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The one thing you never see on page one of the Wall St. Journal is the headline, "Stocks sink for 56th consecutive day; All new ideas out window, as well." 

But it's true. When times are crappy, motivation is...well, the same. It sometimes can feel worse if you have a job. You are still getting by--there's no proverbial wolf at your door to kick-start you into a new idea phase. So you go--day in, day out. And you become complacent, which leads to stagnation, which leads to eventual failure. 

Bet you never thought you could blame your lack of ideas on the NASDAQ, did you? 

That said, I present a few ideas on ways to avoid stagnation. Ways to avoid falling into the world of mediocrity. Ideas to jump-start your imagination, your creative idea process, and launch your brain back into high gear.

These ideas don't cost a lot of money, don't involve a swami or a really big mountain, and can usually be done in an afternoon, if not an hour or so. 

First: Stand up. (Then jump around.) Sitting in front of your computer and staring at the screen until blood droplets form on your forehead is not the way to get new ideas. Put IM on "Away mode," shut off the monitor, and walk away from the computer.

Then, put on a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and some running shoes. Go for a walk. 

It's been proven that upping endorphins opens up the blood vessels, which leads to clearer thinking. Well, I don't have the research in front of me, and I don't actually know that it's been proven, but it certainly sounds logical, right? And it works for me, whenever I need it to. 

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image of Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman is the founder of The Geek Factory Inc., a marketing and customer service agency with clients worldwide. His third book, Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management Is Out, and Collaboration Is In, hit stores on April 2, 2013. Reach him via peter@geekfactory.com.

Twitter: @petershankman
LinkedIn:  Peter Shankman