Ever felt like you’ve read the internet and you’re still uninspired? Or your mind suddenly goes from a white-hot idea station to an ice block – and the more you think about it, the worse it gets?
I know the feeling. Here are my top 4 things to do when you need the light bulb to ting:
1. Free writing
This is something my favourite lecturer at university taught me. It involves writing; just writing – about anything. It doesn’t matter what you write because nobody will ever read it, but it opens up your mind in a way that I imagine yoga can when you get really good at it.
I didn’t believe that you could write your way through writer’s block before, but you really can. Here are a few writing exercises to explore, but you can even scribble down random words; you’d be amazed at how much of a thesaurus your mind has stored subconsciously over the years. You’ll also be surprised how and when the idea you need pops into your head.
We all tend to sit at our desks facing the same way – all day, every day. When you do something so repetitively and, at times, unknowingly, your mind can become bored. It needs stimulation and it needs excitement.
A simple thing to do is change your seating position; you can even stay at your desk, but twist your chair to face a different direction. I turn my chair from my window view to face my bookcase. I know you can’t see it from there, but my bookcase is great and real ‘deskspiration’; it’s filled with pastel coloured folders, reference files and my favourite recipe books (…Gino D’Acampo and The Chiappas sit side-by-side). The combination of practicality and prettiness pleases my mind no end.
If you’re more adventurous with your angles, maybe these exercises will help as well.
Your mind is like your body – a temple. When it’s bored, it needs excitement; when it’s sad, it needs happiness and when it’s hungry, it needs nourishment. Tasty, healthy meals do as much for the mind as it does the body. Often, when your mind is blocked and you lose concentration, it’s because it needs more energy.
Soon enough, you will find the food groups that do it for you. My go-to is pasta – it’s healthy, it’s versatile and it makes me feel good – especially when it’s homemade.
4. Take a break
KitKat® and my graphic designer friend swear by this. We often feel we need to stay chained to our desk to be productive, but it’s actually more important to take a break and relax to increase creativity and become more time-efficient.
Recent studies suggest that 52 minutes is the maximum amount of time we should work before taking a break. If you work in 1 hour stints, this gives you 8 minutes per hour to make a coffee, catch-up on the news and other things that you may have found yourself doing anyway – but without the guilt.
Once you’ve stimulated your mind and the ice block melts, you will be back to 100% success rate.
Plus, ideas can happen in the most unlikely of places. Who knows what can come from free writing whilst facing your bookcase and eating pasta? It could even be your next blog post…