These are unusual times. For the first time, you’ve been told not to go to work and stay home. While this may have been something you’ve always dreamed of, as the reality of the situation sets in, you may not know what to do with yourself.
Even if you’ve long worked from home, there’s something different about being forced to stay there. That’s because it’s easy to take the little things like going to the gym, meeting up with friends, or even mailing something at the post office for granted.
If you struggle with flexing your creative design muscles during quarantine, then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to do to stay motivated and inspired. Who knows, you might even become more productive than ever.
1Create the Right Environment
You can’t take the dishes off the kitchen table, roll out your mouse pad, and expect your home to bestow creativity on you. It doesn’t matter whether you work in a studio apartment or a 12-bedroom mansion; you need to create the right environment to work in.
Find a place near a window that gives you plenty of natural light. Don’t be afraid to move things around. Clear any clutter. Make sure you have a comfortable chair or the right standing desk. This is your office, so make it comfortable.
Also, try to separate your relaxing and sleeping areas from where you work as much as possible. If you have a small space, you may have to rearrange at the end of the day, but consider that a little bonus physical exercise.
On that note, working out is more important than ever. You might not realize how much passive activity you get from your daily commute, going to the water cooler, or everything else you do in the office.
Now you need to incorporate exercise into your routine deliberately. It’s not only for your health but also for your productivity. Researchers from Stanford found that creativity increases by 60% when you include at least one daily walk or other forms of activity.
Spring is here. Enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather. Unless you’ve received an explicit stay at home order, nothing is prohibiting you from getting some fresh air. Take the dog for a walk or go for a stroll. But be sure to maintain the appropriate social distancing lengths.
4Reach Out to the Community
It’s easy to feel isolated during these times, especially if you’ve already been working remotely. But you’re not alone. Take advantage of the internet to reach out to other designers and others in the community.
Check out platforms like:
- Designer Hangout
- Dear Designers
- Team Sketch
You can also look at communities in Reddit, Facebook, and other online arenas.
5Do Something New
Everyone has extra time on their hands right now. Use it to pursue something that gives your creative side a new perspective. As a designer, you might want to try out painting, shooting video, editing, writing, or other types of artistic mediums you don’t usually experiment with.
6Collect Good Ideas and Inspiration
Designers collect ideas and turn them into fantastic work. In the old days, people would clip out items from magazines. Now you can gather inspiration quickly in the digital world.
Get on Pinterest, scroll through Evernote, and use research tools like Pocket to find and organize all the amazing things you’ve discovered.
7Keep Your Ideas and Data Safe
As your creative juices start to flow, you might find yourself with a large number of valuable designs and projects underway.
Be sure that while you do this, you keep your devices safe. You don’t want a hacker or competitor to get their hands on your big new idea. Use a VPN and other tools to prevent a data breach from happening to you.
As a bonus, you can use a VPN to change your virtual location to anywhere in the world. It is a great way to do research and get access to unique, geo-based content you wouldn’t usually come across. You can always get started with a VPN free trial or a service that has a money-back guarantee.
End each day by spending a few minutes journaling. It’s up to you what you write. You can describe how you’re feeling, what you worked on, or even what you ate.
The important thing is taking a few minutes and seeing where the words take you. You might stumble upon your next great inspiration.
Whether it’s a few weeks or months, this time will pass. Instead of seeing it as a challenge, view it as an opportunity to take your ideas and creativity to the next level. For designers, there’s never been a better moment to take it all in and produce their best work.