Vary the intensity. Know when to push through.
Studies on exercise show that mixing up the intensity, even a little in a single workout, burns off more calories than a slow, steady pace. Perhaps because it catches our body metabolism off-guard a wee bit, causing it to "rev" a little higher even when we slow back down again. It helps with training, too. Swimmers use this technique to increase endurance and strength.
I don't ascribe to the "no pain, no gain" school of thought--too much pain for not much gain when I injure myself! But I'll admit, I can tell the difference between a workout when I push myself a little bit more than usual, and one where I hang back, "saving" my strength in case I need it later.
There's no "later". Especially when it comes to making your art.
There's a tendency for artists to hang back sometimes, too, pacing themselves. Not stretching themselves to reach further, or pushing themselves to go farther. Why?
We're afraid we'll run out of ideas.
So we stick to the same ol' same ol, never trying anything new, never taking risks or putting our work out there.
Trust me. You won't run out of ideas.
Working on new ideas generates MORE ideas. Perfecting a technique gets your hands busy on cruise control, freeing the mind to wander further ahead--"And what if instead of doing THIS, I tried THIS...?"
Every single time I've been stuck--and oh Lordy, have I been stuck the past few years!--pushing myself to do the work has helped me break through.
So try mixing it up in your artistic workout today. Warm up with the stuff you know how to do. Then push yourself a wee bit--and see where it takes you.