Keeping Creativity Flowing During a Crisis
01 June 2020
It’s true that a crisis can spark creativity. Just look at how everyone seems to have taken up hobbies like baking, home renovations, painting and podcasting (just to name a few).
Yet during a pandemic, we can also experience increased worry and anxiety. Both of which can seriously hinder the creative process.
We’ve previously looked at how our designers choose to stay inspired in non-chaotic times (well, except the usual chaos of an agency). Some of their techniques included liaising with others, and even though Zoom exists and has been an excellent tool, it doesn’t quite replace the creative magic of working together.
So what else can you do to keep the creativity flowing, even during a crisis?
Keep a Routine
While working remotely, it’s important to maintain a routine so that bedtime and work time don’t blend together. This way your brain knows when it needs to be in action.
Plus, productivity isn’t the only thing to consider. Looking after your health (and sanity!) while working remotely is incredibly important. In fact, we wrote a whole blog on our top tips for working from home and maintaining sanity.
Rely on Technology
This includes looking online for ideas and inspiration — think of the Instagram pages you like to visit, or e-newsletters you’re always keen to scroll through.
Relying on tech also means using the right online tools that can improve your working life. For example, organise tasks with Monday or Trello. Or use an online Pomodoro tool to segment your productivity and break times.
These tools work so well because having deadlines is actually key to generating ideas. Because you can see the finish line and can be fueled by incentive.
Learn a New, Unrelated Skill
Like making croissants or learning the harmonica!
Learning new skills activates parts of your brain you haven’t used before. When your brain fires these different neurons, you might actually be surprised how that gives you creative solutions to problems. Plus it beats staring at a blank page.
Repetition breeds the same results. For new ideas, try something new.
Talk, Talk, Talk,
Chat it out! With your colleagues, partner, housemates, the cat. Talk to yourself. Seriously, it helps.
Hearing words out loud lets them take on new meaning. Having a sounding board will give you a fresh perspective. Even if it’s your plant.
Change Your Surroundings
This could even mean just tidying them. Look at your desk, is it primed and ready for idea time or is it littered with things to remember, food, empty mugs, a cat? Are you really setting yourself up to perform your best?
Otherwise, change it up entirely. Work from outside for a bit, or even on the couch. Even we’ll admit, sometimes you just need some couch time.
Fresh surrounds mean a fresh perspective.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Getting blood pumping pumps blood to the brain and charges it with new life. That’s a bit of a metaphorical explanation, but the truth remains. Exercise helps creativity.
Literally no one has ever said, “Wow, I wish I didn’t go for that walk in the fresh air.”
It’s Okay to Not Be at Your Best
Remember that, after all, we are in a crisis. If your brain isn’t at its usual whip-snap speed and your creativity feels zapped — that’s okay! Use this time to rest up.
A pandemic doesn’t have to be the peak creative time in your life.
Sure, Shakespeare apparently wrote King Lear during a pandemic. But he also wrote all of his other plays not in a pandemic. So even if you don’t write your King Lear, your Romeo and Juliet is probably yet to come.