7 Tips for Getting Past a Mental Block
Posted on 28th July 2021 at 16:30
We’ve all been there. You sit down to work on the task at hand, only for the creative juices to completely run dry. Instead of the usual energy and excitement, you might feel drained, indecisive and completely unable to drum up fresh ideas.
This kind of psychological barrier may arise because you’re stressed about the task’s outcome or it could be due to mental exhaustion, decision fatigue, impostor syndrome, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, or even working in a cluttered space.
No matter the cause, below are some handy tips for smashing through that wall.
Not everything has a “right” way
There might be a common way of doing things in your industry, but don’t feel too restricted by the norm. Come up with a few different ways to approach the problem – you just never know what could work.
Create now, edit later
Don’t let the strict, boring editor come into play before the inner artist has finished working its magic. Allow your imagination to go where it pleases, and don’t worry about an idea’s feasibility until the creative has left the room.
The editor in you can always make the craziest idea seem at least somewhat practical later on. Let go of the worry. Create.
Back to basics
Break down your task into the tiniest, most basic steps possible, and start working on them one by one. Taking the stress of the bigger picture off your plate and focusing on baby steps will get you into a positive headspace, and you’ll likely find the motivation to keep going once you’ve started.
Trying to bust through that invisible barricade unsuccessfully for hours will get you nowhere. Take a break, go for a walk, have a nap, watch or read something new, or even try a different creative task altogether just for fun.
You’ll either subconsciously work through the block, or at the very least get out of that rut and return refreshed.
Clutter can lead to stress and anxiety, as well as cause distraction and procrastination, all of which contribute to mental blocks. Get your space nice and tidy so your mind can focus on the task at hand, not to mention so you can be that little bit more organised, making your work more effective.
Don’t burn out
Make sure not to take on too much work or spend all of your free time on extra projects, as you’ll lose the passion that makes you so good at what you do.
Ensure you get a chance to enjoy yourself and wind down. If you need to discuss workload with a boss, don’t be afraid – less productive employees don’t help anyone, including themselves.
Ask for help
This is something a lot of us are often too stubborn to do but it’s time to change.
If you need help, ask colleagues, an online forum or even your Auntie Sue if you have to. They might come up with an idea on the spot that you never even considered, and just like that you could be back on track.
How do you do it?
Everyone has their own ways of bypassing mental blocks and we’ve definitely not covered everything. Please do let us know down in the comments – how do you do it?
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