As of today, it’s about 2 months that the whole Fauna team has been working from home, meeting regularly over video chat and spending more time in phone calls than ever before. This new normality that has affected so many people world-wide brings a bunch of new challenges. How do you stay motivated? How do you stay creative when work and leisure time all take place at the same location?
First of all, let’s talk about stress
Let’s be real: This whole situation stresses us out.
Uncertainty, a lack of social and physical contact and an underlying fear of falling ill make our stress levels rise – and not in a good way. Yes, stress can be good. We can distinguish between eustress (that’s the good kind of stress that motivates and energises us) and distress. The latter is the negative sort of stress that appears when a person feels unable to perform a task or cope with a situation. It, ergo, affects our work negatively, causing fatigue, exhaustion and maybe even leading to breakdowns. Read more about distress and eustress here >
So how do we get from distress to eustress in order to stay healthy and creative?
We’ve collected five tips, tricks and methods for the best working experience in these challenging times:
1. Structure your day
When everything feels the same day in, day out, it’s good to create structure. For example, Isabel, Fauna’s Head of Marketing, likes to work with a 5-item to-do list for each day and structures her work with the help of the Pomodoro technique. “This helps me get feelings of success and keeps me motivated throughout my day because I know that I have a sprint of intense work followed by a well-deserved pause”, she says.
2. Take your time to be inspired
Inspiration is something, that may happen throughout your day by coincidence. But what if you what deliberately take time to be inspired? Our Visual Designer Jasmin uses the internet for inspiration: “I scroll through Pinterest and Instagram to spark my creativity.” The same goes for our Social Media Specialist Edita, who states that “Google is your friend when it comes to new inputs. I sometimes try to get lost deliberately in the depth of the web.”
3. Chat with someone totally uninvolved
Yes, it’s called social distancing but it is more a physical distancing. You always have your phone and your computer to get in contact with colleagues, friends and family – and this is what Miriam, Online Marketing Specialist, uses to get creative insights. “If I’m stuck, I ask someone who is not involved at all about their opinion to get new perspectives and that always helps a lot.” That could even mean asking your network on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Use the crowd!
4. Take a break and go outside
Janel, Head of Branding, “likes to read or do some walking meditation or do nothing to kind of re-set the brain.” Fresh air and a good dose of oxygen loosen up your mind and body to be more creative. It also gives you a fresh perspective on things. Sara, our Visual Design Intern, likes to leave creative work overnight to “see things clearer on the next day.”
5. Do something physical
Our visual designer Max states that forcing creativity never works for him, so “I go for a walk to clear my mind.” Moving your body reduces the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and creates endorphins that lighten up your mood and make you feel energised and healthy – even if it’s just a quick stroll around the block or a more intense ten-minute interval training. Read more about exercising and its effects on your body here >
To sum it up
Staying creative requires some work. The good news is, it requires incorporating deliberate pauses and dedicated times for inspiration. However, you shouldn’t forget to create some structure with a dash of discipline so you keep your mind and body healthy.
What are your thoughts on creativity, working from home and stress? Let us know! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.