Finding a creative routine that works for you can be a real challenge. Every person face different challenges with their workflow, but we can all admit to struggling with one crucial issue – you’ll hit a wall at some point. This month, we’ve rounded up some excellent articles from 99U that tackle this frustrating problem.

Learn when to push yourself (and when to take a break) to improve your productivity and rock your work routine!


To change your process, change the deadlines

For the punk rock band Title Fight, the creative process is an ever-changing one. They believe that by experimenting with the process itself, you can yield different results. (read more)

How to get stuff done when you really, really don’t want to

You’ve been there. It’s 11PM and your deadline for a project is tomorrow morning, but you have yet to crack the seal and now you’ve left it, literally, to the eleventh hour so any motivation to bang out the work is overshadowed by a rising sense of panic. Not only are you risking filing late, you’re also decreasing the likelihood you’ll be able to provide your best work, given the stressful circumstances. (read more)

Obtain super-focus by switching off your brain’s “Fast Mode”

One effect the constant overstimulation of modern media has on our brains is what Leo Babauta calls “Fast Mode.” When you rev up your mind by churning through email, your Twitter stream, Facebook news feed, and back again, your brain is working on overdrive. That million-miles-a-minute pace leads to empty productivity. You’ll cross small tasks off your to do list, sure. But you won’t complete anything meaningful or truly substantive. (read more)


Optimize Your Downtime: The complete guide to learning via podcast

We all have random gaps in our schedule, also known as time confetti—short, finite bits of downtime that we usually spend flicking through Twitter or email. I find myself in this mode often but a simple realization turned this challenge into an opportunity: I could spend this downtime learning through audio. (read more)

Use the 52/17 rule to maximize productivity

The human body isn’t designed to sit for eight hours at a stretch. Not only is it killing you, it’s hindering your productivity. But research shows that frequently standing up from your desk to take a break can actually improve it. (read more)

Stacking Habits: How to finally stick to your morning routine

Kaizen, the Japanese word for “continuous improvement,” is often applied in business situations to improve how a business runs and, therefore, the profitability of the entire operation. Focusing on the belief that good processes bring good results, this same ideal can be applied to you and your habits. (read more)

How do you ensure that you’re your most productive self?