The true creative personality typically views the world at large through the visual lenses - shadow and light, color, proportion, balance, and so on. Many are able to see even more deeply - making connections of substance, meaning, outcomes, and the like.
Over several decades pf dealing with crazy deadlines, demanding clients, and simple cases of brainlock, I've developed a toolbox of simple alternatives and hacks that almost always get me moving again. Obviously, every suggestion here is not necessarily a good fit for every project. But as you browse through them, my hope is that you'll develop your own tool kit of hacks that help you through those dry spells. Good luck and happy creating!
The more you know about each and every aspect of your topic, the more avenues of creative expression will be available to you. Often your answer lies off the beaten path - and far beyond the obvious.
In my own advertising agency, as well as at any number of larger shops I've worked, I've found that copy typically carries the day in terms of the Creative Work Plan. Often the solution can start with a graphic and then suggest the copy - or vice versa - but as the execution progresses, in almost every case, it's The Big Idea as expressed in words resides at the epicenter. Remember, your solutions may need to translate them selves into radio, streaming audio, or other non-visual channels.
You won't have to think outside the box once you finally figure out it's not actually there.
To me, the best work keeps the viewer's eye moving smoothly from element to element, tracing a natural arc over the page or screen.
Centering your main subject within the frame can tend to be the simplest and most obvious of solutions, but often it's not optitum. Explore the Rule of Thirds, a diagonal approach, The Golden Mean - or use something of a spiral. Never forget our old friend Fibonacci!
Once I get the basic elements roughed out an in place to my liking, I step away from the work for a few minutes and then look at it fresh without making any changes. I try to get into the zone where the page or frame is talking back to me telling me where things should go and how they should look. I find there's always a certain synergy working between the designer and the work itself. We only have to tune in to it.
Many times, less really is more. Think about isolating small elements of saturated color from either a grayscale or a desaturated background for some dramatic affects.