As a newly-minted, creative business owner, the biggest challenge I experienced was learning to manage my own workload. In the corporate world, we usually have bosses who do this for us but when you’re working for yourself? Well, it’s tough to know when to punch out for the day.

It took me months, but I eventually learned that the all-night work sessions and project binges weren’t actually going to get me ahead. Instead, the best I could hope for was to end up where I would have been if I’d just allowed myself to be realistic with my workload and expectations. [quote cite=’Hailey Dale’ align=’right’]Spend time regularly dwelling on your successes. This is an easy way to mentally prepare for even more success.[/quote]

It all evens out in the end.

And the extra kicker, I learned, was that my quality of work was almost always better when I gave myself room for creativity and time for rest.

The real key is to avoid the creative burnout altogether. But what if you’re already there? The key is to get out of it quickly, without doing any damage to your business.

Here are 5 fast-action tips to help you get out of a creative slump fast:

[dropcap]1.[/dropcap] Invest in yourself and/or your business – Look for things that can actually help you achieve success in your business; things that you might think are too expensive or that it’s not just the right time and invest in them.

Maybe it’s a course you’ve been eyeing up or maybe new headshots for your website or promotions. Just do them. In addition to the actual thing you receive (ie: headshots/course), you’re also receiving something better: You’re triggering to your mind that you believe in your business & your success enough to invest real money into it. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get creatively re-inspired.

[dropcap]2.[/dropcap] Help someone with what you’re good at – 2 benefits here: You get to share your expertise and feel good about helping someone who needs it.

Anytime I’m in a slump or having doubts about my business direction, focusing on helping someone else is the quickest medicine I know for nipping those feelings in the bud and replacing it with renewed optimism & enthusiasm.

[dropcap]3.[/dropcap] Do a brain dump – If you suspect that your mindset funk is coming from feeling overwhelmed or having a lack of clarity about your next steps, set a timer for 10 minutes and write down every last thing you have to get done on a piece of paper.

Once you’ve finished, rank your list using the Eisenhower Matrix. Label tasks as: “Important/Urgent”, “Important/Not Urgent”, “Not Important/Urgent”, “Not Important/Not Urgent”.

A clear list of the things you really have to do and those that you don’t should become apparent. Plus, you’ll have a very clear idea of your next steps.

[dropcap]4.[/dropcap] Gratitude – No surprises here but the easiest way to start feeling awesome about your business (and life!) is to write down all of the things that you already have going for you. Everything that’s awesome right now.

Spend time regularly dwelling on your successes. This is an easy way to mentally prepare for even more success.

[dropcap]5.[/dropcap] Take a break – Burnout is often caused by overwork and overwhelm. Take some time and space before returning refreshed. Giving yourself a chance to miss your creative work will likely result in a grateful appreciation for what you do.

Whether you take away one idea from this post or use them all, avoiding a creative slump in the first place is the real key.

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The Author

Hailey Dale

Hailey Dale

Hailey Dale is the principal at Trunked Creative, where she partners with small business owners who are totally over the shoulds and ready to build their content empires – their way. Through her DIY content kits, tell-all blog posts and strategy sessions, she gives them the tools to get more visibility in their businesses, while making it feel like a streamlined and strategic delight.

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