It’s the summer of 2020. My alarm clock goes off at 8:55 a.m.. I roll out of bed, change from my sleeping pajamas to my daytime pajamas, and open my computer — by 8:59. At 9:00 a.m. I’m rocking and rolling. Working from home is freaking awesome.
Fast forward a year (and then some) and here we are, still working from home. While I’ve gotten used to my new “office” attire and cute coworker — shoutout to my dog Bonnie — I’ve also had to adapt to a new challenge. And that’s keeping up my creativity within a very un-stimulating and isolating apartment.
I know what you’re thinking, “But wait, you’re so naturally creative and clever.” And I’d humbly thank you. But the thing about creativity is that it isn’t always “on.” A creative mind has to be firing in all the right places to come up with ideas that don’t already exist — you need stimulation, variation and collaboration.
So, I started coming up with ways to keep my creative spark alive (which in itself takes creativity, but anyway …)
Here are a few strategies I dabbled with.
1. Start With Stupid
When starting to concept, I don’t wait until I have a good idea to begin writing things down. I start with the bad ideas, the ones that make you say to yourself, “this is stupid, but …” Because the stupid ideas lead to another thought and then another and suddenly you find yourself going in a direction that turns out to be pretty good. Or your stupid idea can actually be a great idea — I’ve seen that happen too.
2. Take A Bathroom Break
Ever heard someone say, “The best ideas come to you in the shower”? Well, the same goes for the toilet. I don’t know how a bathroom holds this type of power, but it gives way to some very introspective thoughts. Just keep your phone handy in case an idea does come to you because if you don’t write it down fast, you might lose it.
3. Light A Candle
I just really like candles.
4. Eat Good Food
I’m not saying you need to prepare a restaurant quality meal but having a good lunch or a favorite snack around is a great way to nourish the mind and stay motivated.
5. Starfish On Your Bed
This is a luxury you didn’t have at the office, so ENJOY IT. It can be draining to sit at the same spot in your home for so many days in a row. So, walk over to your bed and splat yourself down. A good couple of minutes and your mind will feel refreshed and ready to go.
6. Take An Exercise Break
If you’re my Creative Director and you’re reading this … no you’re not. But in all seriousness, taking a short break in the day to move your body is extremely beneficial for your brain. It releases stress and gets the blood flowing, which makes getting back to work that much easier — and more efficient.
Yes, I’m aware that only number 1 actually involves sitting at the computer. But that’s kind of my point. Creativity doesn’t always manifest itself in a Word document — sometimes you have to work a little harder to channel it. And with working from home dragging out way longer than we expected, we all have to figure out new and unique ways to keep our creative spark alive.
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