Article + Tools: How to stay creative & sane when working from home
Updated: Apr 21
Working from home and being confronted with the current restrictions is definitely challenging for many of us.
With this guide, we want to help you stay creative and sane during this time of social distancing and make the best of your new flexible work set-up & extra time.
1. Start a new hobby or reactivate an old one
Extracurricular activities can be a great way to develop new skills, experiment, connect with people (also online) or decompress. “Play” has the power to significantly improve everything from personal health to relationships to education, to organizations ability to innovate. What is something you always wanted to do, but never took the time for? What did you do as a kid that excited you and how can you re-create that today? Some ideas to get you started:
Learn a new instrument or pick up your guitar again
Drawing, painting. Try coloring books or this online arts club from Jon Burgerman
Start a new book
Cook one of your favorite meals, bake bread
2. Move your body
Take Breaks (and go outside) Give your mind a break and go for a walk, take a bike ride or watch the clouds. Some fresh air will do good. Do sports Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, exercising is not only good for your immune system but also helps you switch off and give your brain some rest. You can take an online fitness class or check if your local studio offers online streaming/classes, such as our friends Brooklyn/NYC based studio @goodtimesbklyn or Skyting and support them with donations!
3. Embrace doing nothing ️
Research has found that daydreaming - an inevitable effect of idleness, makes us more creative, better at problem-solving and coming up with creative ideas. Make time for doing nothing, and do it with purpose. Figure out when you’re most productive and creative, then notice when your mind starts to shut off or you start performing tasks just for the sake of doing them. That’s when you should go for a walk, take a break and let your mind wander or do activities like gazing out of a window or sitting motionless.
4. Practice solitude.
“We need solitude to thrive as human beings” Cal Newport’s, Digital Minimalism. It will help you to be more in tune with what makes a good life for you. Solitude is defined as being alone with our own thoughts and having the ability to listen to our internal dialogue without distraction or input from other people, screens, or devices. Try to find at least 15 minutes in your day to practice solitude. Use this downtime to do nothing.
Resist the urge to star at your screen when waking up and go take a shower right away, take a quick break from work and go for a walk and find ways to practice not having external input.
Start a journal! One great way to find focus & listen to your own thoughts is to start journaling. You can use a normal notebook or a guided journal such as the 6 Minute diary.
Read more on the topic on 99u’s blog post “The Art of Doing Nothing”
5. Expand your knowledge & learn a new skill
Now is the perfect time to expand your grey matter and take an online class, watch YouTube tutorials, documentaries or read those articles that you have been bookmarking forever.
Learn a language e.g. with apps such as Duolingo
Expand your work skills or learn something new:
Skillshare: Thousands of online classes to help you improve your professional skill set or start that side hustle that you've been wanting to start for so long (Get 2 FREE Months of Unlimited Classes via this link)
Ted Talks: unlimited inspiration to any topic you can dream of, all for free and online.
Listen to a Podcast you've subscribed to but have never opened yet!
6. Collaborate & stay connected
Feeling a sense of belonging and being connected is a basic human need.
Talking and collaborating with people from different disciplines is essential to come up with new ideas and see things in a different light.
If you collaborate with different people, make sure to keep those conversations flowing.
For new inputs, many event organisers are providing virtual hangouts/streaming instead of their IRL events right now. Try to attend a virtual huddle, online event or facetime with a group of likeminded people.
I’d love to hear what you come up with during this time, so feel free to reply to this email or drop your ideas into the comments on this post!