— September 19, 2018
Creativity is something a business owner can never have too much of. Some businesses actually thrive on it so when your creative juices stop flowing, you could be in for a tough time.
When you’re facing a creative block, I wish the solution could be as simple as to wait it out and let the inspiration come back to you when it’s time. However, given the fact that you may have a full daily schedule with deadlines looming, it’s probably imperative that you snap back into action quickly. Here are some strategies you can quickly implement to overcome creative blocks.
Write Down the Task and Break Your Work Up
Physically write it down. Too often we deflect and avoid tasks we really don’t want to do and that’s what creates the creative block. It’s better to define what the goal and purpose is and break it down into smaller steps.
For example, I’m not going to take on a super huge writing project the day before it’s due because I know I will likely psyche myself out and hit a creative block while working on it.
Instead, I start well in advance and break my work up into sizeable chunks so I’m only tackling a piece each day. I may start by outlining and looking for sources on day one. Then I’ll come up with a solid intro on day 2. On days 3 and 4, I’ll likely feel prepared and motivated enough to use my creative storytelling skills to draft up a quality piece. If I don’t set myself up for success initially, it becomes difficult to handle the creative blocks when they sink in.
Change Your Work Environment
Where you work and how your workspace is set up can have a huge impact on your motivation and creativity level. Sometimes when I’m experiencing a creative block or have a busy day ahead of me and know I can’t afford one, I make sure I’m working in a location that allows me to be efficient.
Usually, an office away from home, a quiet space in the library, or a coffee shop will help reignite my creative spark once again. Being around other people who are working and being creative also helps me so I’ve paid for coworking spaces in the past as well.
You may find it helpful to work outside for a bit or even somewhere new and inspiring if you’re working online and have that flexibility.
Reading can be relaxing and help inspire you to take action. Even if you have a big to-do list and need to be productive, 20 minutes of active reading is probably better than wasting 1-2 hours playing around on YouTube or social media when you’re experiencing a creative block.
Focus on reading something that’s entertaining or even inspires you to be creative and successful. There are so many good self-help books for entrepreneurs to help them overcome common struggles. Taking a brief break to escape in a good book could be just the right mid-day pick me up you need.
Do Some Busy Work While You Wait
Most of us make the mistake of jumping right into mindless busy work in the morning when it can really be saved for those times of the day when creative blocks pop up.
I like to knock out some of my most mentally challenging tasks in the morning when I’m feeling motivated and creative. When my energy slows down a bit, I focus on easy tasks like checking and responding to email, posting on social media, or mindless data entry work.
It balances things out nicely and give my mind a break somewhat so I can gear up for another round of creative work shortly after.
Brainstorm With Your Team
Your team may have a different perspective on your business than you do, this is why you want to talk with them regularly and bounce ideas around.
If you know you are a frequent victim of creative blocks, it’s best to schedule productive meetings with your team so you can have the material you need to overcome them in advance. Your team knows your business from a different perspective than you and they also have their own batch of resources and ideas to contribute.
If you hire others to help with your business, don’t put 100% of the creative pressure on yourselves.
Plan a Vacation
Maybe it’s me but planning a trip or just thinking about a vacation instantly sparks my motivation and creativity. I enjoy looking at destinations and researching travel options. Even if I don’t have any trips planned, I like to pretend I’m planning one sometimes just to overcome creative blocks when they surface.
The key is to find something that you love doing that truly motivates you and spend a few minutes on it. Travel motivates me to work hard because I know if I hit certain goals, I’ll be able to afford flights and travel accommodations.
It’s a great way to trick myself into being creative and working efficiently.
Exercise or Stretch
Sometimes you may just need to unplug from work altogether for a short time. I like to start my day with exercise, but it can also be a great way to let loose instead of working too hard to stir up some creativity.
I get my most creative ideas when I’m actually not even working. Exercise can be a great way to clear your mind from mental clutter as well. Whether you choose to do a workout routine, walk, or ride your bike around the block, it can only take a few minutes out of your day but again like reading, it’s better to do over getting frustrated and wasting time not getting anything done.
Don’t Forget Your Passion Project
Sure, your business is probably your passion project, but sometimes it’s a lot of hard work and tedious tasks that don’t actually inspire creativity. Your passion project may be something you enjoy doing and pouring creativity into, but may not be necessarily getting paid for.
Make time to start working on your passion project during a creative block. When I’m feeling this way, I spend a few minutes writing something for my book and often times that creative energy pours into the income generating work I do for my business afterward.
Do you ever struggle with overcoming creative blocks? What do you do to refocus and get back on track?