Breaking Down

Working out and developing muscles takes hard work, pain and often hurts miserably. The same is true for our creative muscles. Creativity is a muscle that the more we use, the better it gets. But, much like pizza for breakfast before hitting the gym, there are some things that we need to find ways of avoiding to stay our most creative selves:

  • Stress – If we need to be creative, we need to find some stress reducers. Exercise, going a walk, stepping back from a project, saying prayers…whatever we have to do to change our focus from our situation and reduce the stress.
  • Lack of sleep – Creativity is the first thing to go when we are tired. We’re not able to process normally and have to force our attention to focus on something it just doesn’t have the energy to do. Manage your energy and monitor your sleep so that you can be your most creative. Studies have proven that less than 7 hours of sleep for 3 straight nights causes our bodies to react as if we’re intoxicated.
  • Avoiding being intentional – We must intentionally refill our creativity. When we pour out non-stop, we have to refill or the tank will be empty. In our busy lives, we have to intentionally create time to be creative if it’s not happening naturally.
  • Focusing on too many ideas – We should always be documenting ideas, but our most important ideas need all the focus necessary to complete them. Scott Belsky said it best when he said “the greatest enemy to our ideas are newer ideas.”

What are some of the things that cause you to personally break down creatively?

3 comments Add yours
  1. For me, creative breakdown begins when I fail to properly manage momentum. In my creative process momentum can be the difference maker for a project or a weekend or a design.

    It takes a lot of hustle to get the big mo rolling in the right direction and when it does go, it seems that more gets accomplished in one day then in an entire week. The challenge with that is that there is a temptation to continue to ride the mo to the point of exhaustion. When that happens it is almost like I experience a hangover the next day and all the mo I had is nowhere to be found and breakdown sets in.

    On the flip side of that being disciplined to step away, go home and get some rest… the next day picking up where I left off becomes easy, the creative mo continues and I can manage to ride the mo throughout the week or month. It all comes down to proper management.

  2. Creating space to create – that’s my killer.

    It plays off your third point; for me, creating a space is a combination of literally making an environment and dedicating time to work. It doesn’t have to be a permanent location either. Just knowing where I’ll be and what my day’s commitments – that’s my biggest hurdle.

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