Stress narrows the mind. That makes evolutionary sense. When you’re in the middle of a forest getting hunted by some kind of animal, you don’t want your attention to go wandering off. That might get you killed. You want it to be there, focused on the task at hand. The problem, of course, is that we no longer have to hide from things in the forest. Now we work in offices. Here the most likely thing to sneak up on you is your boss to complain about how staid and uninspiring your work has become.

We’ve got to be creative.

But how do you do that when your workload is a mile high? Fear not, as there are plenty of online resources to help you!



If you can work more efficiently, then you will have more time to be creative and less stress to chain you down. Therefore, think about using something like Evernote, which lets you store all the information you gather both online and off in one place, where it is categorized and much easier to search. This way you won’t spend valuable time typing in search query after search query trying to find that article you read six months ago. Instead, you’ll will have what you need right there.

Glorious Essays


This website employs skilled writers to research and write things for you. So perhaps if you’ve had the idea but don’t have the time to write it out, this might just be the place to go! That way you’ll have the time for the stuff that only you can do.



Alternatively, you can try Upwork. Here there are tens of thousands of freelancers looking for work. Now they might not all be good, but once you’ve found one or two you can work with, they can save you serious time writing, researching, brainstorming and doing anything else, really – and most of them aren’t that expensive either!



You know how when you’re working on Saturday from your favorite coffee bar and somehow the ideas just come rolling in? That might in part be down to the feeling of community we have when we’re there, with all those people, which gives you a psychological safe space from which to try new things. Coffitivity helps you replicate that feeling by giving you similar background noise. It’s not for everybody but it might be for you.



A little bit like Evernote but then simpler, Pocket also allows you to easily access other people’s content and share your own. In this way, other people can do the searching for you! Now that’s bound to be a time saver. To not even mention how other people might send you something that will spark a brilliant idea.



One of the most time consuming and unproductive things that you have to do is schedule meetings. Who wants to waste time on that? Well, with Amy you don’t have to anymore. This is a great bit of software that only requires your email address and your schedule. After that, if you want to schedule a meeting with somebody you just include her in the email recipients and she’ll do the rest. She appears so human people have even sent her chocolate and flowers.

Tomato Timer


Sometimes we can get far more done in short bursts of activity than if we spend hours plodding away at it. Tomato timer is all about that. The idea here is to work for 25 minutes at a specific task without letting anything distract you. So start her up, push everything else away and wait for the buzzer. Then, when it’s done, you can relax and enjoy a few minutes of guilt-free respite, which might be just the time that new ideas come to you.

One piece of advice, have a notebook handy because you’ll see that this is the time ideas will suddenly come to you. This way you’ll be able to jot them down and then go back to the task you’re supposed to be doing.


You know when you find the perfect image on a website that you’d love to use but it’s not for sale? With Image Brief that’s no longer a problem. With it, you can search you can select the image you’ve found and then have it trawl the internet for similar images that are available or for sale. Genius! More time to search for that next idea in your head.

Something from left field


Now there are hundreds of different websites I could have chosen to give you a moment’s respite and inspiration, anywhere from art to design, from science to creative writing. The thing is, what will help you be more creative really depends on your field. So instead, check out Information is Beautiful. Here information about our world, our universe and our existence is displayed indigestible visuals, so as to both let you learn and spark a sense of wonder that you can take back to your work. You never know when ideas from left field can truly inspire.

Bonus: Get offline

But really, if you want to get creative, remember to drop offline so every once in a while. Use paper and a pen. Go for a walk. Sit for a minute in the sun. All these things will serve to relax you and there is really nothing better to broaden your mind than to let your mind wander and to enjoy yourself. And what’s not to like about that?