We talk about burnout a lot around here. But what if you’re not on the brink of burnout, but you are a little bit tired and a lotta bit uninspired by what you need to do/make/create in your business?
This piece is for you.
I wanted to create a quick list of brain-boosters you can reference when it’s crunch time and all you can think about is, well, napping time.
(Although, I will say it here: I do NOT believe that output is the most important thing. I do NOT believe you should consistently push yourself to create more, better, and faster. But I will say that we live in a world that loves the hustle and sometimes we do have to ‘just keep swimming’ if we wanna keep the bills paid and the cat’s food bowl filled. So, there’s that.)
All that said, here are a few ways to get a quick burst of creative juju that doesn’t involve caffeine (my usual spark-starter of choice):
1.) Take one (super duper) small action.
When I’m struggling to finish (okay, or start) a project, I play a game with myself and break the entire thing down into teensy, weensy parts. Like, ridiculously small parts.
Then, I’ll tell myself I only have to do that first, tiny part – for now. For example, I’ll think something like, “Sure. I have a whole website due in 2 days that I haven’t started. But all I have to do right now is open up a new document and title it with the client’s name.” Once I do that, I usually tell myself I can do one more small action – but only if I want to.
The beauty in this silly little game is that by the time I get to tiny action #2, I’ve already done the hardest part – getting started. So, I’m way more apt to keep going.
Also, I’ve recently realized “collecting my materials” is an actual step in any creation process and NOT a procrastination tool (unless it starts taking you know, hours, or involves a half-hour pause to catch up on DVR). So, if I sit down to write and then realize I have to get up to find a book to reference or want a particular oil in my diffuser, I’ll allow myself the grace to get up and get the thing I want.
And I almost always return just as inspired – and even more ready-to-roll.
2.) Finish something you’ve already started.
I’ll admit it: I’m a total #lazygirl. Which means, if there’s an easier way to do something, I’m all over it. (It’s why I love repurposing my content so much!) That said, I think most small business owners have more ideas at our disposal than we know what to do with it. The problem is we don’t always implement them all. Except when you’re low on #inspo, it’s actually not a problem at all! Because chances are, if you need to create a powerful piece of blog content or snap an epic Insta-story on a deadline, you’ve already got a topic/idea stashed somewhere in draft form that just needs a few finishing touches.
When your brain is all blah, go for the low hanging fruit! (And, I must confess, this particular blog post was actually already about half done when I popped it open to finish it today. But you’d never know, would ya? 😉 )
3.) Hop on Reddit. Or Cosmo. Or your fave time-wasting website of choice.
Yes – I’m totally telling you to procrastinate. But only because studies say our brain does our most creative/inspired thinking when it’s not trying to be creative/mega-inspiring.
So when the task. just. isn’t.happening…shift your focus to having a little fun. I promise the inspiration – and energy! – will follow.
Did you know that studies say that we do some of our best creative thinking while exercising, and our best creative output within the first 90 minutes after exercise?
I mean, with data like that, it’d be almost stupid not to exercise to get your creative juices goin’, right?
Bonus points if your exercise includes spontaneous dance parties to Spotify’s Top 50 playlist. Because exercise that’s FUN? Well, that’s gotta be even MORE impactful.
5.) Affirm that you’re awesome.
No, really. I have a list of affirmations that are specific to my profession/the bulk of work I do (writing) that I call on when I’m feeling a bit blah about the whole thing. It’s true: Sometimes the blah comes from a poor client fit or a project that I know deep in my heart of hearts I shouldn’t have hurled a yes at anyway, but other times, it’s my own self doubt keepin’ me down. Why not try to create your own affirmations around whatever it is you (want to) do best? A good affirmation to turn to when you’re just not feelin’ is is something like, “I’m a fantastic coach who creates inspiring content with ease,” for example.
6.) When all else fails, channel someone YOU find inspiring.
Ask yourself: What would [insert-favorite-idol-here] do right now? How do you think they would handle the current task at hand? Usually, we imagine that they’d knock it out of the park. (Whether this is true or not is, of course, not something we can actually prove. BUT it definitely IS motivating!)
How about you, Best Kept Self’ers? What do you do when you’re tired and uninspired? As a general rule, a quick disclaimer: I truly believe the very best way to keep yourself insanely inspired, is to keep your work/life balance, well, as balanced as possible. I know that life and business requires seasons of “hustle” and I think those are totally cool (and often times necessary), as long as you counter them with seasons of flow.