Posted by Kellie Shadle on Friday, January 31, 2014 - 00:00
Do these short, chilly winter days leave you feeling sluggish and stuck in a creative rut? Are heavy workloads and unrelenting deadlines taking a toll on your ability to "think big"? Do you feel like Bill Murray's character from "Groundhog Day" where every workday runs into the next?
You may be experiencing a creative block – not good news for any creative professional.
Although I'm a big proponent of having a work routine, I've learned that incorporating changes into my day – even small ones – can be invigorating. Here are five ideas to help you break through a creative block and get reinspired at work:
1. Think back. What originally drew you to your job? Perhaps you loved the hands-on work of being a web designer but now that you're in a managerial position, you spend more time overseeing others than creating wireframes. If you're doing less of what you love, ask your boss if it's possible to incorporate more of it into your job description.
2. Break out of your comfort zone. Sometimes we hit a creative block because we're doing the same thing day in and day out. If your workload permits, volunteer for projects that fall outside your job scope or allow you to interact with colleauges in other departments. Leave the “creative bubble” and head over to the PR team to see what they're working on. Taking on new projects and interacting with different people can provide fresh perspective.
3. Get creative with your workspace. Spruce up your workspace with new artwork or quotes that you find inspiring – whether it's your cube, a common wall or your home office. Posting examples of innovative ad campaigns, your favorite fonts or fresh colors, can help fuel your creativity.
4. Stretch your skill set. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill and set attainable goals for mastering it. If you're a copywriter, research different SEO techniques and try a new method each week. If you're a designer, register for that coding class you've been meaning to take. Learning a new skill can increase your creative thinking and overall value as an employee.
5. Be a mentor. Mentoring new employees or less experienced staff members can be beneficial to both you and the trainee. You'll develop better leadership skills and help them succeed. And who knows, you may even draw inspiration from them and learn something new!
Your job doesn't have to be a drag and you certainly shouldn't wait for spring to bust through a creative block. Small changes can have a significant impact on your outlook and on-the-job output. If all else fails, take a short vacation or extra day off. Everyone needs time to recharge and a brief respite from the daily demands of your job may be all you need to feel energized and inspired once again.