The Calculated Creative

4 Ways to Prevent Burnout (Creativity Isn’t Sexy)

How to deal with ignored work, crippling self-doubt, and worries about money.

Creativity isn’t sexy.

It’s mired with ignored work, crippling self-doubt, and worries about money.

But it doesn’t have to always be this way.

Having a few simple fallback methods can be the easiest way to keep your heart in the game.

Here’s 4 ways to stop yourself from spiraling into burnout:

1. Processes

Reinventing the wheel every single time you start a new project is not a sustainable way to work.

Instead, create a toolbox you can pull from to help nudge you in the right direction.

By having fallback processes in place to keep you moving during creative ruts, difficult client convos, or failed projects you prevent yourself from getting stuck.

2. Inspiration

Dribbble, Pinterest, Instagram, Designspiration, Reddit, Twitter…the list goes on.

Having an inspiration bank can be a fantastic way to get the creative juices flowing after they’ve come to a complete halt.

Stuck on a current project? Dig into others work and start to look at how they solved a similar problem.

Note the approach and then get to work doing it in your own way.

3. Breaks

Sometimes it takes stepping away from the work to gain the perspective you need to keep going.

For me, short walks around the block with the dogs help take my mind off of myself and difficulties with a specific project.

Freeing up space to come back to the problem later. All without the previous closeness and stress clouding the potential solution.

Sometimes it’s a quick 5 minute stretch. And other times it’s a full weekend of shutting off technology.

4. Relationships

Having someone to talk to who understands the creative process can be hugely helpful.

Waking up to a choice of continuing down your creative path every day can be taxing to say the least.

But knowing that there are people who understand the struggle and can help offer words of wisdom in difficult times can sometimes be the only thing you need to keep going.

How this is relevant for a:

Freelancer — New projects come and go. But adaptation can be either your biggest strength or a frustrating weakness. Look to the steps above for a solid safety net.

Full-timer — One of your biggest challenges comes from being around the same people for longer periods of time. Use this to your advantage and lean on the steps above to bring out the best from those on your team.

Dabbler — It’s likely that you jump from project to project based on what excites you the most. But starting to set up more consistent structures around you to help with your creative pursuits is what will take your work to the next level.

Creative work can be draining.

But having tools at your disposal to help through the difficult times can make a world of difference.

Make Your Work
Suck Less

Pulling back the curtain on the creative process to help make your work a little less terrible. A 3-minute read delivered each week on Monday morning.

The Calculated Creative

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