Mar 09, 2023

6 Tips to Help Your Team Avoid Creative Burnout

Emily Paulsen

6 Tips to Help Your Team Avoid Creative Burnout

Creatives — professionals who work with writing, music, and art — are often associated with the image of a free spirit, a person with bright imagination and flashes of inspiration that helps them contribute fresh new ideas to the businesses for whom they work.

Maintaining a creative mindset can be difficult when stress, tight deadlines, and other complications loom, but using these simple tips can help maintain a work environment that promotes creativity while side-stepping burnout.

Set Teams up for Success with Realistic Timelines

When negotiating timelines, it can be hard to avoid the temptation to lean toward the fastest possible turnaround. After all, there are many moving parts when it comes to developing and publishing new materials, so the time allotted for research, writing, and editing can be difficult to handle alongside new designs and other important digital elements. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead, making sure that new content has the space it needs to stay consistent, accurate, and of a quality that engages the end users it’s targeted toward.

While there are many standard benchmarks to refer to for the industry, the time required to finish a piece of content is different for every team, topic, and content type. Knowing the bandwidth available for any given project is vital to keep the pacing consistent, and such a practice ultimately helps keep the expected workload manageable.

Stay Open to New Ideas

As the popular John Donne quote goes, “No man is an island.” This is especially true of digital content, where copy falls alongside UX elements, images, and online storefronts that have to convey a lot of information as quickly as possible.

Without quality communication among team members, important details can get lost. When hitting a wall, a fresh perspective can make all the difference — even when it comes from someone in a different team within a company.

Keep the Door Open for Learning New Skills

With so many easily accessible classes and learning resources online, it’s never a bad idea to set aside time to acquire new skills. Beyond adding expertise to a team, a learning initiative keeps members open to new ideas and popular trends that might otherwise go untapped.For writers, for example, this might be something as basic as a course on revisiting the fundamentals of copy or more advanced classes on persuasive writing for social media platforms.

Balance Creative Work with Routine Tasks

Constant creative work requires the right headspace and a lot of mental energy that can drain quickly. It can be helpful for team members to balance mentally intense work with tasks that don’t require too much mental strain, such as taking time to organize files, cataloging stock photos, or decluttering the workspace. Psychology Today speaks to how these breaks can help build motivation and keep up the energy needed for long-term success:

“When we work, our prefrontal cortex makes every effort to help us execute our goals. But for a challenging task that requires our sustained attention, research shows briefly taking our minds off the goal can renew and strengthen motivation later on.”  -Nir Eyal

Encourage Activity

Whether it’s working from a standing desk or taking a short break at an in-office gym, movement can help keep the creative juices flowing. Forbes sheds some fascinating light on creative burnout research, stating, “Stressed-out employees have trouble focusing, thinking clearly, and making rational decisions. Reports show exercise helps improve mental health by providing clarity to better handle stress effectively.”

Maintain an Attitude of Positive Reinforcement

Creatives often have to accommodate multiple interests for every piece they produce — this includes internal approvers, clients, brand experts, stakeholders, and other parties concerned with what is and isn’t included. It’s not uncommon for them to have doubts and concerns, so taking the time to outline where things have been done well can go a long way toward keeping them motivated and confident that their work is moving in the right direction.

Bottom Line

The above methods help balance the workplace environment so the mental intensity of creating new and engaging content doesn’t become a stressful, less productive situation. Fostering positivity, planning ahead, and including some regular breaks can make all the difference in keeping the creatives on your team productive.

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