Design without gravity: Five ways to rise above the average day
MattBerglund 270003V2X2 Comments (3) Visits (3185)
Seems like lately, gravity has got a lot of us down.
In the world of design, we strive so hard to be new, creative and innovative. Inevitably, the enthusiasm with which be begin our projects chips away with each dull blow of our mostly typical working environment—or what I simply like to call "gravity."
Examples of gravity
Here are just a few examples of the idea-busting elements of gravity that tend land us on the ground:
I'm sure that all of these examples are present in most of our professional lives (and elsewhere). It's important for us to recognize that these "forces" are part of our lives—and more than likely will not be going away anytime soon. I think what we generally fail to recognize is that while we can't easily escape gravity, we certainly don't need to let it stop us from pursuing the vision or idea that got us up and out of our seat, ready to take on the world.
Five practical ways to counter your daily gravity
Mix it up–Try any combination of things to avoid the boring repetition of your daily work schedule. Get up early, drink a healthy smoothie, and get in the office (work or home) before anybody else. Sometimes these early morning moments are the most creative, and are guaranteed to have the least amount of distractions. If you are like me and enjoy eating a sloppy egg, cheese, and country ham biscuit in the morning (apparently a North Carolina staple) - the smoothie may actually help you feel better about yourself, and probably just better overall!
Design the ideal, anyway–Almost all of us have "standards" to adhere to that sometimes just take the fun out of the design. So that's life. However, don't let those standards keep you from using your full creativity. In fact, in addition to completing the necessary work, go ahead and design the ideal interface, widget, application or whatever the task – and put it on the shelf for future reference and possible discussion. At least you've had fun and came up with a pretty cool idea. And you never know – if you play your cards right, it may even come into fruition one day.
Make a 3 Things To Do list–Write down the three major goals of your day, and cross them off as you complete them. Don't write down four or five. Keep it to three. If you don't accomplish them all, move them to tomorrow's list. This may help you feel less overwhelmed. If you do accomplish them all, you've had a very successful day. Chances are if your list is ten items long, you're not going to accomplish more than three anyway.
Make a point to improve a key relationship–A sour relationship can bring some real heavy weight, and just about destroy any creative spirit. Whoever that person is and whatever the situation - do yourself a favor and work on that relationship. A bad relationship can ruin your day, week, or month. Put your effort into mending fences, settling differences, and moving forward. The relief you'll feel once that relationship is back on track may be invaluable to you. Remember, forgiveness is for your benefit. So let it go and feel better.
Remember your inspiration–We all draw inspiration from somewhere. Sometimes I get so caught up in the daily hustle that I go weeks without stopping for a few moments to enjoy the awesomeness of what others have been contributing. Whether it is websites, code, showcases, books, magazines, art, music, culture, companies, or products – take the time to stop and admire. It can be a great reminder of how you've arrived, and where you're aiming to go.
What about you? How does your gravity list line up with these examples? Have you found any ways to rise above average?