We have all been at home for a little over a month now and many of us have gotten into the rhythm of a new norm. We may have transitioned from pjs to actual pants; from bare face to actual glam up. DIY has made its way into our lives maybe in the form of haircuts, manis or pedis. And with more time to spend on social media than ever before, I’m sure you’ve encountered the endless threads shouting that you need to use this time to start that business, write that ebook,etc.
Well first, let me say that however much time you need to adjust, please take it. Your physical ad mental health take priority in times like these. (Check out my tips on dealing with anxiety here) But if all else is good and you are feeling dull creatively, how do push through to get the juices flowing. As a content creator, or anyone in a creative field where your job may rely on your imaginative ideas, what do you do? After a recent live discussion with a friend I came up with a few tips that are helping me to stay motivated and foster an atmosphere of creativity.
1) Get Dressed– Getting dressed for the day gives me energy and actually puts my mind in a space to work and create. If I lounge around in my pjs or go through half the day without showering, I am in an ultra lazy mood with no mindset to do anything productive. Now this doesn’t mean you have to doll up like you’re headed for a night out on the town. This just means you are practicing some sort of normal that you are used to. Getting dressed puts you in the mindset that you are ready for the day and ready to work. With this mindset you should feel motivated to get something accomplished.
2) Eat Healthy – We don’t realize sometimes how much our diet affects our productivity. Being quarantined many of us have began to adapt the quarantine fifteen. Stock piling our favorite snacks and comfort foods. Now don’t get me wrong, I have a few of my favorite Cheesecake factory cheesecake on reserve. But we must make sure were keeping our health top of mind. Most carbs break down into sugar. So on top of the sweet sugary guilty pleasures were intaking, not to mention coffee and caffeinated beverages, we’re adding even more. And sugar is the enemy for productivity. It makes you sluggish by taking you on an ultimate high then leaving you to crash. Being healthy is not only important right now for your immune system but also to foster creativity.
3) Find New Creative Outlets– If you do the same thing you will get the same results. Does this quote sound familiar? It is true in some instances. If you feel you are lacking creativity maybe try new hobbies, hang around different people, watch and listen to new or different podcasts. Exposing yourself to something unexpected will open up your mind, most importantly the creative side. If what you used to read or do for inspiration is not inspiring you anymore, than maybe its time for a change. If you can’t go out to places for inspo because of the stay at home order, reimagine how you can use your home space in a unique way. USE WHAT YOU HAVE!
This tip can apply to people as well. Now I don’t believe in the cutoff culture, but if your current group of friends don’t encourage you or push you, just be cognizant of what you share with them. Maybe have a conversation with someone that you rarely do. You’d be surprised the inspiration you may find from new perspectives. Now this doesn’t mean you have to abandon that thing or those people all together; but whatever you intake should be positive, and inspiring you to do better.
4) Don’t Compare Yourself to Others– It’s very easy in this world to look at others and feel like you aren’t doing enough. You want your pictures to look like theirs, I’m not as good of writer, my butt isn’t as big, etc. But this is probably one of the major killers of creativity. Why; because it can lead to lack of confidence; which is key in being creative. Creativity requires courage to do and act even when it’s not the trendy thing. It requires courage to be your authentic self and love the unique qualities and ideas that God placed in your mind and soul. The minute you start to compare, you are saying that what God made isn’t good enough. Your gift will make room for you; trust me. When you stop comparing yourself and trying to emulate others, is when your creative person starts to shine. This is what makes you unique and what people will gravitate towards.
5) Give Yourself Bullet- Point Tasks– Don’t try to get up and write a whole book and start a youtube brand in one day. Social media right now is making you think that you’re a loser if your not becoming the next Bill Gates or Toni Morrison in the making. I for one am not moved. I believe in realistic goals. If you try to give yourself too huge of a task, it can seem overwhelming and discouraging to achieve. Not to mention if you’re creative process is longer than others, you may get even more discouraged. Start with one small task a day. Write a paragraph, post one picture, start reading or watching on how to edit. You’ll find that once you do this, your creative juices will begin to flow and lead you into the corresponding follow up task.
For instance, I’ve been wanting to do a video for IGTV for about a year now, but I thought it would take so much. I gave myself small tasks each day. One day I picked out my outfits. Another I wrote out possible topics for videos. The last day I shot separate clips of the video. Once I was complete, I realized it was fairly easy to use Inshot and create a video, the thing I strayed away from for so long. Check out the finished product here. So all that to say that when you break that large task down into smaller tasks, it makes it seem more achievable; resulting in you actually acting on it!
6) Repurpose Your Content– Who says everything has to be brand new? Look through all of your old photoshoots, videos you’ve recorded, etc. that you’ve never used. Now post it; your audience has never seen it. Have a paper you wrote for a class years ago? Compile it to make a guide or template to sell. Take the photos in this post. I never got around to posting them around holiday time as I had planned because I was consumed with my annual holiday party. Since the outfit is still season appropriate, I was able to repurpose for this post. Because of social distancing it’s not the most ideal right now to go out and shoot photos for new content. So I am using what I have. Before you curate a whole new idea, think about repurposing or expounding on a current idea.
These are just a few of the tips that have been helping me stay creative during this time. Its okay to allow a period for your mind to adjust to the times, but it’s important that we don’t stay there. Let me know if any of these tips help you to foster an atmosphere of creativity to start working. And as always please feel free to leave comments below and add your ideas!