Every once in a while I hit a creative block. Sometimes for an hour, sometimes a day… in all honestly, I’ve had a creative block last for weeks too! Whether I’m trying to come up with new products, a new blog post or a new DIY, often is the case when I actually sit down to put my mind to it I draw nothing but a blank. At first that’s ok, then it drags on and on… before you know it that sinking feeling comes along and you think it’s never going to happen! So today I thought I would share my ‘5 Productive Tips To Overcome A Creative Block’, which I find have helped me get me out of a rut on several occasions. I’m not going to tell you to clean your bedroom and go to the gym, but I’ve heard those are helpful tips too 😉
Keep a notebook with you at all times
Keeping a notebook is a really useful – not only to remember what you were laughing about when you met your bestie for coffee, but also to keep track of ideas that aren’t quite there yet. When you’re having an off day you can go back through these initial thoughts and try and progress them. Try making a mind map or a word list from your scribbles; by working things out and playing around with the ideas you might stumble upon that genius idea you’ve been waiting for! Looking back through previous work can be great fuel for your next project. Be a sponge!
Take a break
If you’ve been wracking your brain over something for a long time and you’re not getting anywhere, obsessing over it is not going to make it happen any faster. I find that the best ideas come from doing a bit of research then stepping away from the task entirely…. And then not obsessing over how you’re not doing it!
Creative blocks are the worst, but you’re not going to make it any easier if that’s all you’re thinking about. I find the best distractions are the ones that take your entire being away from the job, namely swimming and baking! You need to pay attention to what’s in front of you so you can’t think about nonsense that’s getting you down or not getting done. This will give your brain time to process what you’ve been looking at and room to conjure up that smashing brainwave! The bonus with baking is that you’ll have a tasty treat to munch on when you’re working up a storm that’s too good to step away from too 🙂
Do things differently
So it turns out, the past 45 minutes you’ve spent looking at others peoples work for inspiration has only made you feel crappy about yourself. Hey, don’t worry about it! The secret is that that’s actually happening to all of us – you should be pleased to hear it’s not just you. Researching other peoples work to help with a creative block can be great, but sometimes it backfires. Step away from the internet! You’re not helping anyone with these negative thoughts!
If you’ve just seen something you wish you’d done, why not do it anyway? But do it YOUR way. You don’t have to share it with the world, but it might help you get out of this funk. If that’s not working for you, you need to do things differently on a bigger scale. Try changing the tools you usually work with – quit typing and pick up a fountain pen. Try changing your routine or work from a new location. Turn everything on its head! A new perspective can bring new light.
Clear your mind
It might sound goofy to you, but meditating and yoga can work wonders … not just for your creative being, but your health, your mindset and your outlook on the whole. I might be new to both, but I’ve already found that they’ve made a big difference to my life! I’m much calmer and it’s starting to become easier for me to take a step back from the world whenever I’m getting stressed out.
If you fancy giving it a go without leaving the comfort of your room or spending a penny, I recommend downloading these two apps: Headspace and DailyYoga. Headspace is wonderful for giving you 10 minutes of peaceful bliss and teaching you how to tune out the nonsense. Daily Yoga is a great way to give your body a good stretch and freeing up yourself. It’s great for beginners because there are a a series of videos that show you the moves so you can see what they’re on about 🙂 Personally I’m really enjoying my ashtanga lessons, but this is a nice way to try a few moves by yourself before signing up to a class or buying a dvd.
Live a little!
Go out. Have a laugh with your friends. Listen to music. Watch a film. Go to a coffee shop and read a book. Go play with a kitten! A great way to overcome a creative block is to go stretch your legs and interact. Think about all the things you’ve been putting off because you’ve been trying to hunt down an idea with a bat! Much like buses, 3 will come at once, you know? You’re not bunking off, you’re simply feeding your brain some eye candy.
If I get in a rut working at Vivid HQ I like to go for a walk and treat myself to a herbal tea and an hour of ‘anything time’ – you wont believe some of the things I overhear and get a good laugh from! Taking your mind off the task at hand and relaxing is important. We spend most of our times glued to something technological – remember to take time to live your life too 🙂
I hope these 5 tips help with your creative block – I bet you’ll be back to work in no time!
Do you have a trick you find always works when your stuck? Or do you have any other suggestions to add to my list? I’d love to hear them!