Avoid these 5 Creativity Killers

4 min read
Jonny Pathan
A messy table covered in paint

You’ve got deadlines coming out of your eyeballs and the clock seems to be ticking at an alarming rate. You know exactly what you have to do and how to do it. So, why are you reading Stranger Things fan theories and looking at photos of your dog? Creativity killers are always waiting in the wings, ready to strike and hijack all of your amazing ideas. Of course, it is difficult to magically be creative at all times of the day, but this is for those times where you’ve certainly got the capacity to be creative, but something just isn’t working. What should you avoid then?

Monotony

If you work in the same spot, day in and day out then it’s inevitable that sometimes your creativity will become stifled. Breaking your routine can help to stimulate that fabulous brain of yours, as new surroundings can give you some much-needed inspiration. Even getting up and changing your location within the exact same room can make a difference; maybe you were facing the wall before, well facing the window instead will be infinitely more interesting! Your brain will associate the work you’ve done with a new place too. Visiting a co-working space, typing away in a coffee shop, reading outside; they’re all ways of making your working day a bit different and shaking things up.

Google's Dublin Head Office
Image of Google’s Dublin Head Office borrowed from Office Snapshots

Same Ol’ People

We’re sure the people you work with are great, but having conversations with people that share the same ideas as you and similar perspectives can affect your creativity. You don’t have to say goodbye to them and ride off into the sunset, but discussing work with people you wouldn’t usually mix with or people outside of your office every now and then can trigger ideas. When you’re trying to communicate concepts or come up with solutions, speaking to people that don’t have complex knowledge of a subject can shift your perspective. You might be missing something because you’re tied up in the behind-the-scenes, so you can’t see something objectively. If you can’t explain an idea to a novice in simple terms then you need to work out how to make it clearer.

Boredom

Sometimes your creativity killing problem might be a bit bigger than moving your desk to a nicer spot. If you’re consistently finding yourself struggling to get creative or even excited about your projects then you might have to do some soul-searching. Enjoying what you do isn’t always possible, but if you can find a way to work on projects you’re genuinely interested in and passionate about then you’ll find it easier to get creative. When you get to a point where you’re still finding it impossible to get excited about your work and your creativity and wellbeing is suffering for it then finding something that you can shine could be a good idea.

Two people looking bored staring out of a window
You’re so boring.

Excuses

Avoiding doing creative work because of x, y and z (and a, b and c too) is just delaying something for no good reason. You need to improve your concept or come up with new ideas, so…just do it. Excuses for why you can’t start something will only slow you down and hinder your creativity in the long run. We know there’s a whole world of excuses out there that you can come up with, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to complete your task, that fact remains a constant. Unless something drastic has happened like a zombie apocalypse, we think that’s a legitimate excuse. Look for solutions instead of searching for excuses and your creativity will thank you for it when you come up with a bad-ass new idea.

Hiding Ideas

When you’re working on something new, it can be tempting to buckle down and get it done without interacting with another human being. It might mean that you get it finished faster, but if you don’t share your ideas or discuss them then you could miss out on a glaring mistake or something cool that you can improve your idea with. If it’s just you looking at your idea and thinking about it over and over again, you’re bound to overlook things. You’re too close to the project. Share your ideas with other creatives and they can help you out.

What are you waiting for? No, seriously, get on with that idea or project you’re working on. Obviously, reading this article is completely fine but now it’s time to get creative. Go on, scarper, go forth and create.

Social Media Management Software

In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.

By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.

In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.

At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).

They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.

The free version of this software lets you:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.

But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.

Website Tracking Software

We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.

By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.

There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.

Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.

Hotjar tools include:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.

While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.

For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.

Remember

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.

What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.

If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.

Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.

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