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Big Ideas

More Insights on Sharpening Your Creative Mind

Need help pushing through stubborn creative blocks and fighting your way to aha! moments? Tips on how to keep your creative mind in top form.


Bringing incredible creative projects to life demands much hard work down in the trenches of day-to-day idea execution. Genius truly is “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” But we cannot forget the flip side of that 99% — it’s impossible to solve every problem by sheer force of will. We must also make time for play, relaxation, and exploration, the essential ingredients of the creative insights that help us evolve existing ideas and set new projects in motion.To keep your creative mind sharp as a knife, we’ve rounded up a selection of our favorite tips on aha moments and pushing through creative blocks. Why Sharing Your Work, Setbacks & Struggles Breaks Creative Blocks Trying to figure out how to overcome that nagging creative block? Talk it out with someone who knows absolutely nothing about what you do. How Rejection Breeds Creativity With a few small changes in your mindset, you can turn rejection into a dramatic boost for your motivation and focus. Is An Inner Argument Holding Back Your Productivity? Do you have a chorus of voices chiming in whenever you have to make a big decision? How to get your inner selves to work together. The Cure for Creative Blocks? Leave Your Desk. Feeling stuck? New research suggests that leaving your desk, traveling to far-flung places, and spending time alone all improve your creative thinking. Why Boredom Is Good for Your Creativity Why does boredom always emerge just as you’re about to get in gear on a creative project? And is it possible that it could actually help you? Are You an Armchair Creative? It turns out that armchair creatives actually get MORE done. Find out how alternating intense “desk focus” with a relaxed setup can increase productivity. Download the desktop wallpaper: 1920 x 1200 | 1366 x 768 | 1280 x 1024 | 1280 x 800 | 1024 x 800 Learn more about creating great work every single day in our new 99U book: Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind.

More Posts by Jocelyn K. Glei

A writer and the founding editor of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei is obsessed with how to make great creative work in the Age of Distraction. Her latest book is Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distraction, and Get Real Work Done. Her previous works include the 99U’s own bestselling book series: Manage Your Day-to-Day, Maximize Your Potential, and Make Your Mark. Follow her @jkglei.

Comments (6)
  • zhao

    1920 x 1200 wallpaper seems strange

  • Braden Talbot

    Thanks for the wallpaper. Another excellent reminder after a 3,000-word day.

  • jkglei

    This is fixed now. Thanks for the heads up, Zhao!

  • Ramon Tonnaer

    Why is the 1920 x 1200 version different from the rest?

    I actually was expecting to get the “John Cleese” version and not “Henry David Thoreau” version.

  • Grant

    1920×1200 still gives me Thoreau – thank you for the great quotes and articles.

  • Robert Leal

    It seems that the 1920×1200 version still has the wrong version of the wallpaper. Great articles, and books.

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