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Getting creative

Producing ideas is part of my job and although I have worked in PR for over 20 years ideas don’t always come straight away. Like everybody I struggle with creative blocks, whether it be coming up with ideas for a killer client campaign, working out how to pitch a piece of freelance writing or attempting to write an opening paragraph for a press release that will leave journalists wanting more.

Today I thought I’d share with you some things that I do to help me overcome blocks, whether it be with writing, idea generation, blocking yourself from those tedious tasks that you don’t want to do and so on:

· Vision board

The vision board is great for long term motivation and overcoming general life blocks such as feeling like you don’t know where you want to be going in in your life. Over the summer I did a vision board exercise which has given me loads more focus as to where I want to be, what I want to achieve and how I’m going to achieve it. I started by taking some time out and writing a list of all my wildest dreams then chose the key ones and broke down how I was going to achieve them. I then put this in picture form and have a copy in my journal, in my notebook and on my fridge. It was easy to do, and I was able to create the board using Canva.

· Change of scene

I love working for myself and have a cute little workspace set up at home but sometimes staring at the same four walls day in day out isn’t great for creativity, so I like to mix it up a bit by going to coffee shops, the library and I have invested in a co-working space as I find the being away from home and having other people around (even if I don’t always engage with them) help me see things ion a new light.

· Take a break/time out

Sometimes I will be determined to finish a task or will see a deadline looming but just can’t find it in me to do it. Often this is when I am tired or have been looking at the same task for a long time. When this sets in it can feel counterproductive to take a break, but I promise you it is a fantastic way to get creative. Things that work for me include a quick walk around the block, taking time out to prepare a proper lunch, reading an unrelated book or magazine, I even sometimes watch something on TV that I don’t have to think about (Made in Chelsea don’t judge me). For me stepping away from the creative task and giving my mind time to do nothing often sparks the best ideas. The same happens with train journeys although it’s obviously not practical to hop on a train every time you need to think

· Work during the peak times for you

Look at when you feel the most energised, with me that is morning. In the morning I am full of energy and could take on the world. After 2pm I am better suited to admin tasks such as invoicing, diary planning and anything repetitive that doesn’t need me to think too much. My husband on the other hand seems to get a second wind at night and will often stay up writing long after I have gone to sleep, so find what works for you.

Finally carry a notebook and pen everywhere you go as you never know when inspiration will strike. If you’re not a pen and paper person dictate notes onto your phone. I have to write things down as sometimes ideas come at the most random times and if they are not written down, I end up in a situation where I remember I had a great idea but have no idea what it was because of this I have a notebook

Rebecca Slater is a PR Consultant with more than 20 years public relations experience. She is based in Staffordshire and provides support to businesses all over the country.

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