“I’d be more creative if I didn’t have to work…” “My job sucks all the life out of me.” “There’s just no time to be creative.”
If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. It can feel almost impossible to stay creative if you’re stuck in a cubicle all day, but that’s really not the case. These ten hacks will help keep your creative juices flowing in even the dullest of environments.
Set your alarm half an hour early and get creative
If you feel like you’ve got no time to be creative, then it’s up to you to make some. You might groan at the idea of getting out of bed even earlier, but you’ll soon find that it’s the highlight of your day. Keep your favorite creative tools by your bed, and get creating as soon as you wake up. You could write in a notebook, draw, color, paint, or even sculpt.
Make a creativity sticker chart
Deep down, we all love to be rewarded for our efforts, but it doesn’t seem to happen that often outside of kindergarten. Creating a sticker chart to mark how often you manage to be creative during the workweek is excellent motivation, even if you feel a little silly. Set a target for each week and give yourself a sticker each time you meet a goal, like ten minutes of painting or one page of writing.
Bring a cute notebook everywhere you go
When inspiration strikes, you don’t want to miss it. Bringing a cute notebook everywhere you go means you’ll always have a place to jot down your ideas, and you won’t be stuck trying to sketch out your masterpiece on office post-it notes. If you struggle with motivation, a notebook will encourage you to get creating.
Download painting apps for your commute
There are so many amazing painting apps available that there’s really no excuse not to get creative on your commute. Apps that let you save your finished masterpiece are great for sketching out ideas to develop later, while apps that simply let you have fun mixing colors and textures are a great way to relax and tap into your creative side.
PSA: Don’t look at apps while driving.
Get creative with office supplies.
Being creative isn’t always about creating the next work of art, and it’s really important to make sure you’re having fun. Try creating a sculpture out of sticky tack and pencils, using old memos to create cute origami animals, or making yourself a beautiful paperclip necklace. Some of our best ideas come to us during play, so don’t feel like you need to be serious all the time.
Do you ever find that your best ideas come to you while you’re in the shower? That’s because you’re focused on something relaxing and non-judgmental, and you’re not forcing yourself to think about anything. Investing in a few desk toys to play around with creates a similar effect, allowing you to take a break and let your mind wander.
Try ‘speed creativity.’
Get your supplies together, set a timer for five minutes, and get creating. Aim to do this once a day, just to get in the habit of being creative regularly. This is a great trick to use if you feel like you’re too tired to be artistic in the evenings. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part, and you might find that five minutes quickly turns into five hours.
Make a list of creativity prompts.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut with your art. Create a well of inspiration to draw from by making a list of creativity prompts (or finding one online!). Include open-ended prompts like, ‘love’, ‘life’, ‘space’, and ‘nature’.
Create a team doodle space in your workplace.
Most people love to be creative—even if they don’t realize it. Set aside a whiteboard or flowchart and allow everyone in the office to doodle to their heart’s content. This is a fun, relaxed team activity, and you could end up with some awesome art on your wall.
Spend your breaks in nature.
Immersing yourself in nature will always be a million times more inspiring than sitting at a desk. Spend your breaks walking in a local park, sitting by a river, or taking in the view at the top of a hill. Turn lunchtime into a mini creative adventure by taking photographs, sketching the scenery, or writing descriptions of what you see.
Your job doesn’t have to kill your creativity. Follow these easy tips to channel your inner artist all week long.
This post was contributed by guest blogger, Eloise Best. Eloise is a UK-based freelance writer who specializes in sharing self-improvement tips and clever life hacks. She loves painting and gardening, and what she lacks in skill is made up for in enthusiasm.