My tips for beating a creative burnout + a bonus thoughts on how to beat the s*it out of it so it won’t return any time soon.
I’ve had my share of creative burnouts, especially over the last year and a half. And while I don’t consider myself as an expert on this subject (and you shouldn’t either), I do have some experience which I, of course, wanna share with you. As we can (probably) all relate, being creative constantly is a tough-job and something that lots of us out there struggle with from time to time. Whether you’re a writer, a marketing consultant, a therapist, a teacher, a blogger, a salesperson and so on, you’ve probably been there. Coming up with fresh ideas pretty frequently, staying right on track – not the easiest thing in the world.
Facing a creative burnout is actually exhausting. You can’t seem to think of something to even begin with. The few ideas you come up with mostly “suck”. Eventually, you start questioning yourself, all of your ideas, your work, everything. You start asking these killer-questions (not in the good way), like “Am I good enough to do this?”, “Am I sure that I wanna do this in the future?”. Your relative, your friends, someone who cares about you tries to help you, gives you some pinpoints to start with. Then you start imagining slapping their face for trying to help you. This last one depends, of course, of how deep have you gotten with it.
The more you think about the evil giant (the creative burnout), the more you acknowledge its presence – the more frightening it looks like and the deeper you fall. As I said, this has happened to me repeatedly in the past and it’s downright s*itty. So, in order to get out of it, I’ve tried several different ways, and the following have helped me the most. So continue scrolling down.
I think that the following tips will be somewhat helpful to you, but on the short run. However, continue reading ’cause remember, I’ve mentioned some bonus thoughts that are actually really effective on the long run.
1. Step Away From It!
Seriously. Remove yourself from your office/working area. Change your scenery – go out! Walk your dog around the neighborhood for half an hour. If you don’t have a dog, then walk yourself. Put on your headphones, put some cheery, dance-y music on, or your favorite podcast, and just take a walk. Your mind will feel much clearer and your energy boosted.
Or, meet with some friends. Have a coffee or a quick bite with them. This might help you relax a little, shift those dark thoughts with some bright ones. Who knows, once you’ve escaped the evil giant (although, be on the lookout ’cause it may follow you), you might just think of something. Or, your awesome friends may suggest just about the right idea, but since you’re out and relaxed a bit, you might not wanna slap them this time, but love the idea instead.
It’s a known fact that sweating your ass off triggers a produce of endorphin in your body, which is considered to be one of the “happy hormones”. Exercising will lift your mood up, you’ll feel much more positive, and you might just send creative burnout to hell.
3. Clean your work space.
As someone who works from home, this is a must! When my room (where I spend most of my time) is a complete mess, whether because I didn’t clean it for a while or because I’d just made the mess trying to get creative/dress/find something, it would eventually piss me off. So, I used to “cure” my creative burnout with cleaning my room a little. But, as time went by and I got aware that this can be in fact prevented, I started making efforts of keeping it as tidy-ish the entire time.
4. Something of a Certain Win.
Find something that you can’t possible miss. A sure win. Something easy, not complicated, a guaranteed score. This will get all the c*ap out of your mind, it will relax you and ultimately, will make you feel a lot better about yourself. Like when Rachel made her first coffee at Monica’s after which she said: “If I can’t make coffee, there isn’t anything I can’t do.”
You can cook yourself that meal you always nail, and everyone’s like “Woow, who’s the chef?” or something. Or, you can find a little DIY project that’s simple and easy enough for your to have your certain win. Think of something like this or this.
5. Acknowledge the little wins you’ve accomplished lately.
C’mon man! Don’t throw everything you’ve ever down away as piece of garbage just because you’re facing a little burnout. You’re way better than that. Like, remember, that meeting you all had at the company you work at. And Stiv, the CEO, or whoever the hell that guy was, really liked your ideas. Or, when you made that really tough sale, and then the commission, huh? That’s not bad. Or, the fact that you’ve become a much more disciplined person when it comes to your working habits? See, there’s progress. Okaay?
the Bonus Thoughts.
Whenever I would find myself in a creative burnout, I would analyze the s*it out of it. I always analyze stuff, and it sometimes drives me crazy, but sometimes helps me find some useful solutions. I used to think that creativity is something that comes naturally, and can’t be forced. But, since I can’t work with that “fact”, that’s just not an option for me (as a writer/blogger), I tried to look at it differently. More like something that can be practiced and mastered with time, rather than something that comes naturally. This thought has helped me a lot. My cousin also once mentioned it, and he’s been right about things most of the times until now. So, creative burnouts can be defeated once and for all, and here’s how I’m trying to do that.
This are mostly my blogging experiences and may seem to apply to bloggers only. However, try to modify them with your profession in mind, and you might find them just as resourceful as I do.
1. Planning S*it like Crazy.
Once I’ve tried planning my week ahead, I’ve started feeling a lot more relaxed during the week, way more energized, and ready to tackle everything that comes along the day. The better and concise my plans are, the more relaxed my work days are. With planning my posts for the upcoming days ahead, the less burned out I feel. I feel like everything is in my hands, I’m in control, a lot more confident, and ultimately happier.
2. Keep an Emergency Stash.
I haven’t quite adopted this habit entirely yet, but I’m working on it. I’ve managed to constantly keep an updated stash of ideas to begin with when crisis occurs. However, my intentions for the upcoming period are to have at least 5 extra, all-prepped (text + photos) posts. And as one fills the need, I have to refill the stash. And the second idea here is to have at least 2 posts ahead, which correspond with seasons, holidays, and so on. Like scheduled posts throughout the whole year.
3. Remember why you’re here.
When I’ve started writing down my goals with a time frame and a lot of attention to detail, things became much more clearer. One of the causes for a creative burnout in the first place, in my opinion, is loosing focus. So, make sure to write down your goals, get honest with that you want, where and when you want it, and revisit them on a daily basis. By knowing where you at and where you want to be at every point of time, it’s less likely that you’ll get lost and get sucked in creative burnout.
I would Love to hear how you deal with creative burnout! And, if this was in any way helpful to you when it comes to creative burnout, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends.