Written by: Hailey Cassidy
Creativity can be an under-valued attribute in PR. It is hard to come up with new, innovative ideas. However, it is so important because employees need to find new ideas for social media content and media relations. It can help you outmaneuver a competitor, create well-targeted campaigns for an audience, and win pitches. If you ever feel uninspired or uncreative, try these tips to spark ideas.
Put Away Your Phone
The most important tip I can share is to put away your phone! Our endless scrolling on social media has shrunk our attention span to only 8 seconds which is shorter than a goldfish. How are ideas supposed to flow, or problems be solved in less than 8 seconds? They don’t! Take the temptation of checking your messages, email, or social media when you feel you’re at a roadblock. This means put your phone away from arm’s reach. Maybe another room, a drawer in your kitchen, or in your bag. Getting rid of that urge to check your phone allows you to be much more present in what you’re working on which therefore results in productivity and creativity!
A second option if that seems too jarring is to simply lock or put timers on your social media apps. This also helps to revert attention back to your work. You can passcode lock it or set up a notification in settings to tell you when you have exceeded your social media time limit. What is so great about this tip is even the simple act of reminding yourself to get back on track can save you 20-30 minutes of a social media scroll.
Allow your mind to be blank
I find that the best ideas occur when I am most present in the moment. Give yourself time during the day for an activity where your mind can be blank. Go for a long walk or run. Turn off your music, listen to nature, and just allow yourself to be present with what is around you. Ideas will start to pop into your head. This is when you can type them up quickly in your notes app or write them down. Another way to clear your mind is on a long drive. Turn off your music, focus on the road, and think about what is going on around you. Record anything that pops into your head.
Write down anything and everything
An exercise that you can do anywhere is to grab a pen and paper, or the notes app on your phone. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down anything and everything that comes to mind in those 5 minutes. No idea is too silly or out of reach. The goal is to never let your pen off the paper or thumbs stop typing. When the 5 minutes are up, read through what you wrote down. This is a great activity to do with a friend or coworker because you can then read your lists back to each other and bounce ideas.
Pomodoro method to prevent burnout
A workday can be long and taxing on your brain. No wonder everyone feels burnt out or uninspired. The Pomodoro technique is a time management system that can help you get more work done, in less time by working with the time you have rather than against it. Set a timer for 25 minutes with a 5-minute break. Work diligently during those 25 minutes and allow yourself to get up, make a coffee, have a snack, or walk around during the 5-minute break. Complete 4 to 5 cycles and then take a longer break for 15-30 minutes. The Pomodoro technique makes it easy to get started and combat distractions. Try out this technique and see if you feel more productive and creative during the workday.
Try out any of these tips and you’ll be well on your way to a great new idea. Getting started doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Get rid of the distraction around you and be present.