CREATIVE TIPS FOR GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DAY-TO-DAY
Creative industry or not, we all could use a little more joy in our lives. But most of us get caught up in the daily grind, routines, deadlines, milestones, meetings and budgets – and that’s just Tuesday! But no matter the circumstances, there are tried and true methods to help keep your day-to-day new, exciting, and if we don’t get in our own way, even moments of joy can happen on the regular. You just have to be willing to push your own comfort level, shake things up on occasion, and remind yourself that life is a whole lot better when there’s more joy.
So how do we find joy, then?
Well, not in a literal sense, especially during fire season. But a nudge or break from our monotonous routine is generally a good start. Our hope is that one or more of these tips will help break you out of your funk!
- Change your routine.
Take a new or different route to work, try a different caffeinated beverage (if that’s your thing), or maybe eat your dessert first. The point here is to break up your routine, even if it’s as small as using a freshly sharpened Ticonderoga #2 pencil in place of your ballpoint pen. Exhilarating, huh?
- Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
It may be awkward or uncomfortable at first, but only if you make it that way. People are fascinating creatures. We’re all uniquely different, but have a lot in common, too. Your barista, the FedEx guy, the cashier at the store – you just have to be willing to say, “That’s the coolest plume pen I’ve ever seen.”
- Keep a notebook or sketchbook, then actually use it.
Other than picking up a pen to sign important documents or writing a message in a birthday card, how often do you hand write notes or doodle drawings or ideas that pop into your head. Probably not often. Writing and drawing is a great way to use parts of your brain that may be full of cob webs at this point, so open that notebook and get to writing and sketching!
- Take a break to play a game.
And not the kind that are on your phone! We’re talking board games, card games, paper football, whatever. We keep a basketball hoop in our studio for such an occasion, but the point is that working a segment of PLAY into your day helps ignite your imagination and keeps the wheels churning. Mind games like crosswords, sudoku or anything Mensa-related are also great challenges.
- Read a real book, like one made of paper.
I know, I know, it seems silly. But countless studies show we spend too much time on our phones or in front of screens (real shocker) and what better way to take a break than to dive into a book. The smell of the paper and ink, the feel of the pages, there’s just something about it that never gets old. Whether your flavor is a fictional crime thriller, a biographical tear-jerker about a military vet with PTSD, or a self-help book on how to become a master gardener – crack one open and feed your mind.
- Decorate or rearrange your workspace.
It’s funny how unpredictability can simultaneously make us feel uncomfortable and excited at the same time. There’s something invigorating about settling into a new workspace. It also stretches your creative muscles to think differently about a space you’ve known and worked at for a long time. So break out your photo albums and bobble-head collection and get to work!
- Make someone else’s day.
We innately as a species get true enjoyment from making others happy. We’re selfish that way. Try “paying it forward” the next time you’re going through the drive-thru at Starbucks, hold the door for someone in your apartment building, or leave an encouraging note for a co-worker that’s been under a lot of stress. Little gestures like these can mean so much, yet they require so little effort.
- Take a mental health day.
This one is so important, but rarely used. Most of us get so caught up in our routines that we’re exhausted a majority of the time. Take a day just for you. Get a massage, go to a movie, or heck, just stay at home and binge watch that show you’ve been wanting to check out. Some R&R can be just what we need to come back to work fresh and ready to rock n’ roll.
Now that we’ve given you all these great ideas to brighten your day, we’d like to emphasize that we don’t recommend trying to do all of these in one day. That might get you fired. But if you find yourself in a daze while answering dozens of emails, or you’re feeling particularly burnt out after three straight hours of meetings – try one of these tactics to spark some joy into your workday.
Afterall, as Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock said, “Go find your joy. Whatever that is, go find your joy. Are you going to have a good day or are you going to have a great day? Because it’s completely up to you.”
Oh, and smiling more couldn’t hurt.