It could strike just as you are about to get started on a project, or when you are in the middle of a pitch presentation with a tight deadline. A creative block can manifest in the middle of writing a proposal or even creating content for social media.
Basically, no one is immune to them, and not only can they be confounding but also potentially damaging to your self-esteem.
Creativity is a science that requires precision, proactivity, consistency, and discipline. Unfortunately, at times it just seems impossible to get those creative juices flowing, often leaving you frustrated, and stuck.
Different people experience different types of creative blocks that are dependent on the particular seasons that they are going through in life or the challenges that they are facing. However, before we dive into ways in which you can beat them, it is important to first understand some various kinds that exist.
There are mental based blocks. These are often caused by having a linear way of looking at situations without considering other options and perspectives. It is a result of approaching problems from a rigid standpoint.
To break this type of creative block, your perspective needs to broaden. You can do this by intentionally interacting with inspiring people who possess different thought processes and belief systems that may help give a different perspective on the task at hand.
The other form of a creative block to know about is physical burnout. In this instance, your body literally shuts down and your mind is unable to respond to challenges as it should. You become sluggish and struggle to come up with innovative ideas or solutions to projects & challenges that require your utmost creativity.
To counteract this type of creative block, you need to ensure that your physical well-being is kept in check through exercise, nutrition, resting, and being outdoors interacting with nature.
The last type of creative block we’ll look into is emotional instability. In order for innovators to deliver at their best, they need to be in the right emotional mind frame. According to research done at Loyola University in Chicago, it was discovered that creativity does not depend only on emotions (happy or sad). It instead is reliant on the combination of participants’ detailed mindsets and their moods.
Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of creative blocks here are 8 ways in which you can effectively beat them:
Focusing on the end result versus the small steps in between may end up causing anxiety and panic. You might be constantly thinking about not being able to deliver, which can lead to a creative block.
At the core of this, it might be that your mind is working on overdrive to juggle multiple tasks all at once as you try to ensure quality output. Accepting that failure is not the end of the world, let alone the project is likely to help you break past the block.
Trusting the process will help you slow down a little and begin to focus more on the small steps that you are taking each moment, which will lead you to the final result.
The moment you hit a creative block, pause, and switch gears. It’s quite alright to hold off the project that you are currently working on and focus on something else that you genuinely love and are passionate about.
Working on something that makes you happy will raise the feel-good hormone levels and inevitably spur you back in momentum. Now you can use that energy to complete the tasks ahead of you.
Due to the prevailing global pandemic, many people have had a drastic change in their work environments, which has been disorienting.
Nonetheless, wherever you are working from it is important that it is an environment that inspires you to think and to create magic. Ensure the fresh circulation of air, some peace & quiet & a beautiful ambiance that inspires you to create & innovate.
In case you are unable to set aside some space at home for your work you can take advantage of co-working office spaces nearest to you. There are so many affordable packages & offers that can help you get back in the groove of things.
Physical burn-out is one of the leading causes of creative block. Good quality rest is critical for all creatives to be able to boost productivity. Taking some time off to unwind helps you to regain your energy and to kick-start the creative process on a high note.
The best place to start would be to ensure that you get enough sleep every night after a full day of work. Focus your energy elsewhere as you may find that a solution comes when you are least expecting it.
“In the end, a deadline is always the best cure for creative block. I sometimes artificially induce this feeling of panic by making public commitments to people about presenting work on a particular day. It works reasonably well.” – Ben Barry, Graphic Designer – Facebook.
Embracing deadlines enables you to consciously and subconsciously get your head in the game. It is an easy way to enhance accountability as you know that your work is expected at a particular date without delay.
Write down your deadlines either on your notebook, journal, or calendar, and begin to work backward so as to plan effectively.
Draw inspiration from other people who have worked on something similar to what you are doing. By recreating the work of others that you admire, you can find something that inspires you. It can be a great way to get past the complexities that may be causing your creative block.
Be careful not to let the creative block take center stage. Engage your mind in a different way, stimulating your conscious mind to relax with zero worries.
There is a study that found that listening to happy music has been shown to improve creativity. One way to do this would be to listen to music such as jazz music or podcasts. focusing on the melody or conversation may calm you down and let your mind release any pent-up tension.
Having too many things running on your mind slows down your thinking process and easily leads to a creative block. According to some researchers, multitasking can reduce brain productivity by as much as 40%.
The easiest way to organize your thoughts is by creating a to-do list every time you are about to start creating something. Fill it up with the processes and steps that you need to take in order to get to the desired outcome. After every task is completed be sure to tick it as it subconsciously cheers you on to keep doing more.
In summary, we hope that these few tips will help you sail through any challenges you are facing as you work towards accomplishing your work and project goals. The last few weeks and months have been quite the strain on mental health.
However, as we look forward to the World Day for Creativity & Innovation Week running from April 15th to April 21st – it is important we share how we can all ensure that our products & services remain continually innovative and able to solve societal issues from healthcare to education to entertainment.