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Feb
27

Top Ways to Be More Creative While Working from Home

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Whether you’re a freelancer or a remote employee, working from home certainly beats the drudgery of having to commute to work, attend pointless meetings, and all the other things that annoy you at your workplace. Of course, as I have learned, there’s a downside to everything no matter how good it may seem. Working from home day in and day out can leave you feeling creatively drained and increasingly stressed as there’s no leaving work behind at the end of the day. While this may seem like a catch 22 situation, there is a way out. Here are a few tricks and strategies that usually help me when I hit a creative slump. 

Simple Strategies to Keep the Creativity Flowing when You Work from Home

Step Out and Smell the Roses

Granted, the odors that greet you could sometimes be offensive, depending on where you live, but that’s not the point. Staying cooped up in your house will take a toll on your creativity and it’s important to get a change of scenery from time to time. Whether it’s your backyard, front porch, the neighborhood coffee shop, or a public park, spending a few hours outdoors can be invigorating for your creativity. You can use this time either as break from work or to work outdoors, depending on what suits you.

Collaborate

We’re all wired differently and some of us thrive with solitude, while others will find their creativity withering away. Working from home can be pretty lonely and even a solitary creature like me eventually starts to miss the friendly office banter, the helpful feedback, and the unhelpful disruptions. There are times when all you need is a second opinion or someone to bounce ideas off to give you that much needed creative spark. Connect with a friend or a trusted colleague, or collaborate with other freelancers if you can. 

Find Your Inner Peace

It’s easy to lose focus and burnout quickly because creative minds also tend to be incredibly chaotic. That lack of quiet time for your mind translates into stress and anxiety. When levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, are elevated most of the time, cognitive function starts to suffer and creativity becomes challenging. The best thing you could do would be to start each day with a few minutes of meditation. Mindfulness-based meditation techniques are so effective at restoring calm, lowering stress, and helping you focus that they are also used in clinical programs to treat anxiety disorders and depression. 

Get Physical

Stress can impair creativity not just because of the rise in cortisol levels, but also because of the reduction in serotonin and dopamine levels. These neurotransmitters don’t just influence your mood, but also play a role in cognitive functions like creative thinking, learning, and retention. Evidence shows that regular exercise can improve this neurochemical balance to give you a cognitive boost. From personal experience, I’ve found that morning exercise is one of the most effective strategies to keep my creativity levels high throughout the day. It’s also worth noting that these benefits are linked not just too high intensity exercise, but also to mild and moderate activities like walking, swimming, jogging, and cycling. 

Take Routine Breaks

It’s easy to get carried away when you feel like you’re on the cusp of a breakthrough, pushing on relentlessly despite the fact that your brain needs a break. To avoid a burnout, you need to take short and period breaks to let off some steam. Watching funny animal videos and spending time with my fur babies works wonders for me, but you can even do household chores, watch some standup comedy, or play a quick game. Just make sure to do something that takes your mind off work for at least 5 to 20 minutes. When you get back to work, you’ll find that your creativity is back too.

Don’t Skip Meals or Overeat

It can be tempting to skip breakfast, snack at any time, or have heavy meals when you’re working from home. This might not seem like a big deal, but your food intake actually has a significant impact on energy levels and creativity. Irregular meal timings and overeating can increase indigestion, causing a wide range of gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating, tummy aches, and worse, which can interfere with your creative output. Additionally, some nutrients like omega-3 fats are particularly important for healthy brain function. 

While all of these methods will help you be more creative when working from home, they won’t do you much good if you can’t maintain a healthy work-life balance. Working from home gives you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds, so give it all you’ve got and make it work. The teething phase can be tough, but it’s worth it in the end. 

 

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog

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