The last year has radically shifted the working office model, forcing managers and employees to swiftly adapt to ever-changing policies revolving around the global pandemic. Needless to say, as a graphic designer, I too have had to shift the approach to developing my craft, pursuing my passion and upholding both my physical and mental wellbeing through these peculiar times.
With the majority of my design work completed whilst working from home, I am sharing my top tips to ensure you’re designing on your A-game.
Inspiration should be sought out
Perhaps a flaw of the work from home model is the risk of feeling like you’re in ‘conveyor belt mode’, moving between the same spaces and places, easily falling into the trap of limitation and lack of stimulation.
Having an awareness of this risk and actively working against it is the key to crack the WFH code, and ensuring that you remain energised and creative as a graphic designer. Needless to say, we are visual creatures reliant on visual cues, and functioning as a graphic designer is no exception to this. Actively seek out new stimulation through different music, playlists, podcasts and YouTube channels for passive methods of absorption alongside your work or daily routine.
Routine is everything
It can take between 18 to 254 days to deeply ingrain a habit, so if working from home as a designer is looking like a long term situation, it’s best to start now! Having a structured routine with waking up at the same time, going to bed simultaneously, and even things like eating at the same time will pay off in the long run. Energy, mood, and focus will become more regulated, ensuring you’re designing to the best of your ability, instead of posing the risk of lagging because of lack of structure. If you come into work the best version of yourself, your graphic design will reflect that.
‘’Water the seeds you want to grow…’’
Like any pursuit in life, it’s worth investing in your craft to whatever extent is possible. In the context of graphic design, this can be seeking out inspiration, a mentor or group dynamic for feedback, up skilling with tutorials or continuing to hone your craft and move forward. Working from home has saved the average UK citizen over nine days a year, which when broken down over a weekly or monthly basis, adds up quickly. Reallocating this saved time and energy to your craft, whether personal pursuits or client work will be beneficial in the long term.
Get those creative juices flowing
.. A saying we’ve all heard far too often in life, whether it was back in art class or from that new client of yours. But there’s some validity to it! After all, it must be said for a reason right? Exercise can be known to boost creativity independently of mood, so perhaps consider using the time saved on a commute for exploring the neighbourhood by foot, the gym or any other means of getting yourself going for the day. Why not double it up and consider the overlap of an audiobook, podcast, music, or all three?
Health is wealth
A report published in the British Journal of Health Psychology found eating more fruits and vegetables correlates to better well-being and an increased sense of curiosity and creativity. Working from home poses the risk of indulging in whatever’s in arm’s reach, whether it’s those biscuits in the cupboard or snacks from around the corner within walking distance. Tame these temptations and you will enter your creative briefs often more focused, less lethargic and ready to produce the best work you can for the day.
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