Know When to Work and When to Stop
You Can’t Force Creativity
When it comes to creativity, you don’t have to pay top dollar to take a course or buy self-help books. Those are not bad things to do and can be helpful at times; but, creativity is an individual experience and can be developed on your own.
Just like all muscles, your brain is a muscle that needs to be exercised and strengthened. There are many different things you can do to get your creative juices flowing and enhance your creativity; but there is one point that is often overlooked – yet is very important. Know when to stop working.
For example: Imagine yourself working on a creative project (writing an eBook or a series of blog posts, or maybe designing a new website). You have a deadline looming. You feel like you must keep your head down and power through – working 24/7, if necessary, to finish it.
That is not an uncommon scenario. It is the way that many of us tackle projects. You may be surprised to know that it is possibly the worst thing you can do when it comes to creative work. Let’s face it – fatigue does not enhance creativity. In fact, in may even block it. Forcing creativity rarely works. Staring at a blank page will only stress you out even more.
Pay attention to your process. Learn to recognize the signals (and your heed your intuition) – it may be time to stop working for the day (or at least for a while). If you get stuck, take a break and walk away. You may find taking a break can get things moving again.
Do something that frees your mind – like taking a walk, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes – maybe even sleeping on it. A break gives your brain a chance to relax and opens space for the ideas to flow more freely.
It also works the other way. If your intuition tells you that you are on the verge of the breakthrough that will finish the project; then, keep working.
What if you don’t have a deadline? You just want to make some headway on the project. The same rules apply. You cannot force the creative juices to flow. If you have been staring at a blank document on your computer monitor for 30 minutes, chances are you need to get up and walk away for a little while. Another option is to just start writing and see what happens. Sometimes free writing will trigger your creativity.
Listen to your intuition and work with yourself instead of against yourself. By listening to your inner voice and recognizing the signs that you may be stuck, too tired, or too stressed to keep going, you will find it much easier to produce amazing creative works.