One of the obstacles you have to overcome when you are your own boss is finding inspiration when you don’t report to an office every morning. Some entrepreneurs argue that routine is the enemy of creativity, but I like to think the inspiration you find is contingent upon the people you surround yourself with, or the energy a space omits. As much as I love my living space, it can be difficult to separate work from play when it all happens under the same roof. Here are a few of my favorite ways to pull myself out of a creative rut!
So you’ve been working from your desk at home all day and you’ve hit a wall. We’ve all been there. Just because you work at home doesn’t mean you have to stay at home! This is the 21st century, which means we have the ability to take our work with us everywhere we go (special thanks to the wonderful people who created Wifi and Google Drive for endorsing my workaholic way of life.) Take your workstation with you to a coffee shop, or if you’re feeling old school, go to the park with a pen and paper. It is amazing what a simple change of location can do to clear your head and make way for new ideas.
Take this experiment one step further by powering down all together and going on a cultural excursion! Take a trip to a museum, take yourself out to lunch or dinner, or explore a part of town you haven’t seen before. Take time to enjoy these activities and soak in everything it has to offer because you never know what might strike a creative chord. Rebecca Minkoff recently came out with a line of guitar straps for her handbags, which I later learned was inspired by her trip to the Rolling Stones Exhibition in NYC!
As a writer, I have gotten in the habit of using stream of consciousness writing as a precursor to any serious piece I produce. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept, this writing technique encourages you to write down everything you think or feel in one foul swoop—no filter necessary. Once you have cleared out everything that seems like gibberish and irrelevant thoughts, clear ideas reveal themselves. Much like meditation, before you can clear your head you have to acknowledge your thoughts without judgement, and only then can you complete the task at hand.
This next tip is one of my favorites—invite a group of your most trusted friends to brainstorm with you! When you work at home you don’t get to participate in the water cooler talks you imagine taking place in a corporate setting, but you can mimic them with your favorite people in your own home. It is easy to get carried away with an exciting new idea and forget about the logistics, which is why having people around to give you immediate feedback and point out flaws you may have overlooked is a good idea. I personally use this concept with my team. We all do big brainstorming sessions, bounce ideas, articles and strategies off each other and we’re able to quickly hone in a concept and game plan. I have so many thoughts throughout the day, so it’s great to have this sounding board. I can’t tell you how many team SAK meetings I have held from the comfort of my own home—it’s comfortable, a safe zone and I’m able to just relax with my team and knock out a ton of stuff for all Simply Audree Kate platforms.
Lastly, and probably most importantly, I am a firm believer in the “look good, feel good, do good” theory. I always make sure I get up around the same time each morning (I don’t sleep in), I make my bed, I get ready and I don’t work in bed. This helps me maintain that same “office” mentality and I strongly believe it helps me stay motivated, and I’m able to separate home from work a little easier.
All of these tricks have proven themselves effective in the past, but if you have tried it all and are still in a bind, don’t panic! Sometimes the best remedy is just taking a break. Nothing good has ever come from forced creativity, so even when I am working against a deadline, I find a minute to take a breather. Best of luck! xo