One of the downsides of working alone from home is the lack of "water cooler" time: lack of impromptu comments and insights from colleagues that inspire new ideas, progress, adventure, positivity and perhaps, if you are lucky, affirmation of the path you are on. I guess that list is endless.
So what to do? How do you replace this impromptu and sometimes very valuable feedback? How do you stay creative and get the feedback that you are on the right track or conversely that you are "off the mark" and need to rethink? How do you keep up the energy and find new ideas?
I like to make good use of Skype/Zoom contacts with my team as your colleagues are most likely to reveal insights close to the mark. I am sure that these virtual meetings could be tedious and boring so I like to start with some humour. A good start is a ridiculous hat or a bow tie.
I use music to change my workplace tempo and thought processes as too much quiet becomes slowing and too much of the one tempo and theme is boring. I like a bit of low-volume music in the background, but when I have done some good work, I tend to play upbeat music and loud. Then, I cool it to work on the thought processes for a different project. Music from another room - not music right on my desk - works best for me.
When I want to be reminded to see things from a different perspective, one of my favourite artists is John Prine
(passed April 20 with complications caused by COVID-19). His Lyrics are filled with thoughtfulness and learning from experience over generations. His way with words brings a surprise on every second line which invites me to look at all considerations from a second viewpoint. Another favourite is Bob Dylan, who reminds me to consider a bit of dissent and adventure. And then there is his son, Jakob Dylan, who has a great talent inherited from that gene pool but smoothed with some modern ideas. Jakob reminds me to try and be young in thought.
Podcasts and blogs from creative and inspiring people are good for a change in perspective. Find the right presenters and they can always challenge your perceptions or give you new angles that inspire creativity.
My favourite blogger is Jeff Goins
, a young man who inspires writing, creativity and making a difference in the world. Google him and be renewed.Ray Edwards
teaches copywriting and he keeps his craft very current. He is also very forthright and motivating. My business is helping companies with their marketing and, in that regard, I certainly learn a lot from him that benefits my clients.
And then, I like to go for a walk or look at nature. That is always a freshener. If you look at how nature presents a solution and ask "how good is that?". You can always find some energy to try for a better solution.
Oh, and I like to watch the TV crime series "Vera". She never accepts the obvious.
Wishing you "All Power" while working from home. I have been doing it for 23 years and love it.