Creativity in quarantine?
Today during the pandemic times, the times of social distancing, proper 30 sec washing hands, times of sanitisers, masks, gloves and quarantine we all seem to feel isolated and lose our creative vibes. I don’t want to divide people here on creatives and non-creatives. I believe that every profession requires creativity and every person is creative in their own unique way. Creativity is an inspiration drawn from the outer world, from people we meet, from conversations we conduct and things we see and experience.
It looks now that no one was prepared for the pandemic and no one was ready to stay and work at home for such a long time. It seems that there are a few more weeks of working remotely ahead of us. So, how can we stay creative in the homely and cozy environment which might not actually put us in the working mode? Below I am sharing with you some tips that help me boost my creativity while facing new tasks nowadays. I work as a product designer, but I think they will help you, too.
Finding a quiet space which will put you in a working mood is essential. It does not matter if it is a well-equipped computer desk, a kitchen table, or a sofa in your living room. In such a place you should be comfortable and there should not be any destruction. It is a good idea to make it resemble your working space at the office. You can put a cup of coffee at your desk, a notebook, pens or pencils etc. If you have no opportunity to surround yourself with physical things which remind you of your office space, you may turn on the music which gets you in a productive mode, whichever that works for you. Remember that everything is very individual.
Maybe it is odd to put the word creativity together with the planning and deadlines. However, I believe that creativity is not only about the free-spirited and unrestrained working process, it is also about getting things done. And you need to get them done on time. Creativity generates ideas that increase work productivity and work efficiency. Planning tasks and setting deadlines has a positive effect on the working process, makes it more organised, especially if you are working alone. Even if you have your deadlines and tasks set by the project manager in Jira, it is good to have your own internal deadlines in order not to stress about having to do all the tasks at the end of a sprint.
It is important to take short breaks, not only to get away from a computer and go on a trip from your “Foteland” to “Las Kuchnias” to get some coffee, but also to do a small physical exercise.
Even a short physical activity like stretching, or doing some squats will make your blood circulate better and bring more oxygen into your brain. So, move on and work out! Your brain will work better, your spine will say thank you, and your eyes will relax after looking at the screen for a long time.
Communication is the key. It is great that we live in a time when the Internet, different messengers and social apps can easily bring our communication online. The time of isolation is a good idea to organise calls and chats with your colleagues, especially with those who you work on the same project with. Even a small chat conversation can become a trigger to new ideas and creativity boost. Sometimes even a small idea from your colleague can evolve into something bigger and get you back on a creative track.
From where to draw inspiration when you are locked at home all the time? As I have mentioned above, you can get inspired by the work of your peers but also get your inspiration from surfing the Internet, browsing some websites or looking through some apps. Reading articles by professionals from your industry can also be very inspiring. In addition, now is a good moment for self-development, experimenting, doing some online courses which you have never had time for, or reading a book.
In order to stay creative at work just find a quite comfortable space, which gets you in a working mode, plan and meet the deadlines, do not forget about the breaks and stay physically active. Talk to your colleagues and discuss different ideas if you are stuck with something, be in a constant search of inspiration. Being on quarantine does not mean your creativity should be locked up, on the contrary - use this time to boost your creative capacity as much as you can.
PS Stay at home.