Do you feel guilty taking breaks at work? It’s tempting to power through because our days are so busy and there is always a pile of work waiting to be completed. But taking breaks (even long ones) can actually make you more productive.
Here are 4 techniques that really work for me.
1. Change your environment
Sometimes simply getting away from your desk to grab a cup of tea or coffee is all you need to get the creative juices flowing. By breaking the pattern of sitting at the desk and staring at your screen, you refresh your mind so new ideas come to you. Personally, I like to go for a walk or grab a glass of water.
2. Structure your day
When you are planning your workday, think about when you are most likely to be at your creative best vs your most logical. Don’t attempt to sandwich creative work between logical tasks like planning, budgeting or sending accounts.
My most creative time is in the morning so that’s when I do most of the writing for my clients’ projects. If logical tasks need to be done, I save them for the afternoon. But everyone is different so experiment to see what works well for you.
3. The creative switch
We have all experienced times when our carefully planned day doesn’t eventuate. So what do you do if you can’t do your creative tasks at your most creative time?
When this happens to me, I work on the priorities first and then take a long break before I begin my creative, copywriting work.
To be honest, a long break does sound extravagant in a busy schedule with lots of client deadlines. But experience has taught me it is an investment in time that will pay big dividends no matter how counter-intuitive it may seem.
Your brain may work differently to mine. But I know it takes me an hour or so to move from efficiently performing logical tasks to working creatively. I’ll spend that time having an early lunch break, going for a walk or calling clients.
4. Hit the keyboard
If you have tried all of the above suggestions and you are still struggling to write anything worthwhile, just do it anyway! I set myself the goal of writing for an hour so I begin to get the creative juices flowing.
It’s okay if the first draft isn’t perfect. At least you have started writing and I find this discipline tends to work like a charm. In a creative job, some days are just harder than others. The key is to keep going.
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