1st February 2010 – Recently I have been feeling the strain. Eye ache, neck tension (of which I have started calling ‘laptop neck‘ ) and zombie-like tiredness. Working as a designer you can probably relate to this by working long days and excessive hours per week. Overworking yourself can seriously affect a designers creative flow, productivity and health and cause the dreaded ‘burnout’ effect and then there is the distraction of social media to update which can clock up even more hours.
If you work from home then it is quite easy to work all day and well into the early hours if you are really into an interesting project and not take any breaks. If you are a perfectionist then this can be a serious problem. I know I have done that many times and probably my biggest problem is not drinking enough throughout the day and if I do it’s something with high caffeine like Red Bull or coffee which can end up making me more tired and dehydrated.
You need a balance. The best thing to do is to try and make a schedule for the hours you put aside for working and hours for rest, recharge, fun, hobbies and family times.
Of course your work is important but it shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. The schedule will hopefully stop you from overdoing it and keep your creativity flowing as long as you can keep to it.
Take a break and keep moving. Go for a walk especially if you have a dog. Go to the gym or at least get some exercise. Why not try Nintendo Wii? Get social and have lunch or drinks or go shopping with friends outside the work place.
I know it is hard to switch off especially when you have to worry about deadlines but sometimes it’s best to switch the computer off and take a vacation to recharge those creative juices. Remember that the Internet is not the only place to find inspiration. If you look around then design is all around you.
Why not up skill yourself and learn new things as you know there is always something new to learn in the world of web and design. You could also apply these new skills while taking a break from projects by updating your portfolios and personal projects and also you could try updating or tweaking your blog or even Twitter backgrounds.
So… How do you conquer that ‘burnout’ effect?