How to Avoid and Cope with Creative Burnout

creative burnoutHave you ever experienced creative burnout?

You know – low energy, unenthused, and unproductive.

You stare at the computer screen because you don’t know where to start. If you’re actually able to start, you have no clue where you’re going. You wonder aimlessly and are not able to make any significant progress.

Or, worse

One day you wake up and just don’t feel like doing the work. It’s not fun or exciting, you’re just annoyed.

 

We’ve All Been There

There’s no singular cause of a burnout; creativity is a personal thing. When we combine out interests, imagination, and unique skill set we’re able to turn out some pretty awe-inspiring creations. But sometimes nothing clicks, nothing makes sense, and it seems as though there is nothing you can do about it.

Thankfully, that’s not the case. Here’s a list of some things you can do, and others you shouldn’t, to help prevent creative burnout.

 

Do

Stay inspired – get your creative juices flowing and keep them gushing by watching TED talks and documentaries, reading – everything, listening to music or attending a performance. Do whatever it takes to fire up your creativity and keep the flame burning.

Focus on what you love – if you’re doing work you enjoy, that you are truly passionate about, there’s less likelihood of a burnout. Remind yourself why your work matters, why you care, and how fortunate you are to be doing this work.

Change it up – mixing up your work environment can do wonders for your creativity. Try working from home or from the coffee shop. Or, hit up a co-working space to spark new ideas.

Say no – creativity and willpower can run out. For that reason, it’s important to realize that all ideas are not created equal. Some things are not worth your time and energy. Evaluate each opportunity and don’t be afraid to say no.

 

Don’t

Obsess – so you’re dealing with a case of writers block? Do not lock yourself in a room with a pen and pencil, refusing to come out until your novel is complete. Dedication is commendable, to a point; then it becomes counterproductive.

Be hypersensitive – know this, criticism makes us better. Don’t allow a bad review or subpar evaluation push you into a burnout. Rejection is no fun, but it is an opportunity to learn, grow and make improvements. Listen objectively to feedback and do not take it personally.

Be a perfectionist – perfect does not exist, done is the true objective. Forget about trying to please everyone and working out every detail. Set a deadline, make something, and ship it.

Freak out – whatever you do, don’t freak out or give up. A creative burnout is a lonely place. It’s cold and unforgiving. Although it may not be possible to completely prevent a burnout, it is possible to stay aware and minimize the crash.

 

What about you? Have you ever experience a creative burnout? How do you prevent it or deal with it?

About Joe Vennare

Joe is the co-founder of Hybrid Athlete where he writes, instructs and speaks about all things fitness. But, there’s more to him than just exercise, so he moonlights as a writer, bookworm and self-professed knowledge addict. For more, follow his business and fitness escapades on Twitter, @JoeVennare

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