Insights

Designing in 2020

Staying creative during quarantine

How things have changed

As COVID-19 disrupts everyday life we are left to adjust and pick up the pieces. What used to be “errands” are now something out of a dystopian novel. It’s even more difficult to follow the news now than it was before quarantine. But never before has it been so advantageous to be an introvert. No more fumbling for an excuse to cancel plans or justifying my choice to stay home all-weekend--I have quarantine to thank for that! 

The only real challenge I face now is staying creative and inspired. Working from home blends the days together and it’s hard to keep up. Some days I’m brimming with ideas while others I struggle to draw a straight line. In order to combat this cycle of non-productivity I’ve circled back to my days at art school and have taken up figure drawing again. Sometimes what helps creative block the most is bringing yourself back to the basics. It really helps to clear the mind.

 

Positive vs. negative work at home

Like many people in the world right now, I’m working from home. It was a bit of an adjustment at first but it’s something we have quickly overcome as a team. Sure, communication can be a bit more challenging when there’s no face-to-face interaction but with apps like Zoom and Slack there’s many ways to overcome this. I’m able to check-in and update my coworkers on my status with projects periodically which makes it feel like I’m right back at the office.

 

How home life has changed

On the flip side of things is that “home life” has become somewhat more fleeting. Like I said before, working from home can blend days together and that carries over into my day-to-day routine. No more changing into work clothes, I can simply throw on pajamas and “boom” I’m at the office. It’s a bit surreal honestly. The line between work and home is becoming less clear every day I spend in quarantine. Homelife has now become work-life and vise versa. Now I’m trying to turn work brain off after-hours while still inhabiting the same space. It can be difficult but it’s not impossible. 

The best way I keep work and home separate during all of this is sticking to a routine. I have my coffee right when I wake up and I try to have my lunch around the same time every day. When the day is over, I make sure I tuck my work computer out of sight and out of mind. The more I do to separate the two, the better. It also helps that I’m not living alone and have my wonderful fiancé with me to keep me sane. In many ways we both keep each other grounded and stable, and though I worry a lot about my family and friends, he reminds me that we have each other and we can get through this no matter what. 

 

Looking into the future

Through all the uncertainty the best part to come of this crisis is the sense of community. Not once since this has started have I gone a day without a family member, friend, or coworker reaching out to me to see if I need anything. It makes you appreciate the connections you have and opens up opportunities to new horizons. While I know there will be more growing pains, ultimately, we will get through this as a team. In the meantime, stay healthy and stay creative!