Have you ever been working on a project and after awhile the wheels stop spinning and you feel like you’re make no progress? You then find yourself distracted mindlessly flipping between Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram looking for ‘inspiration’ but it just isn’t happening?
Now that I’m a work at home mumma each minute is precious and after 30-60 minutes of feeling stuck on a project then I find it’s usually time to try something else.
One super simple technique that I’ve used for years has been to take 5 small blank notecards (or more if you want) and a sharpie and write down some activities that you find creatively inspiring or require a change of scene. Usually something that wouldn’t take more than 30mins to complete. When you’re feeling stuck pull out a random card and do what you find.
Here were my original 10 tips to reset my creativity from when I was at university:
- Take a shower. Or a bath if you so prefer.
- Walk around the block
- Have a snack
- Clean your room
- Look at art books
- Get a cuddle from Mum
- Listen to Sigur Ros Beautifully melancholic and inspiring music.
- FREEDOM call. Basically you yell FREEDOM really loudly to let out your frustrations. It’s very cathartic.
- Pray. For when I’m reeaaallly desperate and need divine intervention.
- Tidy your workspace. Clutter can be very distracting.
Being a mum it’s now a lot harder to just leave the house so my go to activities are a little different. I work during nap times so leaving the house is not an option.
These are my go to top 5 being a work at home mum:
- Listen to a podcast (particularly creative). If we go for a walk to the park then while we’re walking I’ll listen to an audio book to motivate me so that when I arrive home I’m bursting with new ideas and motivation. I loved Seth Godin’s Linchpin. There are so many great podcasts but two creative ones that I love are Design Matters with Debbie Millman and After the Jump with Grace Bonney from Design*Sponge.
- Make a cup of tea and have a nourishing snack. Being fed and having water handy also means that I won’t be tempted to leave when I get into the flow because I’m hungry or thirsty.
- Step outside for some air and take 5 deep breaths (preferably while the kettle is boiling).
- Do a 5 minute nagging task. Sometimes if I’ve got too many nagging ideas pulling me in different directions or I’m feeling the pressure from domestic life piling up I’ll take 5 minutes to empty the dishwasher or put on a load of washing. It usually gives me a mental boost for feeling like I’ve ticked something off the list.
- Write all the nagging thoughts I’ve got down. Often due to my time restrictions I’m trying to achieve way too much in the time I’ve got. By writing down all the distracting thoughts down as they pop in to interrupt helps me to concentrate on the task at hand and give it my full attention. I know I can focus if the reminders are safely written down to deal with later.
Obviously everyone has different ideas about what will refresh them or spark new ideas but I highly recommend stepping away from your project or task before you spin your wheels too long and become frustrated. By resetting your state of mind hopefully you can leave any frustration behind to make way for new ideas and ways of thinking.
What do you do to reset when you are feeling stuck or uninspired?