Healthy, Happy Design Habits
Are you creating healthy, happy design habits? Ready for a routine reboot? We’ve all had days, weeks, or even MONTHS possibly slumped at the desk in a blank gaze dragging through the project files begrudgingly for that design revelation to rescue us from our sluggishness. With lassoed best intentions in the corner of our “framed” minds, we push ourselves to create something that, well, hasn’t come to us yet. If we were honest, these times probably were not the most productive and, definitely were not, the most efficient times in our creative career. We probably weren’t functioning happily and healthily, and our designs and time were reflecting that.
Your design habits directly affect your design process and time management proficiency. With good habits instilled, you can save loads of time and unplug that creative drain that’s been wanting to flow out! Ready for that reboot? Luckily for us, with a fresh mind and a new palette these habits are easily obtainable.
6 Habits to Healthy, Happy Design
Start with a pencil and paper.
Nothing does the job better than a piece of graphite and wood. A mouse and computer screen just doesn’t match up to the speed in which ideas can flow out of our minds. Use your long lost friends i.e. paper and pencil, to brainstorm concepts and ideas. Try writing down terms, sketching shapes, drawing maps—doodling at it’as finest—to brainstorm the direction in which your project should go. You may surprise yourself with how artistic you really are!
Give your eyes a break.
Have you heard of the “20-20-20 rule”? Might ring a bell from your last eye exam. Every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Just like our hand gets tired writing, our eyes getting tired of focusing. Most the time we don’t even realize it until we look away after several h-o-u-r-s. To help keep our eyes “sharp” for the task, set a timer to go off at 20 minute intervals to help you remember to look away from your screen and practice the 20-20-20 rule your optometrist has been begging you to do.
Step away from the design!
Go for a run. Go for a walk. . . and take the dog with you!! Totally unplug from the project. Too many times we’ve missed a detail in out projects due to us staring at it for so long. That typo starts to look correct and that spacing seems aligned. Try incorporating a 30 minute activity away from your screen. Your mind and your body will thank you. You’ll be amazed how much you notice after coming back to a project. Plus your mind will be refreshed and ready to work at full speed again.
Vzzzzzt, vzzzzzt—is that “dumb” phone laying next to your computer taking away from your creative flow. . . Facebook, Instagram, email notifications, the list goes on! Find a designated place away from your work station to keep your phone. Putting it on silent and checking it during slotted times of the day is even better. The last thing you need is something interrupting your next great idea. That includes watching the like count on your last post.
Share your work.
Two minds are ALWAYS better than one. Once you complete a design, add it to your process to run it by some fresh eyes before you submit it to your client. I like to run things by my design friends and my hubby who knows nothing about design. There is also lots of opinionated people online like Facebook groups that would love to comment on your finished work. This is also a great way to build community.
Lastly, make a habit of making happy and healthy habits that work for you.
Everyone is different and works differently, so what might work for others may not work for you. Find what helps you to be the most efficient and productive with your time in order to create healthy, happy designs and stick with it! Great habits incorporated in your design process yields a happier you and a healthier design result.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit -Aristotle
What are some of your approaches to maintaining healthy, happy design habits?