August 27, 2018
I have to confess: in the past month, I’ve been in a little bit of a creative funk. I didn’t really acknowledge it until a few days ago.
I guess acknowledgment is a really good first step, uh?
So since I really felt a bit in a rut, I thought: you know what I can write about this week? I can write about getting out of a creative funk!
And, honestly, I think these tips can be used long before you fall into a rut to enable you to keep a momentum of idea creation in your life.
So here goes…
For each of us, we can probably find a time each day where we are at our best creatively. A lot of stuff I’ve read is that you want to do your most creative things in the morning, but I haven’t found that to be true of everyone.
For instance, my wife is an artist, and I’ve literally kissed her goodnight at like 11 pm and headed to bed, and then awakened the next morning around 6:30 am only to find that she’d painted an entire painting from start to finish before coming to bed sometime around 3 am.
Me? My best creative times are from about 10 am to 1 pm.
I have this awareness, so what was my problem? My problem was that I had a number of business responsibilities that came up with regard to vendors I use and various other things. Because I live on Pacific Time and was dealing with companies on the east coast, I started tackling these issues first thing in the morning – or during my most creative times. In the process, my routine got changed because I started checking email during and other tasks rather than protecting my creative time.
And that’s what it really takes for you to either get out of a creative funk or to maintain your creative flow:
1) Discover the time when you are most creative.
2) Protect that time – don’t allow anything else to infringe on that time. That email, that text, that phone call can wait until your creative juices subside.
One the most difficult parts of living in one of the most beautiful places in the country is that it attracts visitors – close ones – the kind that know you.
This summer was one of the busiest as we had non-stop visitors since May.
I love visitors. I love showing people around – mountains, beach, vineyards, hikes, etc. But, frankly, this past week I was just tired. Jessica wanted me to do a family day at the beach, and I was like, “I’m just beached out.” I’m an introvert, and I’m not an outdoorsy person.
My wife, on the other hand, was doing what she needed to do for inspiration which is nature.
Me? I stayed at home in my PJs, took a nap, then read a couple of books that I’d picked up on Amazon a couple of months ago.
So you’ll have to consider your own personality and what gives you life. Is it music? Is it reading? Is it watching a TedTalk? Is it art? Is it outdoors? Is it watching sports? playing sports? Maybe it’s hanging out with people?
I personally love going into libraries or a bookstore. There’s something invigorating about those places.
If you’re in a creative funk, then it probably means that you need to feed your soul. Go back to the things that you know that give you juice.
One thing that I’ve learned is that stress is an amazing way to accomplish things if it’s running from something or hustling to get a non-creative task done like loading up boxes into the back of your car.
But for creative tasks, stress is actually an idea killer.
If you’re working on something creative and you’re feeling yourself tensing up and frustrated, the best thing that you can do is walk away. Trying to press through is going to do nothing but keep you in front of the computer longer, and it’s likely to cause you to make mistakes.
I recommend getting yourself up physically and going to a new location entirely – even if it’s just a different room.
Last week I was working with a partner on a project, and the ideas were just not flowing and the walls were pressing in on us. I felt like the ideas were there, but we needed to break it up a bit. It was late at night, and nothing was open except Denny’s. Now listen, it was not a good idea to be eating that kind of food late at night (and I did pay for it the next day), but simply getting in the car, taking a short drive, and sitting in another location was just the break we needed to get unstuck.
You know what else I do? I physically leave my office and go outside and watch goofy videos on YouTube. It effectively breaks my routine, and the laughter loosens me up and gives me an endorphin rush.
Endorphins rushes equal a lowered stress level. A lower stress level equals higher creativity.
Try it! I highly recommend it!
Let me know how it goes!
I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
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