Working from home gives you the flexibility to create your own schedule and work when you’re the most productive. You can take breaks when you need them and, sometimes, even delay some work for the next day when you’re too tired to function.
Nonetheless, creativity blocks and lack of inspiration can still occur. It’s important to find ways to push through when all you’ve been doing for the past three hours is drawing a blank. Here are five tips to help you out!
Try Power Exercises
If you’re familiar with the concept of the “power nap,” in which you take short, 20- or 30-minute naps to recharge your batteries, you can do the same thing with exercise. It can help boost your creativity and focus.
Sessions of 20- or 30-minute, high-intensity exercise elevate your heart rate and body temperature. It sends freshly oxygenated blood throughout your body, and, in the process, makes you more alert and awake. Exercising literally fires up your entire system and restarts even those areas that have been working in “sleep mode.” Just a simple at-home bodyweight circuit is good enough. Include exercises like squats, push-ups, tricep dips, lunges, and crunches, and feel your whole body vibrate.
Many runners say running clears their heads and they find better solutions to their problems. Science seems to agree with them. Numerous studies support the theory and have recorded increased blood flow to the region of the brain that’s associated with memory and productivity after a strenuous workout.
If you’re in a position to go for a run or a bike ride, feel free to do that. If your work schedule or other circumstances don’t allow it, put on your workout clothes, make some space in your living room, put on some dancy vibes, and sweat it out!
Call a Friend
Taking a break to clear your head isn’t always the easiest task. No matter how hard you try to concentrate on something else, thoughts of what you “should be doing” instead creep in. That’s why calling a friend or family member is a great way to immerse yourself in someone else’s life. Listen to their stories and let your mind take a break from whatever you were hyper-focused on.
Ask questions, and let them tell you what’s going on. Genuinely shift your entire focus to their story. This is also a great way to practice your listening skills. Not only are you getting a dose of “rest and recharge,” but you’re also being a good friend, and whoever is on the line will appreciate it.
Start Another Project
When a creative block hits, the worst thing you can do is continue staring at that blank screen, hoping some ideas will flood your head. Instead, step away from your workspace and start another project, completely unrelated from your current conundrum. Focus on giving it your all.
Reorganize your closet, give in to scrapbooking, or take out your watercolors and start painting. Sign up for an educational course, learn more about photography, or grab your dusty cookbooks and start recreating recipes. Do whatever piques your interest. Just make sure it’s completely different from the creative project you’re already stuck in.
Working on your creativity from a different angle might help spark and bounce ideas across all of your projects. It could inspire you in ways you never even imagined. And yes, depending on how strongly you immerse yourself in it, you might be a bit tired and fatigued once you’re done. Still, it will open your mind to thousands of ideas you can then try to use to solve the tasks at hand.
Laughing Is the Best Medicine
Almost every situation can get a little better with laughter, as it floods your body with endorphins, relaxes your body and boosts your happiness. Watch a comedy show, get together with a friend, dance your heart out, or partake in an activity that always brings a smile to your face. The only goal is to keep laughing.
There’s even scientific evidence that supports it. Laughing seems to stimulate the areas of the brain associated with complex cognition, decision-making, and emotion. This, in turn, produces a better mood and better performance, giving laughter all the credit.
Finally, it’s a perfectly good excuse to watch your guilty-pleasure stupid YouTube channel of choice in the middle of the day.
Sleep on It
Sometimes, no matter what you do and what idea you try to implement, your creativity well seems to be completely dried up, and that’s ok! Giving yourself permission to feel that way instead of being fixated on an idea popping into your head creates more space for your imagination.
Creativity isn’t something anyone can rush. You can’t simply snap your fingers and cause the ideas to start rolling in. It’s something that should be cultivated and nourished, so it doesn’t end up in “system overload.”
If you can’t stop thinking about why this is happening to you, accepting it as a minor bump in the road is the first step toward pushing through it. As long as you keep denying it and trying to force it, it’s almost impossible to get it back.
Take a half or whole day off, or maybe even take two full days. Give your brain a much-needed rest, so it can refuel. Sometimes, that’s all you really need.
Getting creatively stuck isn’t ideal—especially if you’re working from home. It’s too easy to simply give up and crawl under the covers. Try these five tips and feel your creative juices come rushing back.