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What To Do When You Have a Creative Block

These past few weeks I’ve experienced something rare for me: creative block. You have to understand that most things I do are from a creative perspective. Writing, designing WordPress websites, everything is based on my creativity and if I experience a block, my business does not do well.

For the past couple of weeks though, I found myself out of ideas, tired, unable to meet deadlines. This had happened before, but at a time when I was working a job I did not love, writing articles for which I had to do a lot of research and that were outside of my expertise area.

This time, however, I knew this was not the case, as I love all the projects I’m currently working on. I knew I had to take a step back and dig deeper to figure out what was going on and to get my creativity back.

I reviewed my schedule during the last month

I took out my notebook, the to-do lists, and my calendar and went through all the tasks I worked on during the past month. I wanted to see if there were any tasks that might have exhausted me, but I also wanted to see if maybe I had spent too much time working.

Often times we don’t even realize when we work too much. Especially when our work is based on our creativity, managing the workload is extremely important. Sometimes it’s not even about how much you do, but what you do. If one of your tasks requires an extra effort – maybe it’s an article you must write for a client – but you dislike the topic, or a design that is very unlike what you normally do, one task can be enough to block you. Once you figure out when the block began, you are one step closer to finding your creativity again.

I dedicated time to an activity that inspires me

Some days I might go out for a walk in the park, hang out with friends, or even plan a weekend getaway somewhere in the middle of nature. This time, I chose to stay inside and read a book, mainly because it is the middle of winter and that is what I usually do during this season. Books are an amazing source of inspiration for me, both when my to-do lists include writing, but also when it includes web design.

So find your inspiring activity, no matter what it is, and dedicate some time to it. No guilt for the fact that you are wasting time. If it helps you be more productive and do a better job afterward, it was definitely not wasted.

Take your mind off of the things you feel you cannot do

A lot of the times when we experience a creative block we tend to force ourselves to do the job no matter what. And that task becomes our central focus, and we waste hours in front of the computer trying to write another sentence or draw another block.

However, sometimes the simplest cure is to take your mind away from those things. Whether you do something that inspires you, as I mentioned earlier, or you just take care of another task, or clean the house, or cook. The activity does not matter. What matters is taking your mind off of that activity.

Create something else

Say you are struggling with a writer’s block. You feel you are out of ideas. Maybe you were writing a book and you feel stuck. Or you have to write a blog post but are out of ideas, or the words just won’t come to give life to that idea.

Write something else! Write whatever comes to mind. It might not be something reusable. But just write to write. Take out your journal, a piece of paper, or open up a notepad on your computer and just write. You can write about how frustrating it is to be in a writer’s block.

If you are a designer the same would apply; only you would design something. Or maybe you take out some colored pencils and you draw. If you are creating a website you can create a new page and just start adding elements and playing with colors without caring about the outcome. You might actually be surprised by the result!

You get the point by now. Create just for fun. Remember why you loved this activity in the first place!

Rethink your deadlines

Sometimes the real issue is the deadline. They can steal our creativity, by forcing us to work harder and faster. But they can also reduce our time to get our inspiration back. The best thing to do in this case is to ask yourself why you are so close to the deadline? Did you take on too much? Or was it simply poor planning on your side? Find the answer and adjust your future tasks accordingly.

I hope these tips help you get your creativity back. Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments below.

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