Stress doesn’t come in a sudden rush. It creeps up, easing into the subconscious and slowly strangling creative flow. Learn to recognise these four obstacles to creativity and stop them in their tracks.
1. Fear: Usually the fear of judgement or rejection. The desire for perfection probably kills more great ideas than anything else. Give yourself space to make some mistakes. The fail fast movement was the development mantra a few years ago and while the excitement around the phrase has waned there's still value in giving yourself permission to take risks. Ideas are made better when tested. This approach might result in critique and that's cool, feedback will test the strength of your ideas and help you refine your concept. Remember: you won’t be judged for accepting feedback but you will be judged for shutting down input.
2. Time: It's painful when you haven’t budgeted enough time or underestimated a project. You'll resist critique and new ideas regardless of whether they're good for your project because every change means lost time and revenue. Develop the ability to estimate accurately. How? Start doing it now. The only way to improve is to try something over and over and over. Eventually you'll learn how to estimate time and you can more effectively budget time for dialog and revisions. Don't short yourself in this regard. If you've accounted for the time you won't resist change nearly as much.
3. Tools: If you can't use the tools needed to complete an idea or project you have three choices: propose a new tool (one that you can use), learn the tool thats requires or find someone to fill the gap in your skills. The tools we use to make stuff are constantly changing and it isn't easy to stay on top of all the options. I've seen countless projects stall because the maker busy themselves with distractions to avoid dealing with the elephant in the room: they don't know how to make whatever it is they're proposing. Talk to experts, pad your time and manage your teams expectations.
4. Distractions: Email, SMS, TV, Facebook, personal hobbies, etc. These are your enemies when you're trying to get something done. At a roadblock in your project? Resist the quick dopamine rush of collecting Likes, tuck your chin and work through the difficulty. Nothing worth doing is easy so don't chicken out when things get tough. Block out time to focus, close your email/Facebook/Instagram/IM/etc and let yourself be productive. Your distractions can always be a reward for getting something done.