Working from home can be exciting. It’s a big change from working in an office, and you can revel in working in your own environment, with all of your comforts nearby. But working at home can also pose some new challenges – like staying focused, finding ways to be productive, and stagnant creativity. Being stuck in the same place every day can make you feel more frustrated than inspired.
But there are ways to restart your thinking and inspire creativity, all without leaving your home. With a few tips and tricks, you can spark creative thinking, which can help you tackle your workload efficiently and from new perspectives.
Here are a few fun ways you can refocus on your work and inspire creativity while working from home.
Take a Humor Break
It’s important to focus on your actual work when you’re working from home. But too much work can actually become distracting, and it could cause your ability to focus to burn out.
So, when you need some fresh inspiration, take a humor break.. Give yourself 10, 15, or even 20 minutes to laugh at something. You can check out hilarious memes on Instagram, search YouTube for funny animal videos, or laugh out loud at a comedy podcast. Anything that you personally find funny will do the trick.
The power of laughing at funny photos, videos, or memes online can inspire your creativity – and it’s actually a proven method. Money wrote about the benefits of looking at cat videos in 2016, when university researchers discovered that giving yourself a humor break recharges your energy and helps you better confront work that’s dull, frustrating, or challenging¹.
Laughing at something will let you return to your workload with more interest and more investment². You’ll be more engaged, and laughing at something funny can give you a new perspective on difficult tasks.
Listen to Music
Many people listen to music while they work. But many others don’t – some even find music or background noise to be distracting. However, if you’re looking for a way to increase your creativity, you might want to grab a pair of headphones or open Spotify.
Listening to music is a great, fun way to give your brain a creative boost. And any kind of music will do the trick. According to WonderHowTo, turning on a playlist of songs that you enjoy boosts your mood, your creativity, and your productivity³.
This happens because music causes the brain to release dopamine, which results in positive feelings and a happier mood. When that dopamine floods your brain, you’ll view your work in a more positive light – and as a result, you’ll be open to seeing more possibilities and new solutions⁴.
Additionally, listening to music gives your brain the right amount of distraction. When you turn on music, your brain is better able to block out distractions⁵. You’ll forget about the distractions, like pets and kids, that might be happening in the background of your home office. And, with your music playing while you work, you’ll be able to direct your focus a bit better.
Draw Your Thoughts Out
The next time you’re struggling with your workload, grab a pen or a marker. Instead of staring at your computer screen, you might want to take a few minutes to doodle and draw.
Drawing and doodling can both be great ways to let yourself take a bit of a mental break – and you’ll inspire your own creativity while you do so. When you draw, whether it’s nonsensical objects or concrete parts of a problem, you can visualize ideas differently. Seeing your workload in images or scribbles can help you think creatively and start to explore new ideas⁶.
You can easily do this by bringing a whiteboard, chalkboard, or blank pieces of paper into your home workspace. As you think about problems, projects, or tasks, you can draw symbols that represent their ideas or moving parts. Putting your work into images – or even just basic doodles – can activate different parts of the brain⁷.
Have a Beer
This is a tip that’s best saved for the end of your workday or maybe your own at-home happy hour! But it could help you approach the tasks in your to-do pile in more creative ways.
Researchers have discovered that drinking alcohol causes the perfect kind of distraction – a distraction that’s light enough to inspire creative thinking⁸. With a blood alcohol level of 0.07, people are better able to find creative solutions, come up with creative ideas, and let their minds run freely⁹. It can also allow you to better pick up on clues and solutions, which can be a huge help for tricky tasks.
So, cracking open a single beer, having a glass of wine, or sipping on a cocktail could be the perfect way to inspire your creativity at the end of the work day. It could lead to a breakthrough or a brilliant idea, if you’re able to free up your mind.
Whatever tips or tricks you try, don’t be afraid to adopt some different work ideas while in your home office. Working remotely can require new perspectives and new ways of working, but this can positively impact your ideas, your solutions, and even your productivity.