With the end of the year quickly approaching and last minute projects and deadlines looming, it’s natural to start to feel overwhelmed or even a little burned out at work. Regardless of the love you have for your job, this frustrating feeling can happen to anyone as we go through different phases in our life. It’s even more difficult to admit that we aren’t always 100% awesome all of the time – it’s natural, we’re human. Thankfully, creative burnout isn’t some incurable disease. Here are some stimulating activities that you can do to re-engage yourself in your work and become an inspired force to be reckoned with!
1. Dip Your Toes into Multiple Pools at Work
One of the greatest ways to get your creative juices flowing and get new ideas for projects you are working on is to get involved with other projects at work. For instance, if you’re normally primarily in design-mode for Client projects, take on some marketing projects to add diversity to your workload or even shadow a position you know nothing about to gain insight into how other processes work. This not only gives you a chance to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to learn different parts of the business, but it could also potentially show you a more efficient way to do your job.
2. Get Outside of Your Normal Environment
One of the awesome employee perks at eMedia is the ability to work remotely. Switching up the environment you work in often helps you see things in a different perspective. Working remotely also gives you an opportunity to ease into the day and be comfortable in your own environment which ultimately lowers your stress level to think more clearly about the projects you are working on. If you’re not able to work from home, try working from a coffee shop, local library or even just a different place within your office – go hang out in the lobby on the couch, get outside, anywhere aside from the normal computer you’re used to sitting in front of day in and day out.
3. Treat the Work You’re Doing as More than Just a Commodity Project
One of the easiest ways to burn out quickly is by treating the projects you are working on as just another task on a list that you need to check off. By getting more involved in your work and digging deeper to discover the real purpose of why you are doing what you’re doing, you can attach more meaning to your projects. For instance, the website you’re creating shouldn’t just be another site to add to your portfolio. Who are you helping? How will this new website design change the lives of the business you are creating it for? Better yet, how will it improve the lives of those interacting with it? By searching for this deeper meaning and purpose beforehand, you not only become more invested in the project as a whole, but it will also positively boost the creativity put into your work.
4. Take a Walk & Grab a ? (if Your Work is Cool Like That)
If you have been staring at the same screen for hours and working on the same project, you’re more than likely going to lose your creative momentum, or hit a roadblock. When this starts happening, take a step back and change what you are working on. Take a walk, get some fresh air, grab a beer (if your workplace promotes that), clear your mind and find something else that inspires you. Doing this allows you to come back to the project later with a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective.
5. You’ve Got to Treat Yo’self
Have some PTO or extra vacation time accumulated? Take a day off during the week and treat yourself to a day just for you – consider it a mental health day, or just a creative break. Imagine how great it would feel to indulge in a day outside in the fresh air, or maybe you’d prefer to stay indoors binging on Netflix in your pj’s. Taking creative breaks is incredibly effective in boosting your productivity for your next day back to work. So detach from your routine, relax (maybe a glass of wine) and disconnect for a bit – you’ll be glad you did.
At the end of the day, you should always enjoy what you are doing, where you are doing it. If you feel like you are approaching the phase of burnout, start making some of these incremental changes to shift your perspective. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Creating superior products that turn heads isn’t all on you, it takes a tribe. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and the above tips aren’t cutting it, be transparent with your team and let them know you need help – it might just save your sanity.