creation mode or zombie mode

The last few days I’m having more trouble being productive, I’m in that part of my month where I need to take it easier. Do you know that feeling when you get stuck in working and creating and you just go too far?

When you work for hours on end and you don’t even get up?

You get hungry and thirsty and don’t give yourself what you need?

At some point I get to pushing instead of allowing …

Forcing instead of flowing …

And it doesn’t feel good.

I call it “zombie mode” 😉 and I am quite prone to it!

I always have a million ideas… and for me, excitement and inspiration can quite subtly shift to overwhelm. I notice it when I start to feel agitated and impatient instead of elated.

And I notice it when I can’t stop and unglue myself from my screen, because I just want to finish this or that, or get that last thing completed …

Of course there are times when I just need to crack on and finish something.

But most of the time I do much better work when I give myself breaks.

One of my most valuable but simple tricks I use when zombie mode tries to overtake is to work in 45 minute blocks.

do you take breaks?

I just set a timer and get up and do something around the house or walk around the garden. So super simple but it works so well! I give my eyes a break from the screen, and I soak up some healing vibes from nature.

My blood starts flowing!
Also, when I do get back to my laptop, I’m fresher and more productive.

And when I do a small chore around the house, folding laundry, or do some weeding, I have this great sense of accomplishment that not only work, but everything in my life is getting done and flowing better. Win win all around!

pink fresh rose amidst green leaves in springtime

One handy app I’ve used to help me with taking breaks is BreakTimer. It’s free and open source – no ads at all – and available for Mac and Windows. You can have a look at it here. I can’t guarantee you will not ever get annoyed by it. You can override it when you are in the flow and want to continue, but of course there is a small risk in that option being available 😉

nature to the rescue

Another thing that helps me anytime I find myself tensing up and pushing too much: going on a walk in nature, and trying not to think about what I’m working on.

When my monkey mind reminds me what I should be worried about or finding a solution for, I try to refocus my attention to a leaf, some sprouting grass or the chirping birds, and I try to just be.


I NEVER leave the house without a notebook and pen or pencil.

Because what I have found over and over again is that just when I stop thinking about something, the most amazing ideas, inspiration, words and sentences fall in my lap and all I need to do is quickly write them down.

I much prefer this way of moving forward over pushing myself, being (h)angry behind my screen.

Just letting the solutions come to me, to let them find me while I enjoy life and take the time to smell the flowers or listen to my feathered friends.

I hope you’ll try these simple things, when zombie mode tries to creep up on you…

Even though I know these things, I still need plenty of reminders to help me keep the zombies away 🙂

signature Helena Heart