Need Inspiration? Look No Further!

Us folks at GovLoop are a pretty inspired bunch, passionate about helping our members do their jobs better by providing them with the latest happenings and inspiration in government. But sometimes even the most inspired hit a creativity slump.

For the icebreaker at our team meeting this week, we shared what inspires us professionally. And now, we’re sharing them with you!

Cool websites / blogs:
Sometimes you need to step away from a project that may be feeling stale. One way our team gets inspired is by surfing these cool sites and blogs.

Style by Emily Henderson:
If you’re into interior décor and design, this blog is for you. It specializes in mixing eclectic styles together to create something new and interesting.

Smart Girls at the Party:
Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls site is dedicated to helping young people cultivate their authentic selves and serves as hub to learn and be a part of an uplifting community.

The Cool Hunter:
The Cool Hunter is a celebration of creativity in all of its modern manifestations including: architecture, design, gadgets, lifestyle, urban living, fashion, travel and pop culture.

The Jealous Curator:
Have you ever looked at something and feel a rush of inspiration and jealousy all at the same time thinking, “Damn, I wish I thought of that?” The Jealous Curator is a collection of contemporary artwork that will make you envious – in an inspiring way.

Behance is a platform to showcase and discover creative work. It’s where the creative world updates their work in one place and where our design team peruses to see cool work.

FFFFound is a web service that not only allows you to post and share your favorite images found on the web, but also dynamically recommends stuff for you based on your tastes and interests for an inspirational image-bookmarking experience.

Pinterest is another visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests. Our teams build inspiration and mood boards to help set the creative direction of projects.

Flipboard is like building your personal magazine with things you’re interested. It’s another visual way to check out thousands of topics in a single place.

I’m sure you’re familiar with Twitter. Our team uses it to quickly stay up-to-date on what our members and customers are up to. Follow us @GovLoop!

It was beautiful to see how many people said they are inspired by their teammates and coworkers. People vibe off of other people’s excitement, energy and enthusiasm for their projects – now dubbed the 3 Es.

And at GovLoop, we are able to get excited about work that we may not be personally involved with but learn about using Slack, a real-time messaging and communication tool. It helps keep the 3E levels up for all projects around the office.

Family members and friends were a common source of inspiration. Strangers can also provide inspiration, like this listserv, DC Web Women for cool women in technology. Finally, you can drive inspiration from the haters. One team member said she is inspired when people tell her she can’t do something. Negativity can be a great motivator and help you work harder to prove them wrong.

Sometimes getting out of a rut or creativity black hole literally involves getting up and out. Here are some of the activities people mentioned that help them disengage to get re-engaged.

  • Playing video games or watching TV
  • Taking a long walk, especially when you can be surrounded by nature (hiking, anyone?)
  • Practicing yoga or going on a run
  • Listening to music (gotta love Spotify)
  • Reading a book
  • Exploring the city, especially public libraries

Last, but certainly not least, GovLoop staff agreed that you, the GovLoop community, is an important source of inspiration. We love seeing passionate public servants doing amazing work. That’s why we come to work everyday!

So what do you do to get inspired? Leave a comment and let us know!

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Patrick Fiorenza

Loved this post, thanks for sharing all these great resources! For me, I always stay inspired by thinking big picture. Day-to-day it’s easy to get cynical or not see what’s happening when you’re in the weeds. So I always try to zoom out and see the value my work is bringing to whatever client/agency I am serving. In terms of sites/services, I don’t have one go-to, I’d much rather meet someone for coffee or setup a quick phone call to learn more from someone. Thanks again for sharing!

Vishesh Kashyap (VC)

Great post! I’ll try some of the suggested activities. For me, the nature is a great picker-upper. Noticing small things like birds chirping, children playing and flowers of various colors and shapes blooming are inspiring. At one time, I met the late Comedian Dom DeLuise, and asked for his autograph. He drew a big round smiley and wrote below it: “Ain’t life great!”