Lockdowns and the pandemic have played havoc with motivation levels. Here are 5 tips to help any creative stay focussed and motivated during lockdown.
We all have different ways of keeping motivated and creative, but with lockdowns causing drastic changes to our everyday lives it seems like a harder task than ever. Thankfully, there are ways to combat inertia and a lack of creative drive.
Get into a Routine
Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, finding a comfortable routine and sticking with it is key for maintaining focus and motivation. Whatever your creative endeavour, freeing up thinking time by having a set routine allows you more time to write, play, plan and focus on what’s important. Routines are excellent for mapping out your day and avoiding bad habits like binge-watching an entire series of aimlessly scrolling through social media.
List Your Goals
Creating is a little bit like going for a drive. You can absolutely just hop into the car and set off without a destination in mind. You may see some lovely sights but you may also end up lost and far away from home. But if you have an end point in mind and have mapped out your journey, you are likely to reach your destination much quicker. Making a list of your goals and objectives helps remind you what you are working towards, and will help to shape your actions. Keeping this list somewhere visible will serve as a frequent reminder and strengthen motivation.
It’s nearly impossible to stay motivated during lockdown if you shut yourself off from your support network. Although it may not be possible to physically meet up with friends or collaborate with other creatives, it is more important than ever to stay connected.
Check out what others in your creative field are up to on social media and engage with them, share your thoughts and ideas in order to bounce off others. There have been lots of great online seminars and Zoom classes to help creatives stay in touch.
Many people are happy to create independently, but publicly sharing your goals and progress gives you some accountability, which can be incredibly helpful for boosting motivation and drive.
Give Yourself a Break
It’s easy to think that staying motivated means constant hard work and 24/7 focus. However, overworking yourself can easily become counterproductive and actually decrease your motivation and cause you to burn out. In music, the notes you don’t hear can be just as important as the ones you do. This also goes for working and creating – time spent resting and recharging is just as vital as focussed time working. Getting out for some fresh air is proven to aid mental health and can provide a much-needed change of pace, allowing you to come back to your project raring to go.
One of the most fun ways to improve motivation is to try something totally new. If you are a writer and you’ve been struggling to get going with your new romcom novel, throw a genre you’ve never tried before into the mix. Even if you don’t like the sound of a medieval romcom (I’d read it), you are allowing yourself to create without strict expectations and explore ideas you may not have otherwise. For musicians trying to come up with ideas for a new track, why not try setting music to whatever is on the TV or picking themes from a poem. It’s important to have fun and not self-edit too much, as it reminds you why you love creating, which will stoke the fires of motivation.