There is nothing worse than being in the middle of writing an eight page paper that’s due tomorrow and developing writer’s block on page six. You’re stressed, you’re frustrated, and your brain just can’t coherently put your thoughts together. It’s a common ailment among college students but one that fortunately has some fairly effective remedies as well. Ideally, what you want to do is clear your mind for awhile so that when you come back to working or studying, your mind is ready to take on the task at hand. Here are a few suggestions for things to do to take help you clear your mind for an effective break that will unblock your creative flow.

Take A Walk

Getting out of your room for a little fresh air is important to keeping yourself sane while working over papers and tests. Even if you move from your room to the library to a study lounge, it still can’t outdo the wonders of a simple walk around campus. I’m not even talking about a power walk to get your muscles working. I just mean a very leisurely stroll. Take about 20 to 30 minutes to just allow your brain let go of the stress of working while you do nothing but walk. Listen to your iPod while you walk if music helps relax you. One of my favorite things to do during finals week is to walk up to my school’s cafe in the library and get a delicious lemon square. The walk to and from the library helps clear my head since I no longer have any books in front of me to stress me out. And I also get a lemon square. It’s a win-win.

Clean Anything and Everything

This is my favorite thing to do whenever I get into a creative crunch because it’s the thing that works the best for me. I take a break and shower, do dishes, make my bed, do laundry, organize my desk, etc, etc. The monotonous act of cleaning is the perfect way to let my mind relax but also mull over all of the information I’ve been consuming for the past however many hours. While I’m physically cleaning dishes or standing in the shower, my brain can absentmindedly wander through everything at leisure. It’s usually during these times that something suddenly clicks or I suddenly know exactly how my paper needs to end. And, in another win-win situation, your dorm room gets sparkling clean.

Try Google Scribe

Shep actually pointed this helpful Google lab to me that I’m really interested in trying out for my next paper. It’s called Google Scribe and it attempts to autocomplete your thoughts as you type. Though it may not write those last couple paragraphs of your paper for you, it may help you get started on a phrase or sentence that can be the catalyst into the end of your paper. I’ve yet to use it with the intent of writing a paper, but it would be nice if this lab ended up being a useful paper writing device.

What do you do when you have writer’s block? Have you ever used Google Scribe before? What do you think of it?