For those who have more practical careers, performing well may be a matter of following steps and procedures, but for anyone who works in creative careers like writing, art, or film, the process is not always so black and white.
Whether you burnout at work or find yourself with multiple blocks to creativity and you aren’t producing like you want to, it may be difficult to know what to do or how to get rid of creative block. The thing about being a creative person is that you depend on your creative way of thinking to produce and if you can’t create, then you may find yourself in trouble at your job or with your clients.
You obviously have to find a solution, but how? Following are some tips on how to overcome creative block so that you can continue to produce your best work:
1. Exercise before work
If you have a big project that you are working on and the creative juices don’t seem to flow, you may want to consider exercising before you get started. Exercise helps to wake up your mind, gives you energy, and provides you with clarity. If you work from home and feel stuck while working on a project or drowsy and unable to concentrate, go for a quick run around your neighborhood. You are guaranteed to come back feeling better and more creative than other.
2. Turn off your phone
Having your phone next to you while working is destroying your productivity. Unless you really need it for work or have to have it on at all times, turn off your phone. You can choose to not turn it off, but keep it out of reach somewhere. It can be easy to check your phone or social media updates every now and then, but this can be detrimental to your progress and cause blocks to creativity.
3. Listen to your favorite music
This might not work for everyone, especially those who need silence to create. However, this actually works on a lot of people. If you can work with music, why not try putting on your favorite music that inspires you? Scientific research has proven that listening to music strengthens brain performance and creativity.
It can also enhance your thinking process. If you are not used to working while having your headphones or your in-ear headphones on, try putting on some light instrumental music on through your laptop speakers. If you need extra focus and concentration, try to listen to only one song repeatedly all day.
4. Take a break
It’s alright. Go for a coffee with a friend, visit a museum, or simply take some time focusing on something else. If you don’t feel like going outside, maybe taking a power nap is already good enough. Sometimes all that is missing from completing a creative project is stepping away for a minute and then returning with a new perspective.
5. Puzzle Yourself
If getting your sweat on helps spike your energy, doing the puzzle is the easiest and most enjoyable thing you can do to stretch and strengthen your brainpower. Really. There’s nothing childish or nerdy about doing puzzles at all. They are brain games that train your mind and keep your brain fit. Whether they are jigsaw puzzles, a serpent puzzle or Rubik’s cube, they let you extend on your usual approaches to problem-solving. The serpent or snake cube solution may seem out of reach, but you’ll still gain the benefits from being forced to think and do differently than you normally do.
6. Carry a notepad (or use that ‘Note’ in your phone)
Sometimes the best ideas come to us when we least expect them. You may have spent hours trying to find a solution to something, but to no avail when all of the sudden the idea pops into your mind. Carrying a notepad will help you to remember the idea and thus overcome the creative block.
7. Power through
At times, overcoming creative blocks is just a matter of pushing forward. The ‘I’ll keep doing it anyway’, it can be easier said than done, but in a way, it is sort of like running. At the beginning of a jog, it can be difficult to keep going, especially if you feel tired, but once you push past that breaking point, the rest of the jog feels pleasant and easy. It can be the same way with your painting, writing, or designing, push forward and the creativity will come back.
8. Spend time in another creative outlet
It may help you to spend some time painting or drawing if what you are working on is writing or visa-versa. Creativity breeds creativity and if you enjoy these other creative skills, it may help you to be able to return to the task at hand feeling refreshed.
9. Don’t think about it
It’s easy to focus on something that is frustrating you with a project or at work in your downtimes. This is a mistake as it will only cause more frustration. Let your mind focus on other things, like watching a good movie or spending time with your spouse. When it’s time to go back to work, you will feel refreshed and more focused.
10. Minimize stress
Stress is a huge creative killer. It makes creatives question everything they work on and can hinder the creative process. While some projects may have deadlines or you want to do your best job yet, don’t think about the issues that are causing stress. Let them go and just focus on creating because you enjoy it, not because you need a certain outcome. This is guaranteed to help you produce work that you can be proud of.
Different things work for different people and with creative minds, inspiration and ideas are the power behind the creating. Creative blocks can happen often, especially when one feels stressed about the outcome of their work. Creative people need to relax and feel good and go ahead and pamper themselves to keep their head in the game and have the clarity and inspiration needed to produce beautiful work.
Following these different tips will help creatives to clear their minds and produce better than ever before.