Whether you’re looking for inspiration at work, for a new project, or just to feel inspired, you don’t need to look much further than the world around you.
Of course, seeking out true inspiration takes time. Time could be spent actually creating and working and being productive rather than browsing countless websites or walking around the block. To help you out a bit, I’ve collected five of my favorite, effortless ways to find creative inspiration.
Read something you normally wouldn’t.
No need to spend ten minutes browsing bookshelves at the library or searching for that “perfect” book. Head on over to longform.org and scan the headlines for an article that doesn’t seem at all interesting to you. Sit down and read the article, in its entirety, to get a quick boost of insight and inspiration.
Grab a sheet of paper, open up your favorite text editor, or find yourself a whiteboard, and just write. You don’t even have to think of what to start writing, your topic will be: “searching for inspiration.” Now write. You’ll undoubtedly be surprised at the ideas that form as a result of free writing. But you have to actually write to get the inspiration. You can’t simply stare at the empty screen or piece of paper.
Close your eyes and turn around in a circle, then open your eyes and notice the very first thing you see. Is it a word? An object? A person? Whatever it is you focus on, ask yourself “why” they are the way they are, or why they do the things they do. Ask why about anything around you and you’ll find interesting insights for sure.
Take a break.
Let your subconscious do the hard creative work itself, and take a break. The benefits of resting are incredible, but remember to get back to creating and working after a short amount of time, otherwise rest becomes procrastination.
If you have a specific problem at hand, draw that problem. If you’re just looking for general inspiration, sketch anything at all. Forget about making a Picasso and just draw. When you allow your mind to freely portray ideas and thoughts through drawing, you’re physically exploring inspiration in your own mind. It’s like magic.