How to Stay Productive in the Pandemic – Pepper Spotlight: Episode 14
With each sunrise, we open our eyes to more uncertainty. The more you keep your mind away from the mayhem, the further it decides to take a swim in the deep-ends of misery.
It’s understandable if you are unable to work in these conditions. Creating is not easy without focus and sanity. Being in isolation and a sudden change in routine could sidetrack your progress… but that’s okay.
Here are a few ways you can fight this pandemic-Creative-Block:
Firstly, It’s Okay.
Unable to create as much as you did a few months back? That’s fine. Really. The world around us is not ideal, and there is no harm in facing a slowdown of creativity. We are all facing it.
This does not mean you throw in the towel and walk back to the changing room. As Stephen King said in his book: “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Here is How You Can Overcome the Pandemic-Creative-Block
Let’s Start With a New System
What you are currently doing does not seem to work. This moment is not the time to give up but to retrospect and reassess. Change up your system to give yourself a fresh outlook on your work and artform.
If you are someone who worked in the evenings, try to make an early start. This small change in routine will trigger a fresh outlook towards your work. Also starting your work in the morning is always helpful. Without spending time on the news or social media, read a book, grab a meal and try to finish your work for the day before the fatigue kicks in.
If you cannot focus in the morning, that is okay too. All you need is to switch up your routine. Be it your workout, your work, cooking, cleaning — all of it. Try to position these tasks at a different time of the day.
Revisit Some Of Your Old Work
This is one of the best ways to get over a creative block. A tried and tested way that many creators use. This process reassures you of your capabilities. It also helps to build better self-esteem, which further drives productivity back to your work.
If you are a writer, read your old work. If you make designs, screen through all your old creations. Give yourself the time to appreciate your previously loved content.
Don’t Set The Same Targets.
Let’s take the example of a recently injured athlete. They are making their way back to the sport, but it’s not an overnight comeback. The person would have to work on the form with slow, incremental efforts and training.
Consider this creative block as a minor injury to your momentum. You cannot expect the same speed with a blink of an eye. Reestablish your goals to the situation you are in presently.
The longer your to-do list, the more overwhelming the creative block becomes. Reset your goals to smaller and achievable targets. If you are a freelancer, it’s a good idea to reduce your workload a notch. If you work for a company, speak to your bosses about the same.
Pushing yourself against the grain might sound like a heroic moment in an action movie, but it will only cause a creative burnout.
Rearrange and Declutter
Yes! You have heard this before. It’s one of the pieces of advice many creators take seriously. Decluttering occurs in two stages — your physical space and your digital space.
Make your workspace more welcoming. Keep it clean and well-arranged. You could also consider moving your workplace to a different room or a corner. This process allows for a change in orientation for your mind and body.
Next, clean out the junk on your computer. Remember we said you should revisit your old work? While you do that, also get rid of some unwanted files and folders. Change the colors of your laptop interface, the wallpaper on your phone — these small changes help you feel like you are working in a new atmosphere.
Remember, your aim is not to make your work-station worthy of Instagram likes or youtube-desk-setup-videos. They have to be conducive to work and welcoming you each day.
We have told you this before, and we will repeat it — this is not the time to put your head down and work in your bubble. Collaborations will exponentially help to break the creative block. Working with other creators will help you keep a check on your projects and push one another through these challenging times.
It also enables you to set and enforce deadlines. It keeps the creative community alive as we push our minds past the mundane and stressful environment around us.
Lastly, Count A Win.
It’s okay if you are not able to work as effectively as you did. This would be an excellent time to dig in and find that optimism, that cup-half full attitude.
If you spent just an hour on your desk, when compared to many more you did, that’s a win. We are trying to keep our homes, families, friends, and work in check. Getting past each day is a win, and you should use this as a sense of motivation.
The creative block will fade with time. Do not let it come in the way of your mental sanity or the joy of creating. Together, the tough times seem more manageable, and they will pass. Slower than we wish… But this is not here forever.