Working from home getting a bit old now? In light of recent news, it looks like the light at the end of the tunnel but we don’t know when or even if, we will ever work the same. Make sure to look after your mental health too.
A stressed/burnt-out brain is not going to produce amazing creative ideas. Ideas often come to us when we’re not thinking about the task at hand (such as in the shower). This is because creative ideas are born when our brains are high in dopamine, relaxed and distracted. So, make some tea, do a jigsaw, open a window and watch the world go by for 10 minutes; let your mind wander freely. Return to the problem with fresh eyes and mind.
Ordinarily, back in the good old days when there wasn’t a global pandemic, we’d have plenty of opportunities to be inspired by things surrounding us; a segment on the radio during the morning commute, a conversation with a colleague over your morning coffee, etc. While working from home we don’t have that breathing space to be inspired during the workday; inspiration and creativity may not occur naturally as often. So purposefully seek out things that inspire you, whether it’s a video, a podcast, a particularly good tv ad, an Instagram account; whatever it is save it for later. Put it into a folder on your computer or phone, or even bookmark it in your browser. Curate a little inspiration pocket for you to pop back into whenever you’re in need of some inspiration.
Often, doing something creative will lead to further creativity. Like your body, your creative muscle needs to be exercised regularly, so start a creative hobby! It could be painting or crafting, building with lego or clay, just unlock that freedom to create.
Being creative sparks creativity; the more you do, the more creative you’ll be.
Suggested Toolkit: Brainsparker
Try approaching the task and coming up ideas from someone else’s perspective. Whether it’s a writer or creator, a colleague, or even a fictional character; make sure it’s someone who’s work inspires you. Try approaching the project/problem as they would. What would they think or do? How would they do this particular task? Try to emulate their essence in your work and you may find yourself on the path to creativity.
Working from home can be lonely and while we may have wanted a little more peace and quiet in the office, we’d love that water-cooler chat right about now. Bouncing ideas off of each other was easy in the office but being physically apart doesn’t mean that has to stop. Try having a chat with a colleague, whether talking or typing, and you may find the solution to that tricky project. Even telling family/friends about the project can be useful; they don’t have to understand entirely what it is you’re talking about but talking out loud can do wonders to get those cogs turnings and the ideas a’comin’.
It’s so easy to be overly critical of ourselves and our work, especially in difficult climates such as these. Thinking that our skills aren’t good enough or that we wouldn’t be able to pull off that idea we had or replicate that cool thing we saw stunts creativity. Stop worrying about not being good enough, and start doing, you may surprise yourself.
Stress really puts out that creative spark, and, oh boy, there’s an abundance of things to be stressed about at the moment. Try taking some time to meditate, whether it’s in the morning, before bed, or during the day. You can also try mindful colouring if you need to keep busy to relax. You can also keep a journal which might help with a bit of perspective on a particularly knotty problem. I find Calm and Headspace are great apps for this!
Suggested Toolkit: Todoist
Make time to switch off at the end of the workday. Whilst working from home, it’s easy to continue thinking about that one project late into the evening once you’ve finished work for the day, especially when you’re a little stumped for ideas. Switch off and let your subconscious do its work, if you suddenly remember something, just make a note and put it away for tomorrow. Scheduling and management is key here.
Getting enough sleep is very important for our brains and body to function properly, and a lack of sleep dulls creativity. Working from home can lead to later and later bedtimes; ‘I’ll just watch one more episode, I don’t start work ‘til 9’. We all know how easy it is to fall into this habit, snoozing the alarm and convincing yourself you can get up at 8:50 and be sitting at your desk ready for work at 9. Go to bed at a reasonable time, get your 8 hours, have a relaxed morning or even a productive one. There’s a reason sleep deprivation is a form of torture.
I know, if you’ve read anything productivity/creativity related recently, in almost every article you’ll be recommended to exercise. But this is because exercise aids the growth of new cells in the hippocampus (cool name, right ; ) which is responsible for not only long-term memory, but some scientists also think being able to imagine new situations, such as the future, and come up with new ideas, also stems from here. At the very least exercise is a mood-booster, which helps creativity. From yoga to sweat-fests, trial a free course and you’ll see the difference.
That’s my tuppence worth. Just remember, everyone is finding it difficult at the moment. I hope these tools help return you to the path of creative brilliance and maybe you can take some of it with you when life returns a bit more to normal.
At Gnu HQ, we’re giving all these techniques a go to ensure we produce the best creative content we can for your marketing strategies. If you’d like to know more or have a specific question about video marketing or our animation studio, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We offer a fully in-house, end-to-end video and animation service across the UK and perhaps it’ll free you up some time for your hippocampus ; )
You can try our brand new Online Chat at the Gnu Films website or we’re still available on our office number 01604 422911. More than ever, we need to #keepcommunicating, so we can inform, educate and reassure people. Let’s do it safely, together.
If you’re ready to get started, then get in touch! Call us on 01604422911 or email [email protected]. We’re a full-service video and animation company serving the whole of the UK and more!