There are so many benefits to working from home, but living and working in the same place affect your concentration as well as make it difficult to come up with fresh ideas.
Here are a few ways you can stay creative and boost motivation when working from home or you are self-employed.
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#1. 20 Minute Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise negatively impact physical health as well as work performance. Scientists have discovered that 20 minutes of exercise or rest every 90 minutes of work prevents emotional burnout and lack of focus. A stretch every hour also enhances your creativity!
Tips: Under Desk Bike is a great way to incorporate lower body movement without putting pressure on joints. You can exercise during a conference call too.
#2. Where Possible, Meet People
Limited social interaction causes a lack of motivation and creativity.
Well, most of us probably have social media account and chatting with others online. Despite that, more Americans feel loneliness ever than before. I know, it’s whaaaaat situation.
In this digital age, people have multiple communication tools such as email, social media, video chatting, etc. Why are we feeling isolated?
I googled and discovered interesting neuroscience examines that clarifies the difference between in-person interaction and online interaction.
Elizabeth Redcay, a neuroscientist at the University of Maryland, studied the difference between what goes on in one’s brain when interacting in person versus when interacting online.
The areas of the brain associated with attention and social intelligence become much more active when people are interacting in person. This study proved that people cannot anticipate what somebody else is thinking, feeling, and planning when these areas of the brain are not actively working. Imagining another person’s perspective is very important in creativity as well as improving emotional empathy.
Where possible, meet people! Eat out with your friends once in a while, go massage or nail salon, etc. Try to have a conversation with others in person.
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#3. Break Large Tasks Down into Smaller, more Manageable Pieces
When you are faced with a big task, you become easily feel overwhelmed and the task seems insurmountable. This feeling could kill your creativity, so break large tasks down into smaller pieces! By setting priorities and breaking the bigger project into smaller tasks help you to work more manageable and less intimidating.
For example, I’m not a multitasker. I can’t focus on multiple things at once. So, I only focus on the deadline and make a schedule based on it.
Tips: Use Weekly Planner Pads! These can help prioritize the tasks.
#4. Take Day Off
Not having enough work/client is maybe the greatest fear for most freelancers, contractors, and entrepreneurs.
So, some of the remote workers tend to work too much. They try to provide 24 hours and 365 days of services. It may be good for income, but not healthy at all for your body and brain.
Prevent burnout by taking mini-trips or mini-vacations as well as a day off! For example, I visit different countries and/or places to get creative inspiration. It works well always!
#5 Practice Good Self-Care
Creativity requires the quality of work more than quantity. Physical and environmental distractions can destroy the creative process, so keep your body healthy and your workplace tidy! To me, having a side hustle is part of self-care practice. I need something to do rather than a freelance job to prevent stuck projects.
Tips: Learn something new can be your self-care! Most online classes for graphic design and/or web design are much cheaper than a college degree. (as low as $17 you can start learning web design) How about learning Yoga? YouTube has free yoga class videos. Try something new which is not related to your remote work!
Creativity is similar to a muscle. It needs to be stretched, challenged, and occasionally step out of your comfort zone. You need to maintain physical and mental wellness to keep your creativity!
- Alban, D. (2019, February 09). The Mental Health Benefits of Art Are for Everyone. Retrieved from https://bebrainfit.com/benefits-art/
- Rossi, E. L., Ph.D. (2000, February 2). The 20 Minute Ultradian Healing Response. Retrieved from http://www.ernestrossi.com/interviews/ultradia.htm
- Redcay, E., Dodell-Feder, D., Pearrow, M. J., Mavros, P. L., Kleiner, M., Gabrieli, J. D., & Saxe, R. (2010). Live face-to-face interaction during fMRI: A new tool for social cognitive neuroscience. NeuroImage, 50(4), 1639-1647. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.01.052