Five ways to beat creative block

Some might say that creative block is all in your head but when you’ve spent the last hour watching your cursor blinking smugly back at you from a blank page, it feels pretty damn real indeed. Here are our tried and tested ways to get those creative juices flowing again.

Put the kettle on

Show us a more iconic combination than PG Tips and Hobnobs when it comes to making any situation infinitely better – we’ll wait…

The humble brew is hands-down the most underestimated weapon in your fight against creative block. However you take your tea, whether it involves an old mug and the kitchen table or a full-on exodus to the nearest coffee shop, there is nothing that taking a tea break can’t fix, including creative block. It’s a bold claim but we’re sticking by it. Milk and two sugars please.

Leave the house

Oh, how we all love the idea of working from home. The heating is on, you’re seven episodes deep into a Friends marathon in the background, and you’ve managed to fly through three loads of washing while waiting for inspiration to hit. Only you’re still waiting…

Working from home does wonders for the housework but doing it day-in, day-out does nothing for your creativity. Not only is it hard to stay focused when you’re surrounded by distractions, but working alone means you’re missing out on those quick catch-ups and brainstorming sessions with fellow creatives that always lead to some of your best ideas. Don’t worry, we’re not saying you have to head back into the office 9-5pm Monday to Friday; co-working is that sweet spot somewhere in-between flexibility and finding focus. We happen to know a pretty great place…

Go buy the book

There are two types of people in the world; those who can lose themselves to a book and those who would rather lose the book. If you fall into the latter category, you’re missing a trick in the fight against creative block. It might be the last thing you want to do when your own creativity is locked away in your head like gold bars in an Ocean’s 11 vault, but checking out the work of your co-creators doesn’t half have a tendency to inspire some amazing ideas of your own.

Give the tomato a go

With creative block often comes procrastination, because every creative knows that an hour or two wasted to the cruel mistress that is the internet works wonders when you have a deadline to hit.

Way back in 1992, Francesco Cirillo reached for his tomato shaped oven timer to split his studying into 25-minute sessions, followed by a 5-minute break and so the pomodoro technique was born. Try it next time you’re stuck in a rut; force yourself to work for 25 minutes, even if you’re convinced you’re creating utter rubbish, before rewarding yourself with a short break. And some chocolate.

Just forget about it

In the words of the great Donnie Brasco – ‘fuggedaboutit!’

There’s no shame in admitting defeat and throwing in the towel every now and then. Plus, you can almost guarantee that the minute you close your laptop and walk away, inspiration will hit and you’ll be back in the game.

And if all else fails? Well, there’s always tomorrow.

Helm Free Fridays

Want to learn more? Head down to Helm on a Friday for Helm Free Fridays. Full use of the space with meeting rooms, people and coffee. Come see what we're all about.