How to Recharge
As designers, our job is to create. And in order to do our best creative work, we should continually seek rest, relaxation, and recharging. For just as writers experience 'writer's block', I believe designers may be susceptible to 'designer's block.' If you're looking to recharge your creativity and motivation, I've rounded up a few tips 'n tricks for getting back on track.
- Relax - Research shows that overworking your brain may dull it and reduce your creativity, while ideas and sparks of creativity occur during times when your mind is essentially at rest. So, if you're stuck on a problem and desperately trying to solve it, or forcing yourself to come up with something creative, stop thinking, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Letting your mind rest will do - and probably result in - wonders.
- Exercise - Physical activity is the closest thing we have to a magic cure-all, fountain of youth. Decades of research show that exercise reduces stress, increases productivity, improves memory, and now it may even prove to enhance creativity. How? Exercise stimulates Brain-Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF), which encourages the growth of new brain cells within the hippocampus, the emotion and memory area of the brain. Research results show that exercising may help people "imagine new situations." So, taking a little walk may aid in problem solving and give you new insights. Get up and go!
- Expand Your Sources - Often designers have a mindset that they need to read, listen to, watch, and attend things that are strictly design-related. I say no way! If you are a designer, you should be seeking inspiration from a myriad of sources and learning from eclectic disciplines: biology, psychology, geometry, etc. Many of the best designers get design inspirations from nature. Be curious and open to learning from a variety of sources; your work will be better as a result.
- Be Patient - Creativity and excellence take time. They also take learning and repetition. If you find yourself displeased with your work - give it time. If possible, start over, or put a project away for a bit. Over time we learn and grow and we simply can't force ourselves to suddenly become a better designer in a matter of minutes. Be patient with yourself and realize that you will improve as a designer. Relax, take a deep breath, and be kind to yourself wherever you are right now. Love is the most important ingredient in a masterpiece - it's also the most delicious.
And there you are! A few recommendations for recharging your creativity and design ability. Sometimes all you need is a little R&R to bring your A game.