Sometimes, the same old routine of sitting at the computer can be draining. This is especially so when you spend most of your time doing grunt work or trying to fix up a buggy website. I was very much in that situation recently.
It had been a long week of seemingly endless issues to deal with. And, in the rare moment that something wasn’t broken, the other design-related work I dealt with was utilitarian at best. So, when Friday afternoon came, I felt the need for a break – before I myself broke.
There was no doubt in my mind that I had to get out of the house. I love working from home, but sometimes the thought of spending an entire weekend hanging out there causes more stress than it relieves.
Fortunately, I was able to get out. I spent a good deal of my Sunday at a local state park. They were celebrating the history of a mansion on the property and were giving tours (I’m a sucker for historical places). So, my family and I packed into the car and took a ride through a beautiful wooded area to take in the event. In fact, the photos you see in this post are from our adventure.
Admiring the beautiful architecture and learning about the historical significance of the building was inspiring. Seeing it all in the middle of a lush forest with breathtaking views of the valley below made things even better. Doing it with the people I love was the icing on the cake. Consider this web designer fully refreshed.
The Importance of Getting Away
The longer I’ve been at this job, the more I’ve tried to make every minute at work a productive one. Having clients depend on you to be there with answers at a moment’s notice means you had better be in the right frame of mind to handle whatever comes your way.
It also means that you can often feel stressed out. Staring at a screen for hours on end, mustering all of your brainpower to get things done – it’s not always easy. And, despite your best intentions, working more hours doesn’t always lead to more accomplishment. If anything, it seems to drain you of all creative energy.
It seems like those of us who work from home are the most stubborn when it comes to being workaholics. And the worst part is that the stress often takes the trip from the office to the living room or dinner table with you. That can affect your relationships and your general well-being.
Therefore, the best remedy for those busy times when your creativity is running on empty is to get out. Even if you tell yourself that you’re going to sit there after hours and grind through that pile of work – make time to do something else.
The problem with working overtime or simply slumping off to the television after a day of work is that your brain may very well stay in ‘battle’ mode. A change of scenery can do wonders for clearing your head.
The great thing is that you don’t necessarily have to take a tropical vacation to de-stress and re-energize (although it wouldn’t hurt). Just the mere sight of a different place can be helpful. Depending on how you’re feeling about social interaction – you may not even need to get out of the car.
Personally, I find that working alone can create a bit of an isolated feeling. So, even though I consider myself an introvert, I try to force myself to get out to a store or somewhere where I have to have interactions with other people. Heck, even the checkout line can seem like a party after sitting alone all day.
The point is to get out – no matter the place or what you do when you’re there.
Balance Refreshes the Creative Spirit
While I certainly can’t pretend to be any sort of guru in this area, I have noticed that having some balance in life is a great thing. If you’re constantly working or, even just physically present in your place of work (especially true at home), you’re out of balance.
Creativity is often a natural flow of ideas. So when your brain is weighed down by stress or isolation, it’s going to make being creative all the more difficult. And forcing yourself to be creative generally doesn’t work too well.
Changing your perspective (both literally and figuratively) by getting away brings balance to the creative mind. We’ve often heard stories of artists who, after being inspired by a place, go on to write a great song or paint a beautiful picture. Web designers can benefit just the same.
That afternoon at the park really made a difference for me. In fact, I can’t wait to go back for another visit. Your mission is to go out and find your own park (or coffee shop, or grocery store, etc.) and let it help to replenish your creative energy.