In the 30 years of my living, it was the first time that something like a pandemic happened and experiencing a lockdown was quite an experience. As far as I remember, even the recession in 2007-08 did not hit Mauritius that hard, I was only 18 at that time. Even if I have experienced working alone at home as a freelancer, this lockdown was something else for sure. In this article, I will share my lockdown experience with you guys and how I did to embrace and pivot in this difficult time.
Of course, the main challenge was being at home. While in our day-to-day routine, we meet and talk with friends, colleagues and clients, I sure did miss this interaction. I usually like to go and joke around when I have a block creatively but this time, it was me, myself and I.
To overcome this, firstly I had to observe my surroundings at home and identify things I could do or should not do, how I can turn distraction to productivity. Of course, my gaming pc was the first one to be banned while working, my bed was surely an awesome source of creativity, the power of a power nap is not to be underestimated. Also, switching between my hobby of plastic modelling and work was a good way to boost my creativity. Social Media like YouTube is always a good source to fight against creative blocks but beware of not losing yourself in it, in a slip of a moment, you could find yourself into the dark side of YouTube. Also, being able to work out while working was really helpful to the mind and body. Lastly, being at home, comfy in my room was the best of everything.
So, after embracing all these possible solutions to help me in being productive at home, it was time for me to implement them. To reduce fatigue, I did 2 power naps of 30mins each day, it was mostly during the afternoon. These naps were really helpful to clear the mind and being fresh again to go back to work.
As for my hobby, I completed a model, Gundam models called Gunpla, I was working on way before the lockdown. How did that help me in my work? If you have a hobby, you will know this feeling of enjoyment, satisfaction and endless creativity. I was able to transfer these emotions to my work. While in the office, sometimes you get fed up and give up, waiting for tomorrow or some ‘eureka’ moment to be able to move on. But switching between my hobby and work did help me move faster projects after projects, be more creative and mixing together all these emotions ended up boosting my productivity.
YouTube was a source of information and distraction, mostly viewed in the morning, looking at new videos from channels I am subscribed to and then go through the day.
As a “gym rat” it was difficult for me. All the gyms were closed during the lockdown and custom home workout was the only solution. So at 17hr00 sharp, 4 times a week for 30 to 45mins, I was doing my work outs. After most session, I was done for the day, but several times, after all these endorphins released into my body, I was so pumped that I had the courage to continue working on projects. It felt so good, my mind was so clear that I was ready to work even more. Imagine how beneficial an indoor gym would be in the office 😀
In the comfort of my house, I easily lost track of time and usually ended up working more than the 8hrs, but it was not an issue at all, I just loved what I was doing. While juggling between all these awesome ways to boost up creativity and incorporate it in my day-to-day work, ended up really great and I think it is the best way for a designer to be creative and productive. Our future lifestyle maybe? Time will tell.
Oh, and I also realized that the time wasted in travelling between home and office really does affect us and eats up a good chunk of our day. For me it is around 2 hours of travelling every day, but I am sure that it can be way more for others.
I will end by saying that it was a great experience, discovering myself and my limits working on my own at home. Of course, all my colleagues were available during that time, and we have talked through meetings and found solutions together. The only downside of being at home was the lack of human interaction. Talking to a screen will never replace the power of meeting someone in flesh and have a good conversation.
I hope you had a similar positive experience as I had during the lockdown.
See you in my next article.