In this article we share 4 Ways to Embrace Creativity with Your Online Work Setup.
Some professionals don’t need to cultivate creativity. Accountants, for instance, are bound by their duties to avoid it entirely. They’re entrusted with balancing books, making sums add up with precise accuracy. And then there are morticians. They might get to ruminate on unusual causes of death, but they mostly assess livers and make exhausting notes for legal reasons.
Most, though, rely on it on a daily basis. At a minimum, they need creativity for mixed content production, being tasked with handling internal or external communications, writing blog posts, or creating copy for other purposes. Certain fields such as graphic design are innately creative. Graphic designers rarely get to rest on their laurels, and dedicated authors must achieve consistent output.
Let’s say that you need to be creative in your job, regardless of the specifics. If so, working remotely may well cause you some degree of difficulty. Working in a conventional office environment can be distracting, but that distraction has a vibrancy to it — working with your colleagues around keeps your mind stocked with new material.
If you’re working remotely, then, whether because your employer requires it or because you prefer it overall, how can you make your online work setup more conducive to creativity? How can you work from home with a slick creative process? Let’s look at four core suggestions.
Table of Contents
Optimize Your Home Office
The conditions and aesthetics of your environment can massively affect your creative process (as well as your mood). You can be completely out of ideas in a dreary room, yet find your head swimming with new ideas just by heading outside and taking a breath of cool air. Visual stimulation can also be highly potent: just think how much a great view can get your mental gears running.
Maybe your employer is ultra-flexible and they’d support you working remotely from an exotic overseas location — even if just temporarily. The adoption of asynchronous working patterns and an increase in cloud-based technology mean it’s not only possible, but feasible: if you’re striving to spark creativity, a beach-front backdrop isn’t a bad start.
When it comes to your immediate surroundings, it shouldn’t be too expensive to spruce up your home office area. Take RGB LED strips, for instance: they’re extremely cheap and easy to install, and you can have as much mood lighting as you can stomach. You can put a new coat of paint on the wall behind your desk, perhaps, or just put up some paintings or other pieces of art.
If your workspace is a bland temperature, try switching things up. Maybe you’d think better at a colder temperature, or perhaps some heat would get your synapses firing. Having a fan heater is a good general compromise, allowing you to make adjustments on the fly.
Play Games During Your Breaks
One of the nice things about working from home is that you can set up your computer however you like it, and that means being able to do things like play games. Why is this something you should care about? Because games aren’t just fun: they feature various elements of strategy that can seriously revitalize your ability to solve problems.
This is true for so many different types of game, so there’s sure to be something that suits you. Even a round of classic solitaire will help you decompress and come up with a solution, and you can play it online easily enough. Or maybe you’d prefer something more complex, such as a battle simulator or even a grand strategy game along the lines of the Crusader Kings series.
If playing on your PC doesn’t work for you, hook games console up to your work monitor as a secondary input so you can switch over whenever you feel like it. If you choose a particularly complex game, you’ll need to exert robust self-control to ensure that you don’t get distracted for too long. The goal is to get your mind off work. Once that’s done, you can get back to your professional obligations with a new head of steam.
Mix up Your Background Music
If you don’t already listen to music while you work, you’re a rare exception. If you’re working remotely, you don’t need to worry about annoying your colleagues (or being perceived as not paying enough attention), so there’s every reason to have some tunes playing in the background while you concentrate on powering through your workload.
One problem with this, though, is that you can fall into the habit of listening to the same things over and over again — and the more you listen to the same tracks, the more familiar they become, and the less your mind pays attention to them. This is great for relaxing, but not so good for working and coming up with new ideas.
What genres do you never listen to? What artists mystify you? Try playing something radically different while you work. If thrash metal typically sounds like atonal warbling to you, give some bands a try in some short bursts. Maybe they’ll surprise you, or maybe they’ll enrage you. Either way, you’ll feel more engaged and ready for new things.
Adopt a More Flexible Schedule
If you’re still working the 9-to-5 but your workplace doesn’t explicitly require it, you need to consider whether it’s truly advisable to stick to that rigid schedule. Why not change it? We all think most clearly at different times. Some people are most alert early in the morning, while others find their productivity unusually high in the evening.
You need to think about what’s best for you — and if you’re not sure, then you should start experimenting. Segment your day in different ways. Work for a couple of hours, take a few hours off, then get back to work. Start at 5am and get a lot done before it’s light outside.
Additionally, whenever you tap into a rich vein of creativity, you should pursue it regardless of how long it lasts. If you suddenly have a ‘light-bulb’ moment at 5pm, don’t let that momentum ebb away — get the work done, then take some time off on another day when you’re not feeling so inspired. It’s the smart way to proceed.
Wrapping up, creativity isn’t something that can be forced, but it can be strongly encouraged. By taking the time to change the environment you work in and the processes you follow both during and between your primary tasks, you can keep your creative energy at a strong level (avoiding any major dips) and get more done as a result.
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