When you have a million items on your to-do list, creative time can easily fall by the wayside. However, it’s one of the most important—and often most neglected—aspects of a social media manager’s job.
If you write for social, ignoring creative time isn’t a sustainable strategy. You need to make room to think and write, otherwise you may find yourself relying on lazy tactics.
We chatted with our social team about what they do to stay focused and keep creating awesome content day in, day out. Here are some handy tips and tricks they gave us.
7 simple ways to boost your creativity
1. Change up your setting
Moving around in your office can be hugely beneficial. It gets you out of a stale mindset and allows you to get a fresh perspective in new surroundings. Try changing up locations twice a day.
2. Go outside
We spend most of our time inside. Whether it’s at the office, in the car, at home, or even at the gym—people spend over 90 percent of their time indoors. This is despite the fact that a number of studies have shown that going outside can reduce stressors that negatively impact your creativity. If you don’t regularly get outside, you need to change up your routine. Aim to go outside at least once during the work day. Go for a lunchtime walk or an evening stroll after dinner.
3. Exercise your brain
Cognitive activities like reading, playing an instrument, and learning a skill (like a language!) can help get your brain muscles moving. If you’re having a hard time coming up with new Tweets, don’t labor over it into the evening. Instead, shift focus and try mastering a new activity. You’ll come back to work feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the next Tweet.
4. Make a to-do list
When your brain is clouded with a million things to do, it can squash your creativity and ability to write. By making daily to-do lists, you can prioritize important tasks and keep from getting bogged down by mundane ones.
5. Listen to music
Sometimes office chatter can be too much to bear. Those little conversations and mini meetings can easily break your concentration—and music can provide some much-needed relief. If you struggle listening to music as you write, try queuing up a playlist that doesn’t have lyrics.
6. Take short breaks
Short breaks are an excellent way to stay motivated. As research has shown, we’re actually more productive when we break up our work routine throughout the day. Tactics like the Pomodoro Technique rely on timed sessions of focus with frequent breaks in order to increase your productivity.
7. Browse social sites
Take inspiration from other experts in the field—our social team does this all the time. It’s likely that you follow other brand accounts that you admire, whether on Twitter, Facebook, or even Snapchat. Browse through your feed and find something that sticks out. List a few points on why you like it and challenge yourself to write something you love.
Essential tools to help you get there
Staying on top of your routine can be hard. That’s why we’ve outlined some tools to help you stay on track.
To get writing, sometimes you need to block out the noise and busyness that clouds your thoughts. Headspace is a mindfulness and meditation app that will teach you how to relax and recharge your thoughts. Start with their “take ten,” a free 10-day program where you can learn the basics of meditation.
If you need to take a mental jog around the block, try Lumosity. It’s brain training created by scientists and game designers that will help you get focused through a series of cognitive games.
If you need a bootcamp-like authority to get yourself back on the social media writing track, try this app. Described by some as “sadistic,” this app deletes everything you’ve written if you stop writing for more than five seconds.
Wake up every morning with news in your inbox. TheSkimm gives you a rundown on everything you need to know in just a few minutes.
A popular app to discover and read blogs in the fashion, food, DIY, and travel industries. It’s a great way to store all your favourite blogs in one place and draw on them for inspiration in times of need.
When you’re ultra focused on a task, it’s easy to forget to get up and walk around. Time Out will remind you periodically to take those important breaks throughout the day.
Evernote is a note-taking app that will help you leave your laundry list behind and focus on getting creative on social.
If you want an easy way to listen to music, build playlists, and follow your friends, use Spotify. Try searching for instrumental playlists or score to find some lyric-free music to suit your creative needs.
If you’re guilty of switching between hundreds of tasks throughout the day, it’s hard to get down to writing. Focus helps you customize your work depending on what you want to do. You can personalize based on your needs.
By changing up your work habits (and using a couple handy apps to help you get there), you can make your social media writing more thoughtful. You’ll engage more customers and have fun in the process—not a bad bargain.
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