Have you ever found yourself starring at a project for hours on end, struggling to expand your train of thought to complete it? Don’t worry, it happens to everyone. These creative ruts can be caused by working on too many things at once, procrastinating, burnout, etc., and what’s really frustrating, they can sometimes last for days. In order to take control of these situations, you have to respond appropriately. We recently asked people to find out some popular tips and tricks for breaking these roadblocks.
Here are 6 ways to overcome productivity roadblocks:
1. Go for a walk
You’ve probably heard this one before. It was the number one answer among everyone that was interviewed. It can be hard to leave your desk, especially if you’re working to a tight deadline, but physically removing yourself from the project will be so much more beneficial than trying to sit there and push through it. Give yourself a break, go outside if you can, and take your mind off of your work for a bit. Exercise is as good for the mind as it is for your body. Some people also suggest listening to music or to a podcast while exercising to truly distract their minds from work and focus on music or the podcast.
2. Creative Sprint
Ready, get set, go! Set a timer for at least 10 minutes and just start writing or sketching as many ideas as you can in the allotted time. Thinking too much about something can sometimes have the opposite effect and won’t get the project done. This strategy works because it’s forcing you to think less and experiment more. Doing this often gets you out of your comfort zone too, so you’ll probably get something unexpected by the end that you wouldn’t even have thought to try before.
3. Take a shower
This one already fits into your routine! Isolate yourself to be free from distractions. When your body is relaxed, it releases a chemical known as, dopamine which is necessary to gain inspiration. For that reason, according to a study done by Scott Barry Kaufman, 72% of people get their best ideas in the shower for that reason. Even if you’re not trying to get through a roadblock, your mind will naturally travel through tons of thoughts and ideas. One of them may just be the spark you need.
4. Work on something else
Don’t want to leave your desk? No problem, you can work on a different project and then go back to the previous project with a fresh set of eyes. Some people prefer to revisit the project the same day and some prefer not to look at it or think about it until the next day. It’s depends on you and when you feel ready to go back to it again.
5. MindMap Brainstorm
Take a few minutes to rethink about the project from different perspectives in a judgement-free environment. There are many different methods of brainstorming. One way that was suggested is to create a mind map and fill every inch of a white board with ideas, themes, or concepts.Do this alone or bring in colleagues to bounce ideas off of. This is an effective way to help you get back into that groove because you’re writing down all ideas, whether they are good or bad to spark a successful solution.
6. Have a snack
You’re not you when you’re hungry. Try not to grab a Snickers though, go for something a little more nutritious to keep you focused. Food is what gives you energy for the day, so it is crucial to make sure you’re supplying yourself with enough meals and snacks to get your creative juices flowing.
Remember these activities the next time you feel like your brain is fried. Which do you find most helpful?