inspirationPeople often struggle to find inspiration. This can be especially true if, for example, you’re working on compliance course #617. Even companies specialized in eLearning can hit this bump in the road. But when there’s a tight deadline you don’t generally have the luxury of time. You need to get unstuck, fast.

Why is it so Hard?

There are many roadblocks to finding inspiration, including: conflicts/distractions at home or work, the ideas don’t feel “right,” materials are inaccessible, previous products weren’t good, “life is too hectic,” and sometimes pure laziness. All of those might seem like good reasons to throw in the towel, but they’re not a death sentence for your creativity. Now, you need to find the inspiration to create compliance course #617. So, how can you find inspiration when nothing is coming to you?

How to Find Inspiration

I get a lot of my inspiration from different areas of pop culture (especially music) and my friends. This has worked for me for quite a while now, but what works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. Here are some ideas you can try:

  • Take a Short Break
    Chances are you’re frustrated from trying to come up with something. Step away from the project for a few minutes and get your mind completely off it. When you go back you might find that inspiration is flowing a bit better.
  • Look to the World Around You

Get out from behind your desk, stretch, and look around. Explore social media, the park, books, or anything you are interested in. Inspiration can often be found in the most ordinary places. You might find that traffic signs give you the jump start you need for working on a set of visuals. Or maybe a personality quiz on social media gives you an idea about how to format an assessment. Try saving a list of cool finds and inspirations so you can reference them whenever you need to. The possibilities are endless.

  • Talk to Others

Talking to other people lets you share ideas, experiences, points of view, and methods for getting things done. Whether you’re in the same room or chatting online, your peers can offer encouragement, suggestions, feedback, and recommended resources. Bouncing ideas off someone else can be very useful and the resulting dialogue can uncover new possibilities. It also helps to know you’re not alone. This is especially helpful when you are otherwise going solo on a project.

  • Brainstorm Ten Ideas a Day

In Stephen King’s book, On Writing, he mentions that writers should note ten ideas per day and the ideas the writer doesn’t like are given to others. Whether you’re a writer or not, ideas should never go to waste. Brainstorming regularly will help you get in the habit of cooking up new ideas and provide you with a list to pull from. Even your “bad ideas” can be put to use. Just because an approach doesn’t work for your current project doesn’t mean it won’t ever be useful in the future. And thinking through “what’s wrong” with a bad idea can lead you to more robust ones. Sharing your “bad ideas” with someone else may even light a spark of inspiration in them. Who knows? Your “bad idea” might be exactly what they need in their situation.

Consider these tips when you’re lacking inspiration and don’t know how to move past it. It will come, just keep moving forward. Or, as Jack London supposedly put it, “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

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