This article has been written by: Suzie Hart
Creativity during a mid-week slump
Are you experiencing a creative burnout? Its Wednesday – so close to that weekend break but not quite there yet. Your creativity might have been peaking at the start of the week, as you feel refreshed after the weekend and then slowly but surely depleting towards the end of the week. It’s even worse if you have a project relying on your creative expertise. As someone whose profession relies on high-level creativity daily, it can be extremely challenging when long working hours have been mentally draining.
It’s so important that we’re always striving to be more creative on a daily basis. After all, we are meant to be creative beings. But for most of us who may live a stressful lifestyle, the world can often sap the creativity right out of us.
CREATIVE BURNOUT CAUSES
Creative burnout can often be caused by a ripple of uninspiring activities.
We’re expected to constantly be creative, without us even realizing how we’re being challenged on a daily basis. We’re pushed to make strategic decisions, we’re pushed to get creative with ideas at staff meetings, we’re pushed to be creative in how we communicate with loved ones and the list goes on. So naturally, creative burnout can happen frequently during the week, but how do we handle this?
Here are some ways to avoid or tackle burnout during the week and increase our creative productivity:
- VARIETY AND CHANGE OF ROUTINE
The lack of workload variety can sometimes really kill a person’s sense of dynamism and creative thinking. We may need to re-examine our work responsibilities, and see how we can diversify our office activities, so that our creativity isn’t being squashed by mundane work. Even if you can’t switch out activities at work and your role requires you to do the same job for 8 hours straight, you can incorporate change in your evening routines when you come home.
For those who are unemployed, the same rule applies to your daily routines: are you falling victim to a mundane lifestyle? You may need to change up your everyday routines and trust that the creativity will come from trying new things.
- CREATIVE CONSULTATION
We need to be in a place where we are free to seek creative advice as frequently as needed. Often writers will consult fellow writers on their book ideas and get their input. The same rule can definitely be applied to developing new marketing strategies, event planning ideas or any decision; personal or professional, that requires a level of creativity.
Its important that we don’t become too individualistic; in the sense of relying too much on our own perspective, but that we open ourselves up to hearing from others as much as possible. What may happen is that when you consult someone else on an idea, you may be inspired, or you might add your own twist on their idea. Just by asking someone for help, you open a door to new creative thinking.
- CHANGE OF ENVIRONMENT
Just as we surround ourselves with the right people, we need to also check our surroundings. Some experts would say being in nature helps with inspiration, and while it is true, it is also not always the most convenient advice to follow. Many of us may be living in the city, working from home or on a lockdown and can’t afford to go and see a sunset or climb a mountain in order to get creative.
Alternatively, we could add atmosphere to our environment by listening to soft peppy music as we think of creative ideas or solutions, we could form executive plans while we’re on the move by going for a run, we could think about decision strategies from a home gym rather than thinking from a desk.
The smallest thing may lead to creative inspiration and we just never know how potentially moving from one place to another might spark an amazing idea.
- JULIA CAMERON’S CREATIVITY TECHNIQUES
Recently I have been reading about ways to unleash your inner artist and the two techniques I found to be particularly helpful were the ‘morning pages’ and ‘the artist date’. The artist date refers to taking yourself out by visiting local galleries, going out to lunch with a book, listening to music by the beach etc. Going on an artist date on a Wednesday when its the middle of the week and you’re feeling creatively exhausted could actually be the perfect pick-me-up to help inspire you.
The morning pages are a daily activity where you write for 20 minutes every morning. Think of it as a brain dump where you write about anything and everything like your thoughts, your plans for the day, your feelings, your levels of tiredness etc. Its a simple but outstandingly effective method to make your mind less foggy, and it will lead to greater mental wellness as we become more in touch with our creative self.
- MEDITATION AND BREATHING
Incorporate meditation and breathing exercises into your routine and allow yourself to be still and calm. This will often become a mood-booster and stress reliever from the brain fog that happens during the week and will help you think with more clarity. Meditation’s power is boundless.
- TAKE AN INEXPENSIVE CREATIVE COURSE
Invest in a short course that is not too demanding but will contain creative activities. Try not to pick a course that is too long if you cannot guarantee a commitment to the programme. Instead, pick something short but effective – it’s not about the certification after all, its about getting those creative juices flowing.
These are just some ideas on handling creative blocks. It goes without saying that we shouldn’t limit creativity’s uses to the work setting. We need to allow creative expression to become our daily goal. Creativity is not a luxury. It’s not just something you need to have in order to be talented. Creativity is a wellness practice.
Its not just about coming up with mind-blowing pitches. Its not just about using creativity to write books or become a marketing expert. Its about constantly staying ahead of the game, so that you outperform any creative task given to you and beat creative burnout – no matter what day of the week.