You know the scenario. You’re looking for a creative idea and it’s just not coming. Inspiration isn’t exactly cooperative. If you’re in need of an idea and don’t have time to set yourself up for inspiration, try going for a walk.
As neuroscientist Andrew Tate explains, going for a walk is a quick way to give your brain a lot of the circumstances that help with idea generation. It gets you away from your desk, it increases your blood flow, and it exposes you to more stimulus than you’d normally experience sitting around inside:
A simple walk outside can aid your creative brain if you find yourself stuck at a desk and unable to elicit the next bright spark. Instead of sitting, waiting for inspiration to strike, head outside for five minutes and see if the extra blood flow can get the creative juices flowing.
Tate suggests that the opposite approach — that is, staying still at your desk — is better for focused work where you’re trying to find a solution to a problem with a single answer. However, when you need your brain to think creatively and break out of the rote pattern, going for a walk will encourage you to break your cycle in a number of ways that can all help contribute to a bright idea. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s better than staring at your computer monitor for hours.