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Keeping the creative spark alive: 5 tips when working from home

By Emily Wood
12 January 2022

Over the last two years, working from home has become the ‘new normal’ for most of us, but that hasn’t made it any easier to adjust to. Whilst working remotely has brought a wealth of benefits such as no commute, convenience and the potential to save money, it’s also had a few downsides, and for many staying motivated has been a big one.

Creativity isn’t just about thinking up the next best campaign, but staying motivated and passionate too and let’s face it, living and working through a global pandemic can really impact your job. From changing the physical environment to your working hours in the day, there are several tips to help keep that creative spark alive- whether your job relies on innovation or not.

A clear space leads to a clearer mind

As the saying goes; ‘tidy space, tidy mind’, so take a look at where you spend your time when you work- is it cramped? Setting up a workspace is an essential part of adjusting to working from home and that means dedicating a corner of the table or a desk in a room that remains clear. ‘Sofa surfing’ when working from home may feel more breezy or relaxed but not having a place to concentrate can impact your creativity and productivity levels.

Working amongst clutter is enough to bring the most motivated person down as physical chaos quickly impacts how we feel. If you don’t have the space for a desk, make sure the environment you want to sit in is clear of clutter and won’t make you feel physically distracted or overwhelmed.

Move regularly

Creativity doesn’t always happen and if you’re struggling to find any new ideas or motivation, going for a run or doing something active will help re-engage your mindset. It can even spur on some great ideas whilst you’re out running.

Whether you use some commute time before work to run, walk or cycle outside, or simply roll out the yoga mat for 5 minutes stretch- moving will help clear your mind and start your day with a fresh perspective. Moving helps get the endorphins going, making you physically feel better and more positive afterwards which will also help you think clearer.

Try somewhere new

Working remotely doesn’t have to mean from your home, so why not try somewhere new. It’s amazing how much a simple change of scenery can motivate you with work or even help with creativity.From your local cafe’s, communal workspaces, libraries and even hotel’s, hospitality venues have adapted well to the casual working lifestyle so make the most of your local area.

Even sitting somewhere else in your home could help bring a fresh perspective to your workflow so if you have the room, why not switch up your working environment at home.

Give yourself ‘space’

As well as a physical working environment, in order to think clearly, you need actual space from work to help get the passion back. Taking a break - whether that’s an afternoon off or a weeks’ holiday can help get the creative spark back and when you’re just working from home giving yourself space can feel almost impossible. With many restrictions on travel, holidays and breaks have felt like distant memories and many more of us have chosen to work through the pandemic without taking so much as a day off.

Data from Statista highlighted a distinct lack of holiday days, with 73% of the people surveyed stating that they had not taken a day off in April 2020. If you’re not making physical space from work life and home life, it becomes even more essential to take forced holiday breaks. Giving yourself even a days’ space from emails and work chat can help recharge and re-set, sparking those creative juices once more.

Put pen to paper

Sometimes it’s the more basic things that can help reignite creativity and writing down your ideas or even random thoughts is one of the best methods. If you’re more comfortable writing notes on your phone or find putting pen to paper therapeutic, try keeping either a pad or a phone nearby and write down ideas when they come to you. This immediately takes the pressure off having those ‘great ideas’ when you actually need to, as you’ll have captured some more creative thoughts when you were least expecting it.

It’s not just productivity and creativity that writing helps, but your mental wellbeing too, with ‘journaling’ becoming a popular activity for mindfulness. It’s not the most original activity as we’ve been writing things down for millennia but sometimes the more simple tips are the most effective.

Whether you try just one of these tips or all of them, remember that those great ideas or creative moments don’t happen overnight. Working from home has meant a big cultural shift for many sectors so don’t be hard on yourself when those more creative moments are harder to come by with so much change to adjust to.