It’s been said that the slog of the 9-5 working day can be detrimental to creative output and imaginative productivity. The monotony of a routine that rarely varies might not get your creative juices flowing, because your working life follows the same pattern day-in, day-out, and as result, so do your thought processes. Perhaps you spend most of your time with the same few people. To inject some variety and encourage inspiration, why not consider these ways to spice things up.
Vary your working hours. If you’re fortunate enough that your employer allows flexitime, take advantage of it! Come in early some days and enjoy the quiet of the empty office or studio. On other days, if you need a lie-in, go in late and stay later into the evening. You’ll see different faces on the bus, and experience the subtle fluctuations in the atmosphere of the town or city you live and work in.
Take a vacation. Obvious! To get a break from your usual routine by jetting off somewhere sunny and warm, or hiding yourself away in a remote cabin in the forest. Quiet time for reflection can be really healthy for your mental state, and a bit of distance from your home and work can help you see things you might’ve been missing for a while.
Set aside regular non-digital time. Most of us are glued to our smartphones or iPads. The temptation can be to check your notifications every two minutes, and it quickly becomes habit. You won’t be having your most significant or original ideas if you’re addicted to Candy Crush. Make an effort to schedule in some time to be completely device-free, and nowhere near a screen like your tv. Allow yourself time and space to think.
Get up early. Family life can be hectic! For some creative time alone, why not get up at the crack of dawn and watch the sun rise from your desk. Or better yet, go for a morning run or gym session. Exercise is known to help mental stimulation. Maybe you could use the time for reading a new book, or doing research. Whatever your choice of activity, make it stimulating and vary it so that you don’t get stuck in a whole new rut.
Vary your workplace and try to get out of the office! See our other recent article for tips and suggestions about work places.
Try new creative mediums. There’s nothing like learning a new skill or way of working to get you thinking and experimenting. If you’re the kind of person that always uses something digital like an iPad to capture all your ideas and output, put it away and push yourself to try a pencil and sketchbook instead. If you’re a notes and lists person, try to get away from endless pieces of paper and come up with a different working method. Experiment with new mediums.
Vary your diet. The things we eat and drink play a huge part in our health and general wellbeing. Maybe your cooking and eating habits are just another part of the monotonous routine you’re trying to break free from! Get some new recipes, try new ingredients, and get lots of fruit and vegetables to boost your nutrition. Cooking can be a relaxing way to break up your working day, too.
Meet new people. Try hanging out in new places to meet like-minded people. Take an evening class or join a new gym. Maybe you’d benefit from socialising with new people that can encourage and motivate you.