If there is one thing everyone should know about creativity is that it can’t be forced. It can be triggered with various tools (some of which I’ve already discussed in this series) but if we’re out of fuel it’s never light up.
Sometimes, we just have to take a break.
There are a few rules to follow if we want our break to be as efficient as possible and the first and more important one is: Thou shalt not feel guilty!
It’s tempting when we’re on a deadline to meet a self-imposed or imposed goal to feel guilty for taking five. But, as I’ve said before, sometimes it’s necessary. However, if we spend the whole break thinking about what we’re taking a break from, we’re not really relaxing, are we?
My second rule is to make it a real break. Surfing the net doesn’t count. We need to drastically alter our situation. Taking a walk counts. Meditating (one of my personal favorites, which I really ought to write about some day) counts. Eating slowly to appreciate all the flavors counts.
Anything that does not involve our brains.
Writing is a cerebral thing so a real break should be as far as that as possible. Time to dig up some brainless stuff.
Third rule is to keep it short. This’ll actually help us with the first rule. A break is not the occasion to procrastinate; it’s what our brain needs to keep working.
Depending on our deadline and level of fatigue, the lenght of the break varies. The important thing is to pick a duration and stick to it.
Personally, my shortest breaks are the lenght of a Type-O-Negative song (the depth of the singer’s voice turns my brain right off) and my longest are an hour and a half (time to train).
It’s important to find how we can make our breaks as efficient as possible. It’s a bit different for each of us but you’ll know when you’ve found your way to do it; focus and creativity will be restored as a result and words will shoot out of your fingertips.
I’m the weird girl who shuts her eyes and breaths slowly when everyone’s stressing over a deadline.
It always pays off.