Refresh, re-learn, and reinvigorate – look at the work of others.
I’ve just been reminded of the Articulate Weekly Challenges at http://community.articulate.com/blogs/david/default.aspx (brilliant to look at as an Instructional Designer whether you are an Articulate product user or not).
It does not matter how many months or years you have been a freelance or other instructional designer, you can still learn.
These challenges force us to think, and they force us to think not about our own entries, but how we never considered the perspectives that we see in the other entries.
It is SO easy to get bogged down in your work, and your style that you have to force yourself to see what others are doing. I find myself looking at the entries from people who may have just entered the industry and going “WOW!”.
There is no better way to keep you from getting stale than by looking at how others view the same sentence or challenge. And, (as a freelancer), it reminds me that getting stale is the worst thing you can do, because there will always be someone else there with a more attractive, or beautifully executed idea that taps perspectives I should have perhaps seen.
Look at what other people are doing, and view it as inspiration for your next piece of work for a client.