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Self-Motivating Through Creative Blocks

Self-Motivating Through Creative Blocks

Cameron Chapman | Web Design Depot

This article was originally posted on

As designers, we need to be creative in order to be successful at our jobs.

Coming up with ideas and creative solutions to problems is what we do on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to do so.

Sometimes we get blocked creatively, and it seems like no matter how hard we try, we just can’t come up with a creative solution to anything.

The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do that can help you overcome a block in your creativity. First you’ll need to understand why you’re blocked, and then try some simple techniques to get over that blockage.

In this article, we’ll also cover a few ideas for finding motivation when your lack of desire to work is the root of your creativity problems.

Reasons for Creative Blockages

Before we can overcome a creative block, it’s important to figure out what is causing it. Without knowing the root cause, we don’t really know the best methods for getting over a blockage. In most cases, blocks are caused by one of four things:

1. Working Too Hard If you find yourself with a creative block, think about how much you’ve been working lately. If you work ten hour days or never take days off, you may be blocked because you’re just working too hard and too much. Most people don’t have an unlimited supply of creativity. After a few hours or a few days, we need time to replenish those creative reserves.

2. Lack of Sleep Being tired tends to zap creativity faster than anything else. If you’re not getting enough sleep every night, you can’t expect to be as creative as you would be if you’re well-rested. Not everyone necessarily needs eight hours of sleep a night, so it’s important to figure out how much sleep you need to be at your optimal creative levels. Note: Sometimes too much sleep can be just as bad for your creativity as too little.

3. Stress Whether it’s things in your personal life causing you stress or something at work, stress is a major killer of creativity. Finding ways to minimize the stress in your life is a great way to boost your creativity. Whether you do that by eliminating the things causing you stress or simply by finding ways to deal with it (like meditation or exercise) is up to you.

4. Fear Fear can freeze your creativity more solidly than virtually anything else. Sometimes you might be afraid to finish the current project because you have nothing else lined up after it. Other times you might be afraid the client isn’t going to like what you’ve done, or that your peers won’t appreciate the design. In either case, overcoming your fear is going to be paramount to getting your creativity back and finishing the project.

Ways to Overcome Creative Blocks

Hopefully you’ve been able to nail down exactly why you’re suffering from a creative block. Now it’s time to get down to overcoming it. There are a lot of techniques you can utilize to get over almost any kind of creative blockage. Here are some of the best:

1. Take a Break If you’re creatively blocked, taking a break from whatever you’re working on can do wonders. Work on something else for a bit, or take a day off. When you’ve got some distance from your project and aren’t thinking about it anymore, you might be surprised at the ideas that will start flowing.

2. Take a Nap This is particularly important if you think your creative blockage might be due to a lack of sleep. Taking a nap, even if it’s just for twenty or thirty minutes, can let your creative batteries recharge and give you new ideas. Even if your creativity blockage isn’t because of a lack of sleep, a nap can still give you a fresh perspective on your work. If you’re a morning person, an afternoon nap can even help reset your creativity levels to what they are when you get up in the morning.

3. Take a Walk A change of setting can often open up your creative flood gates better than anything else. Walking can also let your mind wander, which can result in finding new, creative solutions. Some people like to take long walks, maybe for an hour or two to free up their creativity, while others find just a quick, ten-minute walk around their block does the trick. You’ll have to experiment to see what works for you.

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