As graphic designers, we have the privilege of being able to flex our creative muscles every day. However, the perks of making a living as a graphic artist are accompanied by the unfortunate yet unavoidable side effect of long hours staring at a monitor or computer screen making endless tiny changes. In order to keep our creative minds sharp, it's important to be conscious of the draining effect of spending the majority of our time glued to our phone and computer screens, and the suck it can have on our creative energy. Here's how you can practice the art of unplugging, for the sake of your art:
1. Take a Digital-Detox Weekend
Although it may seem daunting, try challenging yourself to live a weekend entirely free of tech. It's a rising trend for couples to take tech-free romantic weekends and really focus on each other, rather than browsing Instagram side by side. You'll come back to the work week refreshed and restored.
2. Alternate With Analog
Of course, in this career it's impossible to unplug completely. Try going old school, if possible, for part of your day. Switch to sketching in a notepad in the ideation phase, or jot down concepts with a pen and paper, not on your computer. Going back and forth between the two will give both your eyes and your brain a necessary break. For days in which you just feel like putting your thoughts on paper, we designed this free planner page template:
3. Get Outside
Obvious but effective: step outside. If you find yourself getting groggy or distracted at your computer, take a walk around the block (leave your phone behind), and pay attention to the sights, sounds and smells of whatever environment you're in.
4. Practice the Art of Doing Nothing
It's been proven that mindfulness practice can jog creativity and reverse some of the negative effects of tech-overload. Set a timer on your phone (one tiny exception) for three to five minutes, close your eyes, and focus on your breath and the sensations of your body. You can practice this early morning or as many times during the workday as you need to get centered. Coloring for adults is also a well-known technique to practice mindfulness, and we created this coloring book specifically to help you relax when design life gets difficult:
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Designer life got you down? We designed this coloring book to help you laugh, relax, and celebrate the things that make our craft unique.
5. Minimize the Negative Effects of Your Devices
To decrease digital fatigue when using your devices without breaks is unavoidable, fight fire with fire and use tech to optimize your gadgets for effective work. For instance, try placing your phone on Night Shift mode, which reduces blue light to decrease eye strain and help you sleep better when you eventually hit the hay.
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