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My Remedy For A Creative Slump

Question: How do you get over a creative slump? Or your remedy for a creative slump?

Answer: Caffeine. Lots of caffeine. Just ask my sister and coworker, Blair to vouch. If there is some kind of mental block, I will drink a can of personality. Then I’ll 260-grams-of-caffeine my way through everything.

But I also draw inspiration from the greats. Kings of Creativity. To me, the perfect example of adaptive creativity is the dynamic duo, Daft Punk. Their electronica music style remains popular, and still sounds like the modern music of this decade. My coworkers didn’t even realize how old the band truly was, and to many of them, it seemed like their hit singles had only recently come out. It’s been over 20 years since Daft Punk first broke into the music stream, equipped with robotic helmets and synthesizers. The anonymity of their robot personas gave them an edge of excitement to fans.

When interviewed, they stated that being recognized was not part of their plan, so they chose to keep their music and personal lives separate:

“We want the focus to be on the music. If we have to create an image, it must be an artificial image. That combination hides our physicality and also shows our view of the star system. It is not a compromise.”

This mode of thinking made their look timelessly cool and has allowed them to become a household name and recognized symbol.

Yet they didn’t stop there. They always tried something new.

After winning various Grammys for their music, Daft Punk made their own film for the Cannes Festival about robots who wanted to become human, wrote the soundtrack for the Tron: Legacy film, and they worked with various popular musicians of different styles including R&B to collaborate with on singles.

Daft Punk pushed through becoming dated by putting a new twist on their best work. They are definitely one of my favorite bands to this day.

My own creative process (besides chugging caffeine) goes along these lines. Whether it’s business, clients, strategy, or internal work, I believe changing your state can overcome the slump. Changing your state meaning moving around the office, going for a walk, or simply doing something different. Walking away from the desk is not quitting. Of course, providing you return to it. Too many of us think we have to just dig into our work, stay in our seats, and tough it out.

Even if you were studying as a student, this applies. Those days that you can’t seem to study and where you feel like you’re restless, go do something else. But make sure you come back. Don’t stop studying for the day because you’re not in the zone. That’s not an acceptable option, especially in business. In business, you have to deliver whether you have a timeline or not.

My cure for the case of a slump: caffeine, changing up the environment, and of course looking up to the greats. 

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