6 ways to keep a creative mindset whilst working from home
There’s no denying that creativity is best born through immersing yourself in ideas.
And interactions with other people can be an amazing spark for igniting creativity.
Read Time: 5 minutes
Heck, even Steve Jobs noted the importance of human interaction when he said:
“Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say ‘Wow,’ and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.”
Interesting side note – one of the greatest adverts of the 00’s – the famous Cadbury’s Gorilla ad – even came about from a random discussion. It was born from a creative team having a discussion of what the greatest drum solo in music history was.
When you’re working from home, and particularly in this current climate, it’s difficult to immerse yourself in spontaneous meetings and random discussions.
And that, in itself, can have an impact on the creative mindset.
You see, whilst creativity feels like it can ‘come’ to you. It doesn’t.
No. It’s the combination of your mind joining hundreds and thousands of pieces of information points – of experience – together to come up with a solution for a problem.
So, how can you keep your creative mind ticking over whilst working from home?
Here are 6 tips to keep your creative mindset fresh:
1. Get Outside
When working from home, it can quickly start to feel like you are a caged animal. You sleep there. You eat there. You rest there. And now, you work there.
Obviously, in the current climate, it’s not wise to go outside any more than is necessary – and always follow government guidelines.
But even getting out in your garden can be a great way to get some fresh creative air into you.
Taking a break outdoors will also give your senses a break.
Switch your mind off and take it all in.
The sounds of nature. The sounds of the neighbourhood. Maybe even the distant drone of a lawnmower.
These will give you a chance to reset your mind so you can start to rebuild those creative connections.
2. Do something – anything
Step away from the computer.
Stimuli are important for creativity. We talked before how creativity is born from joining up lots of different pieces of information and experiences together.
Overthinking a problem. Trying to force creativity. It’ll never come.
You need to take your mind off it. You need to get more stimuli.
Getting your hands dirty is the perfect way. Rather than using your hands for typing on the keyword, break-away and use them for something else.
Consider yourself a dab-hand in the kitchen? Then take some time to bake some bread.
Like to paint or draw? Colouring is a great way to focus your mind on something else.
Read a new book. Learn a new song on the guitar. Plant some new flowers.
Even breaking away and washing last night’s dishes.
Anything to get your hands away from the keyboard onto something else.
The power of exercise cannot be underrated.
It increases oxygen flow around your body. It starts pumping endorphins and other ‘happy’ hormones.
All things you need to get your brain working.
And this is backed up by science. Research shows that exercising three to four times a week can dramatically improve your creative thoughts.
Exercise is particularly useful when suffering from mental blocks or lack of imagination.
So, stick YouTube on. Find an exercise class to join. And get your body moving.
4. Keep Talking
The glory of modern technology is that we can stay connected with family, friends and colleagues wherever they are in the world.
Work tools like Slack, Zoom, Skype; they all keep us in constant contact with each other.
But consider the conversations you’re having with your work colleagues.
Is it always about work?
Is it always about the project in hand?
In the office environment, chats happen throughout the day. Breaking up your workday.
A conversation about the latest episode of Love Island. Or maybe a new restaurant you’ve stumbled across.
It could even be a conversation about something interesting you’ve recently read.
When you work from home, it is easy for these conversations to stop.
Chats become solely about work.
And what’s the impact of that? What’s the impact of losing the water cooler talk?
Firstly, you miss out on the natural breaks in your day. It becomes harder to give your brain a break. To take a moment to relax.
Secondly, you miss out on forming new stimuli and connection points for ideas to be formed around.
It’s hard but try to have those random conversations. They’ll help with your creativity.
Take time out of your day to read about something new.
And it doesn’t even have to be related to your role or business.
Get involved in learning random facts about cowboys. Or why shark skin is basically made from teeth.
Psychology is always a good topic for marketers and business owners to learn more about too! Understanding human behaviours and motivators.
Immersing your mind in new concepts or learning something new should be a priority if you want a creative outlook.
Learning creates heaps of those creativity-inspiring information points in your mind. Plus, you never know when those newfound shark facts might come in handy!
6. Find Problems
This one is a biggy!
Sometimes it is hard to be creative without a purpose.
Revisiting why you need to find a creative solution in the first place, can allow your thought processes to reset.
It can also allow you to see the problem in a different light.
- Who are your customers?
- What do they need?
- What do they like?
- What do they want?
- What can you or your business offer?
Ask yourself these questions. Seek out the answers.
Is there any obvious creative solution that can solve their needs?
No? Then seek out more information – more connections – by exploring the other points in this list.
But if there is a solution? Then well done! Get cracking with putting it in place.
Creativity can’t be forced or shoehorned. It needs to come to you through experience, knowledge and creative breaks.
There may be fewer natural stimuli around you when working from home, but – hopefully – these tips will help you keep your mind active.