5 Tools to Prevent Creative Blocks and Burnout

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Balancing work and life can be taxing. When you are out of balance, it can cause creative blocks, burnout, and make it hard to focus. You might find you have all the tools to prevent any of the above disadvantages, but they still find a way to occur in some areas of your life. 

A little History

As a writer and business owner, I recently experienced my first burnout and tried everything I could to break through, yet nothing worked. I had to re-evaluate everything from my habits, to my way of thinking, and interactions I had with people.

 After taking a project management course and doing some personal research, I realized they all advised you to create a system that will help you accomplish tasks. 

A system is a plan or routine you create that helps you improve your life a little bit each day. 

James Clear said it best in his book Atomic Habits, “If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your systems.”

I have blogged for many years, but I’ve never been able to stay consistent with my work. My lack of a routine/system caused my blogging career to be inconsistent and not financially fulfilling.

I noticed I was blogging based on my mood. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, it can become an issue when you are building a creative career.

Overcoming Burnout and Creative Block

I tried everything to take my writing career off the ground, but nothing worked. Being creatively blocked became my new norm. When I realized my block was a form of feeling burnt out, I knew something had to change. 

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After reevaluating my life, I put a system into place which emphasized the following tools below. While these are the foundation of my many methods, they have helped me push through not wanting to create- to creating something daily.  

  1. Rest: We all know resting is essential. It is crucial to anything you want to do in life. I’m not talking about 8 hours of sleep type of rest. While that is important also, I am talking about mental and physical rest. It would be best if you let your mind take a break from crafts or tasks. At the same time, you must remember how to let your body relax too. I won’t go into detail about rest since there is lots of information on how important it is. However, you must remember to do it. 
  2. Create a system instead of a goal: Previously, I mentioned how I recently learned the importance of having a system instead of a goal—having a plan allowed me to breathe during a big project or launch for my handmade business. Before I created a system, I would experience a severe case of imposter syndrome.
  3. Project management tools: Practicing and utilizing project management in your life, whether it’s for business or everyday tasks, will give you a better workflow. My best trick for project management is what writers do when creating a draft. I outline everything to the final step. When using project management, it also helps you create a system more efficiently. “A handful of problems arise when you spend too much time thinking about your goals and not enough time designing your systems” James Clear.
  4. Read or listen to an audiobook: We all know that reading is good for us. It helps our brain connect different theories, ideas, and experiments and escape from our realities. While you might feel like you are full of ideas, reading allows your thoughts to either turn into projects or slowly drift away into the galaxy of ideas. Whenever I feel burnt out, the last thing I want to do is read a book -but it is the first thing I pick up. However, when you find yourself reading, try not to become a binge-reader; you can get stuck in a different hole (the goal is to avoid blocks and holes).
  5. Try a new hobby: You have to get distracted, so what’s better than controlling what distracts you. I am the queen of being distracted; I blame my wild party life as a young adult. While most people view distractions as a bad thing, distractions can be the best thing God has ever given to you. The beauty of free will.

While these are a few tools for you to try, there are countless books and blog posts to help you through your creative blocks and burnouts. The tools mentioned above were the few that helped me break-through my burn out, and reach a level of “Plateau of Latent Potential,” a coined term from the book A Artists Way, referring to the crossing point people endure when tracking their habits.

You can’t allow the burnout feeling to get the best of you. Instead, you have to overcome it. Yes, it takes time, but it gets easier, thanks to your system resulting in good habits. It is something you incorporate into your life until it becomes second nature. 

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Many things in your life will change when you start to implement a system to help you succeed. If you are thorough when creating your system, you will find that you are more focused and creative.

You will find yourself living, breathing, and eating creativity. As one of the basic principles in the Artists Way states, “Creativity is God’s gift to us, using our creativity is our gift back to God. 

In conclusion

To overcome burnout, you have to be kind to yourself. Rewarding yourself is key to a happy, successful, balanced life. If you don’t take anything from this, there is one last tip I would like to suggest; create an afternoon routine. 

Having an afternoon routine helps you check in with yourself throughout the day. It reminds you to loosen up as well as take a break. 

Remember, burnout is a sign of not taking a breather, so give yourself a break already, and get back to the luxurious flow of creativity.

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