You Can’t Force Creativity: Know When to Work and When to Stop
Creativity is a huge part of business in general and marketing in particular.
While there are courses and books out there about creativity, when we get right down to it you don’t have to pay big money to enrol on a course or buy self-help books. Sure those aren’t the worst ideas but creativity is such an individual experience, and it’s something you can develop and practice on your own. And just like the other muscles in your body, your brain is a muscle that needs to get a workout too. There are many different things you can do to get your creative juices flowing, but here’s the most important tip: know when to switch it off.
Example. You’re working on a project that requires a bit of flair. Maybe you’re ghostwriting an e-book or a series of blog articles, or maybe you’re designing a new website. With the deadline looming you may think that you have to work 24/8 (figuratively speaking of course), keeping your head down and just powering through it to get it all finished.
That’s how many of us tackle projects.
And that might actually be the worst thing for you when it comes to creative work. Let’s face it, if you’re not feeling creative you’re going to end up staring at a blank page, which will only stress you out even more. Forcing creativity never works.
Instead, learn to recognize the signals that it might be time to stop for the day. As mentioned above, if you’re not feeling creative it’s not something you can just will into existence. You have to learn to listen to your intuition and if you’re feeling stuck, take a break and walk away for a bit. (Literally walk away!)
You may even find it’s during that break that your creativity starts flowing and you come up with a great new idea for that project. It also works the other way, too. If your intuition is telling you that you’re about to have a breakthrough and come up with the creativity you need to finish the project, then keep on working.
What if you don’t have a project with a deadline, though? Maybe you just want to develop your creative side. The same rules apply. You cannot force yourself to get the creative juices flowing. If you’ve been starting a blank document on your computer monitor for 30 minutes, chances are you need to get up and vacate the area. Or maybe you can take a few minutes to just start writing and see what happens. Sometimes that can do the trick and trigger your creativity. You know yourself best so learn to listen to your intuition and work with yourself instead of against yourself.
While you can practice and develop your creativity, and you can train yourself to be creative on demand, part of that training is learning when to step away. By listening to that inner voice and recognizing the signs that you may be stuck, you’ll find it much easier to produce creative works.