When you work in the promo industry, you know the joys of getting to be creative. Whether you’re designing logos, choosing products or designing campaigns, you get to show clients all the innovative ways of using promo.

But what happens if you start to get into a creative rut? Your creativity levels will naturally fluctuate, but sometimes you might be on the brink of creative burnout.

According to a post on the Ness Labs blog, it can be hard to notice this kind of burnout – especially if you run your own busiess or often work independently. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to some of the common signals of creative burnout. We outline what to look for, according to Ness Labs, in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. Procrastination. It’s OK to delay some of your creative work for a few days, but if you keep putting it off, you may be dealing with creative burnout.
  2. Basic things are a struggle. According to the Ness Labs post, it could be a sign of creative burnout if you also find it difficult to do the easy tasks.
  3. You’re constantly drained. Feeling tired here and there might be due to a lack of sleep or a particularly busy schedule. But if you’re physically exhausted over a long period of time, the post says you may be burning out.
  4. The stress won’t go away. Creative work comes with many challenges, from demanding clients to complex projects with several moving parts. While some stress may come and go, if you feel nonstop stress without being able to pinpoint the exact cause, you could be at risk of creative burnout.
  5. Unhealthy comparisons. You may be familiar with the saying, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When you find it hard to find a creative spark, you might be tempted to compare yourself to other promo pros or creators. But if you look at their output and can’t help but compare their productivity to yours in a negative way, the post says, you may be experiencing a symptom of creative burnout.
  6. Everything annoys you. If you’re more temperamental than usual, don’t just chalk it up to being in a bad mood. Your irritability could be a signal of creative burnout.
  7. You second-guess yourself. Working in a creative field can be incredibly rewarding – but not if you’re plagued with self-doubt. The post says that if you feel like your work will never be good enough, you might be on the verge of creative burnout.

If you notice any of the symptoms above, don’t ignore them. Before your burnout begins to impact your work, let your boss or a trusted colleague know how you’re feeling. The post says even saying something like, “I’ve been feeling burned out lately” can be helpful. Other ideas for bouncing back include perusing your past work or simply stepping away from work for a while.

Creativity is an essential skill for those who work in the promo industry and other creative fields. If you feel like your well is running dry, start by taking a break or browsing some past projects you’re proud of. Creativity can be a fragile thing, so be sure you protect it.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: The Ness Labs blog. Ness Labs is a platform that provides neuroscience-based content, coaching and courses.