As the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us over the past year, working from home has its own unique challenges and its own unique benefits. But it's also true that when our living space becomes our workspace, we often let our creative work and personal projects slip to the wayside. After all, who wants to approach a creative project after a long day of professional work?
Fortunately, there are ways to renew your creative energies and career goals after completing your other responsibilities for the day. Here are just a few tips for finding that creative spark again.
Take Advantage of Tutorials
In today's world, finding tutorials centered around a wide variety of different creative fields is as easy as clicking a button. For example, sites like Search Remotely are veritable goldmines of instruction in creative fields. Moreover, several top-tier universities such as Yale and Harvard have begun uploading entire courses on subjects ranging from classical music composition to creative writing to sites like YouTube. For lifelong learners, there has never been a better time to access cutting-edge information.
If you're looking to up your creative game, don't be afraid to take advantage of these various educational resources! Part of the challenge of creative work lies in finding the right teachers and the right resources. Once you find tutorials that speak to you as a creative worker, you'll be on track to take your skills to the next level. Truly, that is creative work at its best!
Where Possible, Separate Your Professional Workspace From Your Creative Workspace
Admittedly, this can be a bit tricky to do in cramped living quarters. But if you can, try separating your professional workspace from your creative workspace. Even if you have to draw, paint, compose music, or write from a comfortable armchair rather than at your desk in the evenings, be sure to emotionally separate yourself from your different working styles and responsibilities.
Subtle environmental differences will train your mind to associate creative work with relaxation. In other words, the extra time that you spend honing your creative chops won't feel like a continuation of time at the "office."
Find an Amount of Daily Practice That You're Comfortable With
To become better in a creative field, it is better to spend a little bit of each day practicing than to endlessly put off assignments structured around unrealistic expectations. For example, a person who wants to cultivate their graphic design skills might feel comfortable practicing with Photoshop for 45 minutes per evening. That's fine!
When ambition is driving you forward, it might seem wise to push yourself to your creative limits. But the truth is that building up creative skills largely has to do with setting appropriate expectations for yourself. In other words, if you dread the thought of spending three hours an evening working on drawings, you'll be less likely to follow through on your goals.
Instead, find your comfort level and stick to it. Even a small amount of practice per day will build up over time.
Keep Your Goals in Mind
In order to keep your car steady while driving long distances, a good rule of thumb is to keep your line of sight directed towards the horizon. This advice also works well when formulating creative goals. Without a sense of where you're going, in other words, it can be difficult to maintain an interest in the day-to-day drudgery of developing creative skills.
When your enthusiasm for creative work wanes, take a few moments to jot down your life goals. Ask yourself how your current creative practice ties in to the future that you want for yourself. Perhaps you dream of owning your own graphic design company one day. Maybe you'd like to be a creative director for a big advertising firm. Let these goals set the standard for how you approach your work!
Undoubtedly, striking a balance between creative work and professional work can do wonders for your career and personal life. It isn't always easy to separate these two worlds when working from home; however, the results down the line can be exceptionally gratifying. This is especially true when you begin to see improvement in your abilities.
As working from home becomes a new paradigm in the professional world, be sure to use this new situation to your benefit. You might just see big results!