10 Tips to Break Your Productivity Slump 

by Nick Cicero on Jul 15, 2014
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crumpled paper ballThere’s a debilitating disease affecting nearly one in three creatives on the planet. They call it a slump, and if you’re one of the millions of suffering each year, you know that it’s a feeling that completely alters your state of being, with side effects including, but not limited to broken pencils, keyboards, and increased desire to be a trash can basketball player.

Maybe a difficult client has got you stuck in front of a blank notebook.

Maybe it’s a blog post you’re halfway through writing but just can’t seem to make the words sound right.

Maybe it’s a daunting list of to-do’s that seems to follow you around all day and not get any shorter.

Losing time to slump is losing more than just losing money, it about losing confidence and that edge that keeps you moving up in the world. 

So if you’re wondering how to break out of a productivity slump, how to stay creative or even how to beat writer’s block you’re in luck.

In preparation for the Social Fresh EAST Conference starting this week, we’ve asked a group of former Social Fresh speakers who are no strangers to producing a lot content week after week what they do.

Matthew Knell

Take a break and do a mindless, repetitive task for a while.  Or just go for a walk. Zero out the brain so you can start again.

Brian Solis

I stop reading everything and everyone in my inner circle and instead, I seek inspiration from somewhere else, music, art, nature, life.

Kevin Vine

Go for a run or work out. Getting physical is really important to eradicating a slump. For more prolonged dry spells: take a few days off and spend some time by myself – preferably outdoors or in unfamiliar surroundings.

Jay Baer

When I’m in a creative slump I try to walk away for as long as possible. Distance and perspective unlocks potential. IT’s when you AREN’T trying that the great ideas come to you.

Ryan Boyles

Read magazines and look at ways to apply old school content marketing or advertising in digital space. Also, #ncbeer

Jim Tobin

Force myself to create a detailed to do list, broken into bite sized pieces, with due dates. Large tasks can be paralyzing.

Christi McNeill

I usually try to give myself a 10 minute reset break. This is embarrassing…but browsing cuteoverload.com, the “funny” section on Pinterest, putting things in a shopping care on Zulily, pretty much any quiz on Buzzfeed.

Justin Mastrangelo

I spend time reviewing things that are generating “wins” towards my goal. Then I strategize how I can increase or leverage what’s working.

Greg Cangialosi

First and foremost, I acknowledge it. For me its usually a focus issue that comes from not getting enough sleep. If its not proper sleep than its prioritization. I go back to creating simple lists of prioritized items and starting “checking things off” the list. That usually resets my productivity.

Kristy Bolsinger

Go outside. Getting your body moving and getting some vitamin D does wonders for your creative energy. 

Post Author

Nick Cicero is the Editor at Social Fresh and a Digital Marketing Consultant. Formerly of Expion and Livefyre, Nick has experience building social campaigns for Sony PlayStation, Winn-Dixie, Eminem, Teen Vogue and more. He’s a fan of playing...

  • http://sohotechtraining.com/ Deb Lee

    Jim Tobin’s advice really works well for me. I have to get everything out of my head and list out the microtasks I need to focus on to get the big tasks completed. Deadlines are a must!

  • Ushma Naik

    Kevin Vine has it right – the physical change of running, moving, just getting outdoors really does it for me. I’m more productive if I take breaks, not just by “stopping” but also by getting up and moving around. This is especially relevant because so many of us are sedentary these days.

    Kristy Bolsinger says something similar and I cant help but agree. Some thing about getting outside and moving just makes creative thoughts flood back into your head.

    Other ways to break out of a productivity rut:

    Change your work space – Working at the same place everyday may be nice for consistency, but it can get boring. Writing at a different cafe or taking your coding outside to the park on a warm summer’s day = creative heaven!

    Change your tools – When I cant seem to get anything going staring at a blank white screen, I switch to colored pens, markers and old fashioned paper. There is this excitement that floods me everytime I do that and the creative ideas just flow – the good ones, the silly ones, the useless ones – all of them!

  • http://www.searchengineoptimisationmarketing.com.au/ SEO Marketing

    Nothing like exercise of any form to get the blood racing and thinking about the tasks that lay ahead. Still find meditation the best way of approaching any task without mind clutter.

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