Remember last week when I said I had a project that made my brain hurt? Well, it’s still making my brain hurt and it’s giving me a nasty case of writer’s block. Unfortunately, much of my work (besides blogging) requires me to do lot’s of high level thinking and writing. I can’t just jot down simple memos or plagiarize other people’s work (although sometimes I wish I could). Regardless, I love writing and coming up with new ideas and proposals even if it does cause me to stare blankly at my computer screen at times.
No matter how good of a worker you are, though, chances are you’ll come up against the dreaded brain block at some point! Here are some tips to help you snap out of it and get back to being that awesome productive worker who makes people gasp at the high quality of your work!
Do something else for a little bit. Instead of beating your head against your desk, put that project aside and do something else. Maybe try your hand at the next project on your list, read an interesting article, or call your doctor and make that appointment you’ve been putting off. No matter what it is, take a step back and redirect your attention for a little bit. When you feel like you’ve cleared your mind you can head back to your original project with a fresh perspective.
Read similar articles/memos/etc. for inspiration. Do a little bit of digging and find a few articles or memos that are similar to what you’re working on. I’m not saying you should plagiarize them (that’s illegal!), but they might give you the creative push you need to finish what you’re doing!
Go for a walk or chat with friends. Psh, why work when you’re not being productive anyway? Just kidding (kind of)! But don’t feel guilty taking a short walk or stopping by a colleague’s desk to shoot the breeze. Sometimes all you need to get back on track is something that gets you totally off of it. Take a few minutes to relax before starting up again to get the project finished.
Ask others for their opinion (but don’t necessarily take it). Sometimes when I’m stuck for what to write, the best thing I can do is ask someone else what they think (if it’s not confidential, of course). Listening to other’s opinions may spark your imagination and help give you a different view of the project you’re working on. However, be wary when doing this. Some people will give you their advice with the hopes it will benefit them (or the project that they’re working on). Use your judgment and only incorporate ideas you find are in line with the values your current project is trying to promote.
Now it’s your turn! Have you ever had writer’s block? How’d you get yourself past that obstacle to finish your work?