Working in a creative environment requires more than just innate creativity, especially if you are on a full-time shift. In reality, creative people need to allocate enough time crafting their masterpieces, and staying eight hours on the desk may not be the best method for creating such magnificent work.
Let’s admit it, office work and doing typical desk jobs in a cubicle kills creativity. Many of us believe that being creative is something that you are born with; that’s actually right. But just like any other skills, creativity should also be honed.
Now, if you are one of those creative people who is a corporate junkie and sits at a desk from 9am to 6pm daily (and still work at home after that), you are prone to drain your creativity when the load of work comes in. No matter how much you love your craft, your daily lifestyle can drag you to boredom.
It may be a really great challenge to break your daily routine, especially if you are used to it. But regardless if you think that it works to keep you productive every day, your office habits are destroying the very core of how you are surviving in the first place.
Keeping your passion and creativity alive requires more than just taking some break and refueling your creative juices. It’s something that needs to be constantly practiced. Here are some tips to help maintain your creativity despite having a full-time shift in the office.
We know, it’s hard, especially if you have overlapping deadlines and a long list of tasks to do. But focusing on one project at a time can give you enough time to conceptualize on a certain project. Thus, giving you the opportunity to create a more meaningful and artistic work in every project. Multitasking may be effective in terms of the speed of work, but giving one task just half of your attention can make it less good.
To be able to focus on one work, you can start by creating a to-do list and crossing out the finished tasks. In that way, you will know exactly what else do you need to finish in a day and you can also track your progress on an hourly basis. It’s going to be more effective if your list is specific on tasks and not deadlines. For example, if you are a writer, instead of listing down the deadlines for each article, you can list down each task such as researching, drafting, writing, and editing (Yes, a single task can have multiple subtasks under it).
It doesn’t make you an awesome employee if you know nothing but to work. If you want to refuel your creativity, start doing other things outside of work. Use your office time to do your job and rest on the days and hours that you’re supposed to be resting. Also, it’s not bad to take a break on your lunch time because you really should. Sitting on your desk (and working) while having lunch doesn’t make you productive. Sure, it helps you progress, but it’s draining you, too.
Moreover, find something else to do on weekends and rest hours. It may be a little tricky to pause your work mind at night because you’re, somehow, preparing for the next day; but if you are efficient during the day, you wouldn’t need to think about any task on your way home. Passion and creativity are sharpened by the randomness and diversity of your experiences.
The ultimate tip: leave your job on your desk. The moment you leave the office, the tasks should be left behind.
The only way to kill a monotonous environment is by going to a different environment. No, we don’t mean that you should resign. All you need is a different ambience from time to time.
You can go out for a working lunch and do your tasks in a coffee shop or a restaurant (or anywhere you feel relaxed). An hour of lunch break can already help to refuel your draining creativity. Well, when we say “working lunch”, it does not necessarily mean taking a computer with you and work. You can just bring a notepad or some pieces of paper to conceptualize and think of new ideas to make your tasks more creative.
You’ll be surprised how seeing strangers can give you inspiration. Going out and getting some fresh air can actually help you gather new perspectives that can be really helpful in finishing your creative projects.
Part of organizing your tasks is also organizing your thoughts. Concepts come in surprise for people with creative minds. Which means that, there are cases where an idea will pop out while you are in the middle of a meeting or a very important task. To keep that thought alive, and to not forget it, make sure that you will take note if the magic bulb suddenly blinks.
You can have a notebook (a physical one) that is solely dedicated for jotting down concepts and ideas. You can also utilise the power of post-its and tiny notepads; put it on a board near your desk so you’ll be reminded all the time.
But, if you are a techy-type of an artist, you can use Apps and other software that helps you jot down ideas and organize your thoughts. It works, too!
Two heads are better than one, as they say. It also works that way in creating projects. It pays to have someone of the same wavelength to throw ideas with – a brainstorming session actually works. You can call for help in “cooking” your idea to make it a full-blown masterpiece. Every creative person needs to have a nemesis who will always detract their precious concept; that is one of the best ways to hone your creativity.
You can also look for inspirations from the works of the people you admire the most. Say, for example, an office mate whom you truly applaud when it comes to creative ideas. You can collaborate with them in order to finish your task swiftly and more effectively.
Do not limit yourself on the four corners of your world. Creativity can also die a natural death if your mind is unexposed to the outside world. You have to remember that trends pass, and it changes. Your ideas should be able to adapt to the ever changing world of creativity. How would you that? By reading and by watching new materials and exploring the bests of the bests in your industry. Even if you are on shift, you can use the power of social to explore beyond your comfort zone.
The types of reading materials and video presentations that can be found online do not just cultivate your innate talent, it also help you discover the skills that you haven’t touched on or didn’t even know existed.
They key is to never stop wanting to learn new things, even when you are confined in the office.
Be the one to initiate creativity in your workplace. Learn to practice or apply creative inputs even on small things such as bathroom signs, wall decorations, office design, etc. Through this, you can inspire the entire office to be creative plus you can use it as a training for your mind.
You can also start by clearing the clutter on your desk. We know, creative people tend to be messy workers; but too much trash (especially on your desk) can look really stressful and it doesn’t help in creative conceptualization. Always remember that whoever and whatever you are has an impact to the people around you. From the way you dress, to the way you speak, encourage your team to be as creative as possible.
Creativity is (actually) a practice
Just like any other process, creativity is something that you can get used to. If you will make “creativeness” a part of your psyche, you shouldn’t be afraid that you will run out of it – regardless if you are working freelance or you go to work 8 hours a day.
Creativity is something that you need to practice to perfect, and it doesn’t matter if you are sitting at a desk the whole day or you are out looking for adventure. Your physical location is no bearing, honestly. Creativity is a product of your brain. Let your mind wander; let it go to different worlds; and let your creativity fly with no limits.