Creative burn out is the most frustrating experiences – you’re tired, you’re stressed and you feel so far behind you feel you’ll probably never catch up. Don’t give up hope! There are a few easy things you can do to step back from your work, relax and come back better than before.
10. Take screen breaks
Most people do their work at a computer so our eyes are always glued to a screen. Opticians recommend a 20-20-20 rest – looking away from your screen every 20 minutes, at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Not only does it give your eyes a rest and keeps your sight healthy, but even a 20 second break can help your workflow and make sure you’re not overworking!
9. Talk to new people
Even doing something you love everyday can become frustrating and tedious, no matter how much we tell ourselves it won’t happen. Talking to new people and explaining your project and how amazing the outcome will be can refresh your whole view of life and get you back in the game!
8. Talk to your friends
Your friends are there to help you. The best way to keep yourself sane is with the help of your friends! Make time and just spend time with them – go out for dinner and a night on the town, stay in and play video games and eat pizza. It’ll help you avoid creative burn out, but it’ll also help your friends! Do something other than your project and you will all feel refreshed and clear headed for coming back to it!
7. Have a pitch day
I’m lucky that I have a great group of friends and we like to play a little game called ‘Dumb Pitch – Go’. The rules are you have to pitch the weirdest and silliest idea you can think of – book, show, product, anything! – and pitch the idea to everyone else. It gets your juices flowing, it’s fun and it’s always good for a laugh!
6. Watch your favorite shows and movies
Watching TV or a movie is always a nice experience but watching an exceptionally good show or movie can reset your views on how to approach a project and how to improve the way you’re handling your workload – remember, even the best creatives suffer from burn out and you’ll get through this!
5. Try new things
I’m not talking jumping out a plane (although if that’s what you want to do then you do you, boo) but even trying the smallest new thing can help. Learning a new skill will give you a nice boost of energy and motivation and reset.
4. Just do a little bit
If you’re already struggling, just do a little bit of work. Generally, we all push ourselves to get things done as quickly as we can and that can sometimes get us stuck in a creative burn out loop but so long as you do a small, tiny bit of your project, you’ve still done something great!
3. Tidy your work space
Take some time and clean and clear your work space! Throw your old pieces of paper into the bin, re-organise your desk drawers and your pens and pencils. Cleaning in itself is therapeutic but working at a clear and organised desk is like the freshly washed bed sheets of your brain.
2. Drink water or have a snack
Make sure you have something to eat and make sure you drink water – not soda or coffee! Water re-hydrates your whole body and snacks makes sure you’re full of energy. Even just a packet of crisps is enough!
1. Take a break
As with every piece of work, breaks are critical. You need rest and time to yourself without thinking about what you’re working on. Take a full day off – sleep well, have a healthy breakfast, have a full day of no screen time and rest up before going back and conquering the world!