When you work in an environment that heavily depends on creativity, things tend to move at a fast pace. Your worst enemy — stagnation. Fresh ideas need to flow for you to be productive, and in the spirit of counter-productivity, the pressure can cause a halt on your creative juices moving.
I’m talking about the dreaded creative slump. We’ve all been in one, and there’s no telling how long they will last. If you’re always on the move like me, you know the frustration well. And since no one can afford the time to put a stop on their day or to take a page from Jack in The Shining and lock themselves away in a hotel (we all know how that turned out), here are a few tips to help break you free:
First things first, take a break. Step away from the computer. Staring at that screen or blank piece of paper is doing you no good and words will not magically appear. Help yourself by doing something different. Let your brain relax a bit and stop trying to force it. There’s a reason you have your best thoughts in the shower or when you lay down to sleep (don’t forget to write those down, by the way). Your brain, just like every other part of you, needs time to rest so it can work to it’s full potential.
Take a walk outside. We know that a little bit of exercise gets your endorphins going. I don’t know about you, but my creativity is directly related to my mood. Who can be creative when they’re feeling down? There are also studies that suggest that just being in nature can boost creativity. So stand up and get some good ol’ fresh air.
Let your mind wander. I know. You were always told to stop daydreaming as a kid and pay attention. They were wrong. You have all sorts of amazing ideas rolling around up there. If you wrote down every thought you had in a day, you’d have a full novel. So do just that. Write down every word that pops up into your head for ten minutes. You may write down a bunch of weird things (which is okay) and you may also surprise yourself with something new.
Declutter. I know it’s a daunting task that we repeatedly push back and procrastinate on, but decluttering your surroundings may help you declutter your head. Clean up your workspace and bedroom. You’ll sleep more soundly and feel more relaxed. While you’re at it, declutter your computer of useless files and old emails or even your phone of random apps and pictures. As an added bonus, these small tasks will make you feel more productive even when you’re in a slump.
Find a balance. If all else fails, you may just be lacking an overall balance in your life. Too much work and no play or vice versa can really throw you off. Are you sleeping enough? Eating healthy? Over-stressed? It could be time to change up your routine. If the one you have isn’t doing you any favors, switch it up. Find a balance and unblock your right brain a little bit. Try to find new inspirations and add some positivity back into your life. Or maybe just take some multivitamins. Idk.
Just remember, slumps are only temporary. It’s only a matter of time until you have your next big idea… or small idea (hey, a win is a win).
Story By: Jesse Wiley