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9 ways to get over creative block and get busy again

Getting work done isn’t always as easy as transferring what’s in your head to the screen or page. There are loads of places to get stuck, become uninspired, or start feeling demotivated.

Staring at a project you can’t finish or get right? Try these 10 ideas to get the creative juices flowing again.

 

1. Get to the bottom of it

Feeling blocked comes from all kinds of places - fear of doing something wrong, boredom, tiredness, being overwhelmed. As soon as you work out what’s making things difficult, you’ll be closer to understanding how to improve things.

 

2. Change your scenery

No wonder you’re restless if you sit in the same chair in the same room everyday. Go outside, find a quiet coffee shop, choose a different room in the house, or even try a co-working space for a day to see how you like it.

 

3. Forget about quality for a bit

If a new brief sometimes leaves you wondering where or how to start, the main thing holding you back could be a fairly normal worry - what if it’s not very good? The first thing you put down might be brilliant, but it’s more likely to be just okay, and that’s fine! Editing comes later.

 

4. Get all your ideas down somewhere

Thoughts can be hard to make sense of sometimes, so you need to get them out of your head. Scribble them down on paper, type them in a note on your phone, send them to yourself in an email - whatever’s easiest. You’ll have a head start when you sit down to work on something.

 

5. Make it harder to distract yourself

When you’re already struggling, Twitter, online shopping, and even laundry starts to look very interesting. Taking your mind off things for half an hour can help you go back to work refreshed, but keep an eye on your procrastination. Set a timer for 20 minutes and make yourself go back to work when it runs out.

 

6. Find a time of day that suits you

We’ve all heard stories about early risers who’ve got pretty much everything ticked off by early afternoon. You don’t have to aspire to their 5am alarm, but you could borrow their routine. Your most productive time of day might be after dinner, mid-morning, whatever. Work with it, instead of against it, and you’ll get things done faster.

 

7. Move onto something else

Can’t think of a good headline? Staring at a design wondering why the font doesn’t look right? If there’s something holding you back, it’s okay to pause it and go and do something else. Thinking time is great, but try not to let your frustration multiply too much.

 

8. Think of a decent reward

You’re never too old for a reward. If you’re having a trying day, and the cogs of your mind need a lot of greasing, promise yourself something positive later and you’ll feel instantly more motivated. It could be something really simple like a Netflix series binge or something social like dinner with a friend.

 

9. And finally, learn what works for you and keep doing it

Some people swear by the Pomodoro technique, and others like lots of quiet thinking time. When you know what kind of rewards, schedules, and breaks help you get things done, you should be able to say goodbye to your big distractions for good.

 

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