As a self-employed professional, I’m always testing ways to improve my productivity and reduce procrastination. Working from home requires a lot of discipline and self-knowledge, so that you can work with inspiration and balance and be more creative – without demanding more or less from you.
What helps me a lot to produce better and in less time is to sharpen my creativity, so that my hours in front of the computer screen are especially productive. I decided to list for you the six habits I adopted in recent months that had the most impact on my creativity. I hope it helps!
Every type of writing is valid: thoughts on a notepad, blog posts, future Instagram captions, video scripts… Whatever comes to mind, in the time you have available for it.
The important thing is to make writing a habit. This is critical for copywriters who want to write better and be more creative, but also for other professionals. Everyone will benefit from clear thinking and the ability to express themselves better.
A rounded text won’t always come out, but the action of keeping ideas rolling can lead you to a new perception, a brilliant phrase or some idea that can be especially useful in the future.
I also write on weekends, but I usually reserve Sundays for something lighter. I can write a loving and more elaborate message to a friend who has a birthday or list events from the past week that I am grateful for. Just write.
Have you ever noticed how much time you spend a day with activities that do not add anything to your life, personal or professional? Things that 5 minutes later you don’t even remember doing?
Checking your cell phone at every little notification is a perfect example of this. If every minute you look at the cell phone screen, every 10 minutes it unlocks to reply to a message and every hour it ends up doing much more than replying to the specific message that arrived… You spend hours with useless things on your cell phone without realizing it!
What I did, and recommend: I disabled notification of all social networks, delivery apps and WhatsApp groups. Plus, most of the day I have my cell phone on silent, especially outside business hours.
Have I ever been scolded by family members for not answering or taking a long time to answer messages? Already! Hahaha but the gain in productivity and focus was much more relevant. You can set your cell phone to only receive calls from specific numbers, such as your partner or children.
When you’re not constantly thinking about what you’re going to do now, what to eat, what to wear, what task to start… You eliminate a lot of stress, really. And you can focus your mental effort on things that will really get you somewhere and, of course, be more creative.
I have a super plastered morning routine, from brushing my teeth, to the gym, to reading time. Doing the things I need to do without thinking really speeds up tasks – I start one thing after another, without stalling – and gives me more clarity of thought when I need it.
Including, reducing the amount of clothes I have (I did the Marie Kondo method) helped a lot to reduce the effort to get dressed. I know exactly where every outfit I have is, which ones I wear on which occasion, and it doesn’t even take me 10 minutes to decide what to wear.
Exercise is a scientifically proven way to improve your mood by raising your serotonin levels and promoting a sense of well-being – which helps you to be more creative. I try to move every day, but of course I can’t always stay 1h30 at the gym for a full weight training workout.
When I can’t go to the gym or run in the park, my favorite activities, I manage to move a little more. I can take a longer, faster walk with my little dog (who needs the exercise too!), climb the stairs to my apartment, and do some sit-ups and planks on the living room rug.
In addition to being good for the mood (which directly affects creativity), exercising is also fundamental for health. With good immunity, strong muscles and good conditioning you don’t get sick easily, you don’t have as much back pain, and you can take the hit when the work routine gets tough.
Each person has their own habits, intolerances and restrictions. Therefore, it is difficult to give a ready-made recipe. But in general, eating less and less inflammatory foods (such as gluten and lactose) tends to facilitate digestion and increase general well-being, which leaves us free to produce, create and think without physical discomfort.
For me, fasting in the morning helps me a lot in concentration. I wake up, have a mug of plain coffee and stay calm until about 12:00, when I have lunch. It seems little, but for those who wake up early, these hours without eating can be difficult at first. But once your body adapts, it’s amazing how you can focus without worrying about what you’re going to eat and without the burden of digesting breakfast.
This brings us to the sixth and final item on this list: getting up early. I’ve been wanting to do an entire article just on the topic! Enjoying the early hours of the day has really been a watershed in my productivity, quality of life and overall satisfaction. For me, it’s the best tip on how to be more creative.
I’ve always enjoyed waking up earlier than necessary to read, when there’s silence and peace in the house. But after I read O Miracle da Manhã , I discovered that reading was just one of many things I could do in the morning to get my hands on the productivity that would dictate all the following hours. It’s amazing how the way we start the day has a huge impact on how we take it to bedtime.