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5 Hacks To Overcome A Creative Block

5 Hacks To Overcome A Creative Block

October 9, 2019 / Shauna Carey

Trying to push through a designer’s slump? You’re not alone. There is no statistics behind it, but it just happens. Sometimes it lasts for days, weeks, and worst-case scenario, months. Lucky for you, below are some hot tips to put some fuel in the tank and get you back on the road through to the new year!

1. A Clean Workspace


The Design Files, Anna Ross of Kester Black, Article by Lucy Feagins


I Can't. Stress. This. Enough. Look, there will be some of you out there that will say 'messy is just me, it's how I work' and normally I would say you do you babe, but no. If the lack of inspiration is caused by a cluttered mind, then an uncluttered area around you is the way to go. The less unnecessary distractions around you the better. Get tidying!


2. Coffee/Bev Break (preferably with a companion)


Caffe Bartolo, Surry Hills, Image Source: Concrete Playground

If you're on struggle street and can't cope with the blank psd, illustrator or InDesign file in front of you any longer, hit up your favourite colleague, office dog or friend that works nearby for that long-needed café break. Taking a moment away from your computer is a great way to dissolve feelings of being overwhelmed by the task ahead.

For those that call this procrastination, be careful you save that photoshop file you've been working on for over an hour. If you need to double bev then do it! Hands down this technique works every time, you'll come back with a fresh mind and more serotonin from a little social interaction to complete the job. 


3. Spotify Playlist


Image Source: MusebyCLIO

Nothing worse than having to listen to someone else's music when you're running low on mind fuel. For me, if I'm stuck on a job and lacking inspo, the last thing I want to hear is anything repetitive or intense jazz (this has actually happened on more than one occasion, cringe). Pop those headphones on and piece together your own playlist that doesn't make you want to run to the nearest exit. Music works a dream for getting those creative juices flowing. 


4. Morning Productivity


Image Source: Frothers

Yes, some of you out there claim that you work better at night. To you, I say goodnight because I love my sleep (also great key for a strong inspired mind). Getting up early is one thing successful people have in common and although there is no proven set time frame in the morning it is said that productiveness comes in 90 minute bursts. If you think about it, clients are less likely to bother you in the first half of your day which is a major factor in why I am a huge believer in getting the most creativeness out of your work in the morning. So, if the creative slump has you unsuccessful in the afternoon, pick yourself up and try again in the morning. 


5. Inspiration Cram

Screen Shot 2019-09-27 at 12.03.46 pm

This hack is mostly successful after the café break and once you have that playlist sorted. Researching, even if it's for such a simple brief that you wouldn't normally spend prep time on, is such a fool proof way to grab onto fast and easy ideas. Open up that Pinterest page or design blog you love and get scrolling. There are millions upon millions of designs out there, a few are bound to give you that lightbulb moment for a solution to your job. 

Hot Tip: check out our blog on Pinterest Key Search Words for Graphic Designers - for when you're racing against the clock to find the right inspiration! 


If all else fails, you can always fall back on the snack reward system (everything in moderation of course). In all seriousness though, creative blocks are predestined and needed to be able to reset and bounce back better than ever. The 5 hacks above are also great to do as a daily rotating routine, sort of like a preventive solution to keep the creative flow from coming to a halt. 

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