The key: step away from the screen and take a break
Many creatives do their best work flying solo, heads down, busting out content with no distractions. That said, many creatives also crave connection and collaboration to really make a project awesome. Most creatives, myself included, like to work both ways—on our own or with other people—depending on the project. However, as most people are working from home, isolation has become the main method of operation.
I’ve found that working in isolation can stifle my creative flow. So, I took to our creative services team for their best tips on how to keep your creativity while working from home. Here’s what they have to say:
Jackie Micucci is one of our writers, and her writing background is in magazine editorial. Jackie recommends taking a break after a few hours to either go for a walk or just sit in the sunshine. Sometimes, she’ll do a ten-minute meditation or mindfulness exercise.
“I find getting away from a screen helps reinvigorate me and recharges my creativity,” she says.
Jeffrey Walker is another writer and former “professional student” who loves academia. Like Jackie, he notes the importance of taking walks and going out for fresh air every few hours.
“I also like to start the day with a quick stroll through the garden to observe the beauty of creation, which definitely inspires me!” he says.
Jeffrey alternates between sitting and standing while he works because he says sitting all day can become a drag and hinder creativity. He also takes “sanity checks” by stepping aside from his work. On his breaks, sometimes he’ll read to get fresh ideas and inspiration. Reading fiction, in fact, can have lots of benefits.
Finally, Jeffrey understands the value of time with family and taking personal time. He designates family time every morning which encourages order and balance to create the proper conditions for creative work. He talks with his wife for fresh perspectives and says being around his teenagers definitely sparks creativity because they also have different perspectives. “The things they say sometimes!”
Christian Tysklind is our designer who lives and breathes creative design and development. He’s also a big advocate for walks. He even brainstormed these tips on an afternoon walk! In addition to getting fresh air, he suggests other ways to take breaks like doing 10 push-ups, dancing to your favorite song, cleaning a room, or doing the dishes—just getting up and moving every once in a while. He notes that in the office we tend to move around more. At home, it’s easy to stay in your seat and not move as the hours breeze by.
Christian also recommends changing up the scenery—have your meeting in the kitchen, brainstorm in the bathroom, create in your living room.
“Mixing up your environment and moving around your house/apartment throughout the day helps keep your mind busy and your creative juices flowing,” he says.
Finally, Addison Stevens is our senior manager of creative services. She says to stay creative in isolation, the answer is simple.
“Force yourself away from the work,” she says. “Take a break. Step away. Wander—both physically and mentally.”
Addison says the worst thing to do when feeling stuck or uninspired is to stay sitting at your desk, staring wide-eyed at a blank document. Instead, get out of the house, put headphones on, and force your brain to think about something else. Most often, she says, that’s when clarity comes.
Other breaks Addison recommends include cooking or, in the most desperate times, cleaning.
“I do just about anything other than writing,” she says. “And somehow, that frees my brain up in a way to allows the creativity to seep in.”
As for myself, I agree with all these wise words from my colleagues and would like to add one more idea. Sometimes when I feel drained creatively as a writer, I work on other creative outlets. Watercolor is a personal favorite.
Sensing a pattern? If there is one main point to take away from this blog, it’s this—take a break.
While we are stuck at home, our options might be more limited. But as you can see, there are plenty of ways you can pause your work and put your mind on something else.
So what are you waiting for? Step away from the screen. Go do something else. And you’ll find your creativity flowing back.