As much as I love the Adobe Creative Cloud and my computer (the one at work and at home), I need breaks from technology. Taking breaks help me as a designer and as a human. Stepping away gives room for new ideas and strategies to reveal themselves. The internet is a great tool for discovery but so is actually going outside. Changing your environment can spark creativity in ways that sitting in front of your computer for hours can not. It can also save you from losing your mind over a tenacious problem you’re trying solve.
Recently, I took a trip with friends to Los Angeles. The time away and the disruption of my normal routine helped me relax my mind. A relaxed mind is fertile ground for creativity. When you’re not trying to force inspiration, it comes much more quickly on its own accord. A lot of ideas for designs hit me when I’m not even thinking about designing.
Another positive of getting away from the computer is gaining perspective and appreciation. Sitting on Venice Beach, basking in the glow of the beautiful day, I took time to appreciate the moment. As a professional graphic designer, I get paid to do what I love to do. I pay bills, eat food, and take trips through my career in graphic design. That will always be amazing to me. I can remember a time when I was starving for an opportunity to prove myself on a professional level. These kind of thoughts are more likely to enter your head when you give yourself a chance to stop and smell the roses or, in my case, the sand and water.
After a trip outside or to another city, you can come back to your work with a new focus. Even stepping away from a project for just a few moments can allow you to see things more clearly. We will all be better, if we take more time outs to gain peace, understanding, and perspective on our work and our lives.