During the past couple of weeks, we’ve been encouraging you to look on the bright side of any situation almost in every article. This piece is no exception. The fact that you’re stuck at home shouldn’t be the limitation that puts everything on hold, but instead an opportunity to rethink your plans, ambitions, and projects.
For instance, you can think of how much time you’re saving as you don’t have to commute to work anymore. These hours that you wasted driving your car, bike, or taking public transportation can be used for self-education and motivation to get things done.
You can devote 30 minutes or an hour a day and finally launch a blog, start your dream project or organize your workspace to be more productive when working from home. In short, now is the time to finally do all the things you’ve postponed for months or years but always wanted to learn and try. Here is that extra push you’ve always needed.
Learn graphic design basics
When social media gained momentum and became a main channel of communication, it also turned into a marketplace for both brands and individuals. The set of skills creatives had to have changed in light of this. Now all marketers, copywriters, or photographers need to know graphic design basics to feel confident in their profession and be able to quickly put together mockups or even ready designs.
If you are not a graphic designer yourself, you hardly have the time to learn graphic design basics or master your skills for the basics. Now you can make time for it.
To help you grasp the basics of graphic design theory, we’ve created a crash course on graphic design basics. Speaking about practice, you can polish up your skills with Crello – an easy-to-use graphic design tool.
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Create a blog
Whether you’re a designer, a photographer or work in marketing, you have definitely thought of running your own blog at least once in your professional life. For creatives, a blog is a way to showcase your works and spread the word about yourself. It is also an opportunity to share your passion for design, photography, or marketing and use it as a tool to reach new clients or find new job opportunities. A blog can also help you reach out to like-minded people to work on great projects.
If you want to create a blog but have no idea from where to start, you can read our guide on how to start a photography blog in 5 steps and find tips and ideas even for designers or marketers. This manual explains all the technicalities about picking a good host, installing WordPress or any other platform, and choosing a theme.
However, before setting the blog up, there’s a list of questions you need to answer for yourself so you don’t waste time with common beginner mistakes.
1. Why do you need a blog?
Having a blog for blog’s sake is not the best approach. You need to clearly understand the reasons why you’re going to have a blog. Whether you’d simply like to get more clients or can’t help but share all your valuable knowledge with others – all things could work if you have passion for what you do. Otherwise, you’ll just waste time creating content that doesn’t have a clear purpose nor will it bring any noticeable results.
2. Who’s your audience?
The answer “My blog is for every creative person on this planet” is wrong. If you want your message to hit the right people, you need to create content keeping these people in mind. Ideally, you should create a portrait of your reader that would include not only demographic but psychographic indicators. By answering these questions, you will save time when establishing an aesthetic and creating a content plan for your blog.
3. Do you really need a traditional blog or is Instagram enough?
Unlike Instagram, a blog on a platform like WordPress requires a lot of additional work if you want to achieve success. You need to connect it to social media, learn the basics of SEO, devote time to uploading the articles to the platform and choosing or creating a series of visuals to illustrate the whole text. With social media, it’s slightly easier. In recent years, Instagram became both a visual and textual platform that individuals, businesses, and creators can use for their purposes. Keep in mind that you’ll still have to share the content from the blog on social media so ask yourself one more time if it is really worth running a traditional blog or Instagram is enough.
Read those dusky books from your bookshelf
When social media became a part of our daily lives, many things like communication have become easier. However, these platforms have brought a lot of destructiveness as well. According to Eventbrite stats, 70% of people aged 25-40 suffer from FOMO, the fear of missing out, which provokes depression and other mental health issues. In addition to this, the quick turnover of ready-to-obtain information on social media is the reason why people become less productive, have trouble with motivation and concentration.
Books help overcome these problems. When you set a timer for 30 minutes or an hour to read, you have less frequent states of distraction. You also become less anxious and more empathetic because reading helps you free your mind from obsessive thoughts and other “noise”.
From books, you also get a range of basic perks like inspiration and motivation, as well as new knowledge and ideas that will be extremely useful when working on personal or commercial projects.
Don’t know what to read? Here are two lists of books for creatives:
Organize your workspace and workflow
Whether you’ve already been working remotely for a while or now need to adjust to the new routine, it is very important to organize your workspace and workflow to be productive. The things you can do to procrastinate less and distract are quite basic but they really work. Just try. Many creative people recommend making small and big changes in your environment for that peace of mind. Even if you don’t end up working at your desk, a sense of order in your work space can give you that peace of mind you need to really get down to business.
Choose and prepare a workplace
We all hope that quarantine will end soon but having your own home office is a good idea for any time. It allows you to differentiate leisure and work and makes it easier to concentrate on tasks. If you don’t have a separate room that would serve a cabinet, you can simply equip a desk with a laptop, a notebook, a pile of documents, and a green plant that would create a work-friendly environment. It’s important to take care of both the room you’ll work in, and the desk that will help you be your most productive self.
Plan your time
The fact that you don’t have to go to work anymore does not mean that you should sleep until midday, work at night, and not even get out of your sleepwear. Even at home, you should plan your time and treat it like a regular work day. Your schedule can slightly differ from your office routine but in general, it should be the same. If you’re used to waking up at 8 am, having breakfast and getting to work, try not to change your habits during the quarantine. If you keep doing the things you’re used to doing, it will help you get into a work mode in a matter of minutes.
Write anti-to-do lists
Of course, you’re already writing to-do lists and you know the basics of time management. But at home, there are so many things that steal your attention – your pet running around the room, your partner speaking on the phone, and your fridge waiting for you to open it and grab a snack. To help battle procrastination, you can write anti-to-do lists that are even more effective than ordinary to-do lists we’re all used to writing.
Basically, all you have to do is list down things you won’t be doing during the day. These could be:
- no snacks on the workplace
- no answering phone calls from 10 am till 5 pm (except for emergency cases) and lunchtime
- no playing with your pet until you complete a task
At the end of the day, you can tick the boxes in front of things you did not do and be proud of how productive and organized you were.
Finally start your dream project
We all have that one idea that we’ve been keeping in mind for months but could not find time to realize. Perhaps, you even haven’t had time to write it down and decide on things you need to do before you bring it to life.
Now when you have extra time that you don’t spend commuting to work, hanging out with friends, or going to the gym, you can use it to develop your idea further and get everything ready by the time quarantine is over. Here’s a list of things that will help you lay the foundation of your dream project:
- Evaluate your idea
- Do market research
- Define your target market and target audience
- Check out your future competitors
- Find out how your project or product will differ from those already available on the market
- Analyze the strategies you competitors have
- Build your own strategy
- Get feedback on your ideas
- Start looking for your future team members
- Build a timeline
If it’s not a business idea you’ve had, look to the past to dig up some other dream project. Did you want to go back to writing? Playing an instrument? Arts and crafts? Whatever it is you’ve put off before, take this time at home as a sign that you can finally give yourself the freedom to create.
Don’t forget to look forward
Having devoted some time to sort all these things out, by the time we can all come back to normal life, you will be ready to set everything in motion or even launch your product (if it is a digital one, for example).
In general, there’s a fair amount of benefits of being on lockdown for a while and you can still make the most of it if you start now. We are more than sure that after reading this article, you’re excited and motivated to finally do what you’ve postponed for a long time. Don’t hesitate and wait for tomorrow to come to just sit this one out and come out of quarantine to go back to how things were. As soon as you take a break from youк work today, try to make one little thing that will move you one step forward with your big plans and small endeavors.