5 Ways to Avoid Creative Burnout

26 Sep 2021

If your job involves creativity, burnout can become a pressing issue. It may result in the partial actuation of your potential or even cost you your job or clients. It is crucial to learn how to deal with creative burnout for any successful career in design. It might be challenging to come up with a solution for this problem on the first try; nevertheless, some proven techniques can be useful. In this article, we will talk about the most effective ways to help you understand how to handle burnout. 

First, let’s define what burnout is. According to burnout experts, it is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caused by a number of symptoms over a certain period of time. The idea of burnout has been around for a while, although the pandemic and necessity to work from home have resulted in more stress and more people report symptoms of burnout more often. The main concern is to find a way to manage and stop burnout at the early stages. 

1. Keep in mind your internal clock

The internal clock of an individual can be the reason for a person’s excellent or poor performance. Understanding when you are more or less creative can be key to preventing burnout. If you know that you are very creative between noon to 5 p.m., make sure to make use of this time. It is individual for every person when they are the most creative. There is no universal “right” time. An internal schedule is something very individual. It is also possible that you have several creative times throughout the day. Or you can work for several hours at the time of peak productivity or creativity and take a break when you feel like you need to recharge. Working in bursts can be a solution to avoid exhaustion. 

2. Find time for your hobbies

To have an activity other than your work is essential to facilitate creativity. You can have any hobby, even knitting or crochet, as long as thing hobby gets you moving and keeps your creative juices flowing. An activity that you like will help your brain release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Serotonin and dopamine will make you feel both energized and relaxed, and it is a great mix for being more creative. You can also consider long walks that improve convergent thinking, an important element of creativity. 

3. Take breaks

When there is a strict deadline, you can get engulfed by work and spend more than 8 hours a day at your desk. In this case, your creativity can be affected negatively. Taking breaks will stimulate your creative thinking. There is software that can help you schedule your breaks more effectively, called Bonsai; you can also use it to manage your work projects. Make sure you stay hydrated, eat on time, and stretch to stay well and be productive. 

4. Say no when necessary

In order to nurture creativity, it is crucial to set boundaries that guard your own needs. If you have a hard time saying no, you can do that by means of suggesting an alternative solution. For instance, if your colleague invites you for a coffee during your peak creativity time, you can suggest meeting them for lunch. If your manager asks you to do additional tasks, and you feel like it will interfere with the project you are currently working on, ask them which task is more important and let them know that you cannot work on two projects simultaneously. If you receive a new request from a client, take into consideration your creative resources and time. 

5. Free some time for yourself

If you take short breaks, it might feel like enough, but in reality, they are not. Most of us have days when we eat lunch at our desks, although it is essential not to turn this behavior into a habit. It is important to take real breaks. Of course, it means that you should allow yourself to take days and weekends off. If you work six or seven days a week, you will likely have creative burnout. Spending time away from work is crucial to replenish your creative energy. Find time for substantial breaks every week. 


It is important to take care of your mental and physical health and allow yourself time to rest. Develop a routine that facilitates creativity, and you will see the huge difference when more creative ideas come your way. 

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