Sometimes every day at work can feel like a battle you’ve already lost. You nestle down only to find that you’d rather punch yourself in the face than go through the same routine yet another day.
Resistance sinks in like a battery that slowly drains every ounce of energy in your being. Inspiration is nowhere to be found — just the same old self-doubt and stuckness. You feel like one of those wind-up, key-turn dolls. Programmed to move toward inevitable defeat.
Another blog post, email, phone call. Repetitive, tedious, uninspiring. Your work has gotten stale, and you desperately need something to shake things up. You long for the days when you first started, when you were excited, optimistic and hopeful.
Getting nostalgic won’t help you, though, and what got you here won’t get you there.
Every day we’re given 24 brand new hours to live and do our work. You get to decide how you’ll use your time.
Here are 11 ways you can break the cycle of resistance and monotony, and reclaim your passion.
1. Pretend that nothing matters.
Release your desire to be perfect, to be great, to even have your project turn out the way you think it should.
Relax what you think your work should be to make room for the beauty of what is.
2. Get off the screen.
Try using your hands. Sketch, collage, paint, dance it out.
Get off the screen and into the world, then bring it back into your digital masterpiece.
3. Give as if you’ll die tomorrow.
Your last breath might be in fifty years or 50 seconds. You never know. Why not give completely before you die?
4. Act as if you know nothing about what you’re doing.
Pretend that you’re a complete beginner, exploring every facet of your project for the first time. Dare to believe that you might be able to learn something new, that you don’t have everything figured out.
5. Ditch your list.
Terrifying, I know. We all to some degree or another identify with our achievements and checking things off a list.
Find out what happens for a day when you set intentions and go with the flow, but don’t make any lists.
6. Play with embodying qualities.
What do you most want or need to embody today to make your work as awesome as it can be? Courage? Grace? Discipline?
Whatever you most need, play as if that quality is your unique superpower. It’s something so ingrained in you that you couldn’t stop doing it even if you tried. Now, get to work.
7. Move your body.
Yes, seriously. Energy gets stuck in our bodies and our creativity gets stifled when we become rigid and stuck in the same postures.
Need more ease in your work? Try yoga or dance. Want more boom? Do a bodyweight or crossfit style circuit.
Get your energy flowing, but don’t shake it off. Channel it into your work.
8. Stop being so damn serious.
The truth is, your work doesn’t matter nearly as much as you think it does. Sure, it might be important. People are potentially counting on you. There may be repercussions if you don’t get it done on time.
But for the love of God, let’s stop acting like if we don’t get it done, our entire self-image and world is going to fall apart.
Everything we build will eventually fall apart someday. Let’s stop acting as if everything is permanent.
Let go. Relax. Create your art.
9. Get turned on.
Creativity is sex. It’s the joining and merging of ideas and inspiration into form.
Can you really expect to create anything inspired if you’re not the slightest bit aroused? So… what turns you on about your work?
- What really gets you off?
- What lights you up?
- What stimulates you?
Go back to that. Sometimes it’s as easy as remembering why the hell we’re doing things in the first place.
10. Do it with more love.
What’s the most loving way you can possibly work, right now?
- How can every email you write be a love note?
- How can every problem you solve be an offering of your deepest gifts?
- How can you do your work so the world becomes a more beautiful place?
Work becomes a chore when we’re too in our head, worrying, agonizing, and stressing about potential outcomes. Drop back into your heart, your body, your Why.
11. What’s the simplest, smartest, easiest way to get it done?
Let’s just be real. Sometimes your tank is empty. Sometimes you just ain’t got nothing left to give, but you still need to get it done.
In that case, find the most intelligent way of getting it done with the least amount of effort.
“Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.” —Robert Heinlein
What do you do when you’re feeling the funk?
What gets you moving and creating from a place of renewed energy and inspiration?
Share in the comments so we can all learn from each other.