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Beating Instructional Designers Block

There comes a point in your career where you have to battle Instructional Designers Block, aka *cue horror movie scream* THE WALL.

Have you ever gotten to the point in a project where no amount of caffeine or energy drinks will shake the feeling that it’s just not happening with a project? Either you’re frustrated or just can’t think of a solution to overcome a difficulty or problem that you’re facing. Then this post is for you. Let me first say that you’re not alone! This is a problem that plagues people across the globe.

Here are some ideas to get those brain juices flowing again:

  1. Take a walk: allow your brain and body to take a break and get out and breathe some fresh air. You never know, on that walk you could see something that inspires you or jumpstarts your brain again.
  2. Find inspiration: Constantly be searching and scouring for new and better ideas. The interwebs are a huge place to look. There’s something out there that will inspire you to be bigger and better, and create eLearning modules tailored to your audience. Utilize the internet and connect with fellow Instructional Designers and brainstorm with them too!
  3. Talk with co-workers: Brainstorm and collaborate with your fellow co-workers. People think differently and are wired differently, so use that to your advantage. Your co-workers’ ideas just might spark something to get you through the ‘wall’ that you’ve hit your head on.
  4. Take a break: Sometimes taking a break is just as important as working. Your brain is going, going, going, and it eventually needs to take a minute to mindlessly scroll through Facebook or read an article. You and your brain are amazing, but you’re not Professor X or Superman or Doctor Manhattan or whoever makes your nerdy heart skip a beat.
  5. Grab a bite to eat: That’s right folks! I’m saying you nom to your heart’s desire. Let me break down this formula –


Guess what? Your brain needs fuel! So, in conclusion, nom away.

       6. Breathe/meditate/workout: Whatever it is that you do to relax and blow off some steam. DO IT! (did anyone else hear Shia Labeouf screaming in your ear? Because I totally did.)  

I hope these ideas help you to get right back on the eLearning module building train and help beat Instructional Designers Block. Let us know what you do when you hit the wall! We’d love to hear from you. Comment below!

Ashlee is an Intermediate Instructional and Graphic Designer on the Learning and Professional Development team and has a background in Graphic Design and Photography. With over eight years of Photography and Graphic Design experience, Ashlee brings a unique talent and perspective to the team. She joined the Learning & Professional Development team in 2014 as a student worker and now works full time as an Instructional & Graphic Designer. She primarily works with Adobe products and is using her knowledge to help develop exciting new trainings. This opportunity allows Ashlee to reach out to the NAU community and create interactive ways students and staff can learn.

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