In my last post, Why You Should Do A Creative Retreat, I talked about the value of doing a creative getaway. As awesome as those experience are, the reality is that it’s not always possible to drop everything and take off. Maybe you have kids, you don’t work 100% remotely, or travel expenses aren’t in the budget right now. For that reason, I wanted to couple the blog’s most recent post with a follow-up on how to get the benefits and some of the experiences of doing a creative retreat without having to leave home. Here’s how to design your own creative retreat without travelling a single mile.
Take Time Off Work
The key aspect of a creative retreat is that you drown out the surrounding noise and distractions in order to focus completely on a creative project. For that reason, a key part of designing your own retreat at home is creating the time and space (both mentally and practically) to focus on creative pursuits. Even if you can only afford to take one or two days off, separating out that special time to focus on a single project without the distractions of clients and deadlines will make a massive difference in how you approach your creative work. If taking time of work is not possible at all, set aside a specific weekend day or two that you can devote completely to creativity.
Go Someplace New
Part of the benefit of a retreat is that you get to reset and recharge by being in a different location while also getting inspired by new surroundings. While big travels might not be possible, you can recreate some of their effects by working someplace new. During your at-home retreat, try setting shop in a new workspace. For example, if you always work from home, try a coffee shop or a library instead. If you really can’t work someplace new for whatever reason, make a point to take a few hours to explore a new part of your city or town. Go for a hike in unfamiliar woods or explore a neighbourhood you rarely visit. You never know what inspiration will be waiting for you in the unexplored corners of your own backyard.
Attend Events in Your Town or City
To mimic the networking and connections with creatives you get at a retreat, make a point to attend events in your town or city during your at-home retreat. Look up what book launches or gallery openings are happening near you and make a point to try to connect with someone new while you’re there. Remember: “How do you know the author/artist/musician?” is always a great conversation starter.
Set New Creative Goals for Personal Projects
In order to avoid the distractions that come from being at home, you’ll want to think about setting specific new goals for your creative project in order to keep yourself focused and on track. Commit to achieving a certain amount on each day of your at-home retreat and it’s less likely that you’ll allow yourself to get distracted or interrupted by the demands of everyday life.
Creative retreats are really about taking conscious time out of your regular schedule, routine, and lifestyle to refocus your energies on your creative projects. This can be done anywhere, at any time, and on any budget, as long as you make the conscious effort to carve out the time and mental space you need.