I found the card deck of Oblique Strategies developed by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt (1975) to be quite useful. Although I have never owned an original deck (those were quite pricey back when I was a grad student), thanks to the early days of the world wide web, I could find early sites that would generate Oblique Strategies that I would use in my creative process while working on my dissertation. Now, well, into the 21st century, Daniel Lakens has developed this cool shiny app that will provide random Oblique Strategies for your own inspiration. I will make this link available elsewhere on my blog so that it is easily accessible.
What drew me to the dilemmas posed by the deck - or virtual deck - was that they required a certain amount of willingness to think "outside the box" or outside of one's normal professional parameters. From my vantage point, there is something healthy about that. Give it a try. See how your writing changes. See how you view everything from study design to data analytic strategies, to - yes - writing up a research report. At the end of the day we social scientists are still creators. We may be data driven creators, but creators nonetheless. Besides, we should have some fun with our work as truth seekers and truth tellers.