When I need to get the creative momentum going, the number one advice I've been given and we have all heard is, "Take a break." While that might seem counterintuitive, studies have proved time and time again that short breaks help you reenergize, thus keeping you productive. Coming from someone who can't sit still creatively, I too have a hard time motivating myself when I'm stuck.
The antidote: 30 minutes of me time. The notion first struck a chord with me when I discovered Coffitivity- a tool that streams a sound of a coffee shop made by VCU alum masterminds Justin Kauszler and Ace Calwood. Checking out allowed me to tap into creativity.
Let me explain.
As an undergrad at VCU where I studied creative advertising, my professors declared the unwritten rule, "In order to change your perspective, you must change your environment". This meant if I was twiddling my thumb for two hours after drawing nothing more than an unanimated stick figure, I needed to change something. Ambient noise from Coffitivity and Noisli (WORK Labs + Poler Outdoor Stuff collab) helped me concept ideas. Professor Koz swore sitting at a different chair in the room could transform your ideas from 1 to 100. just. like. that.
My fellow creatives found success in grabbing a drink with their copywriter at the bar. A speaker I recently saw recommended drinking a full glass of water S L O W L Y. And you? You might need to watch your favorite episode of 30 Rock titled Problem Solvers [edit: you need to watch 30 Rock to solve all your problems]. Whatever it is, put it to practice.
Advertising challenged me to be creative with anything from a poem about Depend's diapers for dudes to making a kitchen appliance look badass. I distinctly remember taking long bike rides reciting haikus and taglines in my head until I had some substance to put on paper for those projects. It's like therapy - I was conditioning myself to think creatively. These days I still find getting some fresh air or sharing my break with a friend over a latte works wonders. That is not to say taking frequent diversions when the going gets tough is healthy. Rather, 15-30 minutes of downtime allows you to regroup without losing focus.
I CHALLENGE YOU to make the most of your breaks. Discover your think-house. Zen out. Fear not the road ahead, just make sure you're moving. And always remember: You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé.
Playing the drums helps me get into the groove of things. For Chris, our studio designer, his break is spent a little differently. Watch what happens when Cabell is out during lunch hour.