Productivity, creativity, inspiration—it’s all happening a bit differently right now. From workshops to shared studios, art museums to neighborhood galleries, your go-to spots for a dose of inspiration are most likely in varying levels of openness. There’s also a good chance physical distancing has changed how you’ve been interacting with your circle of creative colleagues and friends.
Which means that staying inspired takes a little ingenuity these days. Luckily, when you approach finding day-to-day inspo as an ongoing creative project, amazing things tend to happen. So let’s dive into our current favorite (super simple) ways to keep those ideas flowing.
Embrace the Art of Dabbling
Experimenting with a new medium often results in a major creative boost. And you don’t have to go all out—it can be as easy as keeping a journal. Or shooting a daily photograph and tracking your progress over time. Or taking a free online course in that art movement you’ve always been curious about. The goal here is finding fresh creative avenues that’ll keep you feeling inspired, and maybe doing a little casual skill-building as you go.
Best part? There really is no wrong approach to dabbling. And when there’s zero pressure, you might find yourself doing some of your best creative thinking yet. (Which is why a little dabbling might be especially liberating for all you perfectionists out there.)
Don’t be Afraid of DIY
You might’ve noticed that more time at home has a way of turning into more time in front of a screen. If it’s getting harder and harder to just unplug, occupying yourself with hands-on activities is great for opening up new thought processes. (Sorry, endless scrolling does not qualify as a “hands-on” project.)
Small activities like redecorating your home office or putting together a gallery wall might take you into a totally new headspace. No ideas for practical projects? No worries. DIY can be as low-commitment as getting crafty with that old stack of magazines currently collecting dust and playing around with collage art.
And don’t worry about proving you’re a master craftsperson. Just think of do-it-yourself projects as fun, constructive ways to spend some time offline. Leading us to our next point…
Relax the Rules
Whether you’re a true creature of habit, a goal-oriented person or just an organized pro, routines and self-discipline are important to productivity. That said, if it feels like you’re getting stuck on a project that just will not end (we’ve been there), or are struggling to hit a self-imposed quota, it could be your cue to implement a more easygoing approach.
Ridiculously simple steps such as adding longer, more frequent breaks to your schedule or making time for self-care (meditation, stretching, etc.) feel like hitting a daily reset button. Plus, rethinking your typical work patterns often nudges you into new ways of thinking creatively. After all, ideas have a way of coming more freely when you’re feeling relaxed.
Speaking of relaxation…
Recurring theme: An overabundance of screen-time. That’s why dropping everything for a head-clearing nature walk is feeling especially purposeful at the moment. Even if you don’t consider yourself an outdoorsy person, changing up your environment by visiting a park or a neighborhood you’ve never been to is an excellent destressing method.
Bringing nature into your own home is also great for giving yourself some well-deserved chill time. If you don’t have a backyard, a balcony or window ledge is all you need to start growing herbs (extremely rewarding) or exploring the weird world of succulents (extremely fun).
(Finally) Start a New Chapter
Have you had that “read more” resolution for years now? Yeah, you’re not alone. But if you’ve been hanging around the homebase more and more, now is a great time to actually put it into practice.
And if you do, you’ll most likely find that reading improves your ability to focus, which is of course a must for sustained creative work. (Pro tip: Setting a minimum page count or time goal for daily reading will help make it a habit.) Already an avid reader? Now is the perfect time to do a deep dive into your own medium by exploring fresh POVs on the subject.
So, should you tackle a leisurely crafting project? Have fun building your skill set? Step up your relaxation game? Whatever you decide, it’s all about taking an exploratory, stress-free approach to finding what gets you into that creatively inspired mindstate.