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6 Ways to Crush Writer’s Block

6 Ways to Crush Writer’s Block

Every writer knows that at some point they will stare at their computer and wonder what to put on the page. Even high-school students get writer’s block when they have an essay assignment due but have trouble thinking of what should be written.

Unless writers move past the blockage quickly, they could miss deadlines or become stressed, which will lead to heart issues. Here are some tips you can try to crush writer’s block and get back to writing that paper.

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1. Brainstorm

Often, the problem is not knowing a good idea. To solve this problem, writers can open a new document and throw anything on the page whether it relates to the assignment or not. Brainstorming ideas can get your creative juices flowing by allowing your brain to relax. You should keep adding to the list until you find the idea that works the best for your paper, article, blog or marketing. The process also might give you ideas for other projects as well or help you solve a problem you might be having.

2. Exercise

Taking a break from writing to walk for 20 minutes or visiting the health club does two things. First, you are not worried about work or stressed. Second, you are doing something positive for your health, which also will reduce your stress. After a good exercise routine, you are ready to sit at your computer again. You will be able to write again. Sometimes, fatigue interferes with our thought processes. Exercising gives us more energy and eliminates fatigue.

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3. Do something else

If you are stuck on a project and have no idea what to do, try moving to another project? When you switch projects or try something simple, your brain has to revamp how it operates. This will get a project done that would have been in jeopardy if you let the writer’s block continue. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment that you achieved something on your To-Do List or reached your goal. Then, you go back to the project causing the writer’s block, you will be more inspired to finish and ideas tend to flow.

4. Take a break

Besides exercising, you can take a break and do something you enjoy. You can read, watch television, listen to music or whatever interests you. Taking a break from the assignment will help you relax and not feel the pressure, which can cause the block to become worse. After a long enough break, you can go back to your computer and attempt the project again. You also might want to go out the door and do something, such as visit a store or public building. The drive to and from the location can lull your brain enough for you to think of a way through the document.

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5. Bounce a ball

It might sound crazy, but it works. Bouncing a tennis ball or rubber ball against a wall or floor can release your writer’s block. The muscle movements and repetition of bouncing a ball allows your brain to switch gears. Your senses are dulled, and you can begin to visualize how the page should look. You get ideas to write.

6. Think hard

If the deadline is near, you might not be able to do any of the above ideas. Therefore, you will have to think hard for a solution to your problem. While this is not as effective as some of the other techniques, it does work. Ask yourself, “How can I solve this problem?” or “What do I want my readers to know?” Answers will begin to fill your brain. Even students can use this technique. For example, a high school sophomore had a history paper to write about the French Revolution. Asking her to describe the topic for the essay, she was able to begin thinking about the problem. Asking her other questions eventually found the points she wanted to cover in the paper.

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As you can see, writer’s block happens all the time, but how you deal with your writer’s block is important. You don’t want it control you or make you miss your deadlines or due dates. Take time to figure out how to break the block will pay off in the long run.

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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