How to Get Past that Mental Block

If you’re all too familiar with unproductive days and the good old mental block while you’re trying to study, work or do anything even the slightest bit creative, the good news is you are certainly not alone. That can be scant consolation, though, when you’re trying to get things done and the frustration is building – so what can you do to curb the brain fade and encourage inspiration?

How to Get Past that Mental Block
[image: pexels by steven arenas]

The process behind avoiding mental blocks can actually be boiled down to a few simple tips and tricks, and the pointers below might just help you find a way to overcome your mental challenges and get creative more consistently.

Overcome the internal to boss the external

The first step on the way to fixing the problem is understanding that productivity and creativity issues span from your internal mindset rather than just the external components relating to working well. Sure, you can have you desk set up well and have all the tech you could ever need on hand and ready to go, but if you don’t get past your mental hurdles, all that extra stuff becomes useless.

Mental blocks often boil down to one or more of the following:

• Self-doubt

• Indecision

• Rigid mindset

 Comparison with others

• Uncertainty

• Not understanding your limits

• Tunnel vision

When you encounter a mental block, the first thing you need to understand is why it’s happening and where it stems from. Once you know the problem(s) you face, you can come up with a much more targeted approach to help you get over the hump.

Break your task down

Regardless of the type of mental block you’re facing, one universally helpful method to any creative cause is to break the task you have down in front of you into more manageable chunks. This is a common tactic across all sorts of activities, from keeping yourself going on a run through to writing a book.

If you can make a daunting 3,000 word essay a much more appetising set of six short sessions of 500 words, or a huge canvas painting just one illustrative detail at a time, you’ll not only find you enjoy your work more, but also that you end up being more productive in spurts, too.

Step back

Beyond all the fancy plans and tactics you can construct for yourself to overcome a period of low brain activity, sometimes it’s best to simply step back and take a break. Whether that’s going for a walk, sitting on the sofa and watching some TV or getting yourself a snack, a quick 15 minutes or half an hour away from your work can help you to relieve any pent-up stress and come back with a bit more energy and maybe even a fresh perspective.

You never know, the perfect idea you’ve been searching for might just pop into your head while you’re wandering to your local Sainsburys for a Twix bar.

Reward yourself

Speaking of that Twix, setting a goal with your work and offering yourself a reward once said goal is achieved is a great way to keep you going through tougher times. The reward in question needn’t be anything too crazy – little things like the prospect of watching the next episode of your favourite Netflix series or getting in a takeaway are the sorts of things we’re talking about here.

Of course, you can ramp it up if you want and set yourself a bigger reward for completing a larger project. If you respond well to incentives and want to inspire a bit of competitiveness within yourself, this is an easy way to do it.

See the wider perspective

Mental blocks happen all the time, so it makes sense to take broader steps to encourage more creativity in your life. That way, the next time a mental block threatens your progress, you have more inspiration in your life to overcome it.

What can help you attain more inspiration? Travel is one area – whether you’re headed off on a three-month tour of the Americas or hopping on the next London to Hartlepool train, seeing different places will help enhance your world view. The same goes for getting out there and talking to different people and hearing different perspectives. Essentially, anything that can help you see things from a new angle in life could help you the next time you’re sat staring blankly at your computer screen.

It might not feel like ingenuity comes naturally to you, but one thing for sure is that we’ve all got our own brand of creativity within us – it just needs coaxing out sometimes. Perhaps with the tips above, you might find yours.

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