Here are 5 Techniques for Overcoming Writer’s Block:Creativity is necessary for some much of what we do every day. When we’re “in the zone” our newest web design, web development concept or client presentation seems to flow out of us and all the dots connect seamlessly. But we’ve also experienced the other extreme. The clock ticks incessantly on an impending deadline, the more you try and force your focus the more distracted you become, until you feel incapable of stepping up to the task at hand. You’ve smashed into that impassible wall known as writer’s block. The good news is you’re not alone. Every one of us has encountered this obstacle, threatening to obstruct our path to productivity and success. And the better news is, there are ways you can climb right over the wall and continue on your way to completing your project.
1. Get the blood pumping and oxygen circulating.Take a walk. It sounds too easy to be true, but it is an exceptional way to clear your head. It is even more effective if you make an effort to be “in the moment” by paying attention to your surroundings on your walk instead of visualizing your deadline as an anvil about to drop on your head and bust it wide open like a watermelon at the hands of Gallagher (http://gallaghersmash.com/). A walk also packs the added punch of getting your blood pumping, which increases blood circulation and oxygen, and this is vital to achieving peak brain function. Sedentary lifestyle habits, like sitting at your desk all day, inhibits effective blood circulation and can have the same stifling effect on your creativity. Many times a momentary change of scenery, coupled with some physical activity and movement, is all you need to reinvigorate your creative mojo.
2. Take a mental break to switch gears and recalibrate your focus.Occasionally, you hit a wall and all you need to get over it is to step back from the project for 10 minutes and let your focus recalibrate. The key to not getting mindlessly sidetracked is to limit your breaks to a specific amount of time, not exceeding 10 or 15 minutes. It is best if your break involves reading or writing. Perhaps you indulge your guilty pleasures, that celebrity gossip website or check the scores on ESPN.com or go on your social networks and check out what your friends and family are up to. But again, be disciplined or this won’t work and could become just another way to procrastinate.
3. De-clutter your environment to reduce distractions.Whether you believe that your surroundings can physically block energy, as in Feng Shui, or you just subscribe to the general principle that a messy work space is a needless distraction, it seems to improve clarity of focus when there is not “stuff” scattered haphazardly where you are working. Keep disorder to a minimum and it will enhance the process of organizing of your thoughts. A scattered work area can easily lead to scattered thoughts.
4. Limit outside interruptions.This goes beyond your physical setting to include outside distractions such as phone calls, emails, social media and messaging notifications, television, interruptions from family, friends and co-workers, to the alluring temptations of the world wide web. Whether it’s eBay, Facebook, Zappos or cat videos on YouTube that entice you to drift, you have to empower yourself to just say no when you need to buckle down and produce a finished, quality project. Turn the phone on silent, adjust your settings to off, let those around you know you’re “off limits” for the next hour, or three, and close your internet browser. The world will not cease to turn if you go “underground” for a few hours.
5. Two minds can be better than one.Get a second opinion. Collaboration can be a rewarding way to push through your writer's block. If you are writing an article, you can call an expert on the subject for a short interview. You reap the benefit of a relevant quote that improves your work, while expanding your perspective and, hopefully, making a new valuable connection. If the project is a presentation, try asking a colleague, friend or spouse to listen to your pitch and offer feedback. It will be helpful to have someone to bounce ideas off as well as give an insight or perspective that takes your concept to another level or in a different direction that you would not have thought of on your own.
The important elements of web development, web design, SEO, graphic design, or any creative development work, all require a high level of creativity and focus. It’s vital to have strategies to deal effectively with blocks when they occur. We would enjoy hearing what strategies get you past writer’s block and back on the path to productivity. What practices help you get into your creative flow?