1. Change Your Location
Most of the time I can write at home, but there are days when I sit down at my computer, look around the room, and realize I haven’t cleaned my ceiling fan in a month. Now all I can think about is the fan and how much dust it’s circulating into the air. Should I go buy some Claritin just to be safe? If this happens, change your location. If you can’t leave your house, go to a different room. Go to a coffee shop or try a different booth. It seriously helps more than you’d imagine.
2. If Possible, Turn Off Your Phone
I understand that there are times when you have to have your phone on, but if you’re working on a deadline and you really need to focus, turn it off. Even if you haven’t gotten a call or text all day, as soon as you sit down to work every person you’ve met in the last decade is going to start texting you. I’m still not even sure how my 11th grade geography teacher even got my number, to be honest.
3. Just Start Writing Or Drawing
It may not have anything to do with what you’re working on, but just start creating. If you’re writing, just start writing about anything whatsoever. If you’re drawing or painting, get a scrap piece of canvas or paper and just start creating.
4. Don’t Overdo Yourself
If you’re on a creative streak then ride it for as long as possible, but at a certain point you have to stop working and be done for the day. Pushing yourself too far will only cause you to get burned out.
5. Organize Your Workspace
If your work area is covered in papers, Taco Bell wrappers, trash, and half full cans of Sprite, it’s going to slow down your creativity. Take a few minutes to clean up and organize your area and it’ll instantly make a difference.
6. Take A Walk
I don’t know what it is about a walk, but even if you just take a lap around the block it gets your heart pumping and, not only clears your mind, but also gets you out of that office chair and provides some exercise for you.
7. Take A Shower
I always have my best ideas in the shower. There’s no texts or emails or tweets that can distract you. Don’t take a bath or you can still grab your laptop or phone to get distracted. 15 minutes in the shower is sometimes all it takes to completely refresh your mind.
8. Go Get Some Frozen Yogurt
I know it sounds silly, but if I’m feeling really uncreative I’ll go to a frozen yogurt place and try to come up with the most unconventional combination of ingredients I can. It’s a nice mental exercise that also happens to be delicious.
9. Keep Going
I’ve worked on projects that, halfway through, I realized that I did not enjoy at all. The worst thing you can do is to keep putting it off because it’ll just linger in the back of your brain reminding you of your incomplete task. It may be the most grueling task, but push through and finish it. You’ll feel relieved and accomplished knowing you finished it.
10. If All Else Fails, Take A Nap
It may seem like it goes against everything creative or productive, but there comes a point when you’re just mentally exhausted and your contacts feel like silver dollars covered in glue in your eyes. Close your computer, turn off everything, and go close your eyes for 30-45 minutes. Even if you don’t actually sleep, it’ll help. Do NOT bring your phone with you or you’ll spend the whole time reading your cousin’s Facebook page instead of letting your brain rest.