Thursday, October 20, 2011

5 Tips to Keep You Creatively Fresh

By Mike Bindrup

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As content creators, we are faced with the constant challenge to create on demand. Let's face it, we all have days that we don't want to get out of bed, let alone create the newest marketing masterpiece for an important campaign. Here are 5 tips to keep you from creative burnout.


We are all creatures of habit. We drive to work the same way everyday, we park in the same area of the parking lot, we order the same item on the menu, we listen to the same music. Like it or not, our humanistic side craves stability and frequency as much as it craves creative expression. You need to interrupt your stagnant pattern. You need to try to do something different. Try to drive to work a different way. Listen to music you would not normally listen to. Change the channel to something you have never seen. It will give you a new perspective.


Move your desk. Change the decor where you work. Add a plant, change your chair. Take your laptop to your local coffee-house and work for the day. Work at the kitchen table for a change. I like to work on the back patio or in the garage from time to time. Just try a change of surroundings, you will be impressed how effective it can be.


If you are feeling bogged down creatively, go somewhere where you can have some new creative stimuli. Try a museum. Go window shopping at a mall you don't normally frequent. Get out in nature and just be there experience it. Go to the park and just walk around. Forget about work for a couple of hours and I like to go to the bookstore and look at all the creative books.


Research indicates that if you are not getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night, you are putting your health in jeopardy. Everyone needs sleep. Try getting a little extra at night. I know that most creatives are insomniacs who knock out some of their best work while burning the midnight oil (Myself included - It is nearly midnight as I write this). Try to go to bed at 9pm. Get up early and work on the project then. If you can't pull the 6 hours at night, take small naps during the day. Don't sleep longer than 30 minutes to avoid becoming groggy. Get a sleep mask and listen to relaxing music before bed and you will sleep deeper and better.


In our social media connected world, we live in a stream of constant noise. I read a book by Tim Ferriss, called the "4-Hour Workweek"; he suggests a one-week media fast: no TV viewing, no news, no magazines, no social media, & no internet. Once you remove the noise from your daily life, you begin to think differently. You have added clarity and focus.