyone facing a shortage of creative thoughts.

Books
I keep The Art of Creative Thinking: 89 Ways to See Things Differently by Rod Judkins at my desk. It is a book that is not meant to be read in a linear way. When I am struggling, I will open it up to a random page and consume the little nuggets of knowledge Judkins offers. The book is a collection of short stories and quotes. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be deeply unhappy for the rest of your life. You will be evading your own capacities, your own possibilities.”- Abraham Maslow

TED Talks/ LinkedIn Talent Connect talks
TED Talks are powerful, engaging lectures typically given on a variety of broad topics from science and technology to human development. In my industry, I have found a lot of value in LinkedIn Talent Connect talks as well. Two of my favorite lectures that are relevant to the recruiting/staffing industry include A Job Can Change a Life and The Best Recruiter at Google, both of which are incredibly thought evoking.

Music
Spotify offers several playlists under their “focus” genre. When I need the right type of ambiance to complete a project, I tune into whatever playlist in that genre fits my mood for the day. IT HELPS.

Podcasts
There are podcasts-a-plenty out there that offer targeted content on a variety of subjects and you get to pick and choose exactly what type of program you are interested in. Browse this podcast list for inspiration of where to begin.

Social Media
Of course I follow people on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook who I find inspirational but in this instance I am talking more about utilizing the community functions of these platforms. I have joined several groups that are social media manager/social media strategist friendly to gain insight into how other people are tackling projects. It has been an invaluable asset to me in my role. Being a part of these online communities instantly inspires me to start on my next project or to think about things in a different way.

Visuals
I primarily use Pinterest for this purpose, but I have a tangible corkboard in my home office that also serves as a place to store things that visually inspire me. Both mediums provide outlets for me to curate random collections of color palettes, fonts, destinations, quotes, etc. Curating things that keep you inspired when you are inspired is a good way to keep your creative lens sharp.

Nature
Spending time in nature has been shown to improve short term memory, restore mental energy, provide stress relief, lead to sharper thinking and creativity, and improve mental health. Need I say more? Read about the benefits for yourself!

Journal
I write down notes to myself in the margins of every notebook, in my planner, all over scrap pieces of paper, and eventually put all these ideas into a spreadsheet entitled “ideas”. This spreadsheet reminds me that I have had ideas and just need to be patient with myself for others to surface. It also gives me ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

Unplug
The title of this blog mentions clutter and oftentimes the “clutter” is what kills my creativity. Sometimes the clutter comes in the form of having a million things on my “to-do” list where I feel like I do not have the time to devote to the process of getting creative. Sometimes the clutter comes from noise and distraction happening around the office. Sometimes the clutter comes from just having so many different input stations that information gets overwhelming and hard to process. In moments like this, my advice is to unplug. Get rid of the growing list of things to do and start fresh. Take a break from social media. Find your quiet and give yourself time to decompress in that quiet. This tip was the most important for me when I was jumping my last brain block hurdle. I commuted (about two hours overall each day) during the block in complete silence. It helped me escape from goals, challenges, and the sheer volume of tasks that occupy my day to day. In that silence I reenergized my creative outputs and reset my focus.

Thank you for reading; I hope you enjoyed some of my tips! What are some ways you stay creative?

Kate Trimble
Kate began her career at Celebrity Staff in 2015 as a Staffing Assistant for the Des Moines team. She currently works as Celebrity Staff’s Social Media Recruiter (and loves it). Kate attended the University of Nebraska – Omaha and graduated in 2015 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a Concentration in Foreign and National Security Affairs. She is currently pursuing her Master of Science degree in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (M.S NCR) from Creighton University School of Law’s Werner Institute. Outside of her commitments with work and school, she enjoys surrounding herself with her friends, family, and furry family members.

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