balancing productivity for more consistency
My passion is to create things for the world wide web. But there is something about passion — once you do something you really love, it’s hard to stop, it’s hard to give yourself a break. There are just so many ideas and things to do!
People working in the web industry tend to have difficulties with their work/life balance. This is a big topic recently. But I think it’s just another excuse. For me there is no such thing as work/life balance — there is just my lifestyle! My life is what I do and my work is one big part of it.
The three things I do to get space for better creativity:
1. Go outside
I love outdoor sports as much as I love being creative on my laptop. There is no better way to get inspired than being active in the fresh air.
When I get stuck in my creative process, I try to do something completely different. In the fresh air, I can still think about the problem and come up with a solution. So I go for a run, because sometimes you just need a different perspective to look at things.
Riding the mountains
A friend of mine said to me once: “You must be super tough or at least a bit crazy!” when she saw me riding my bike. But I think I have just a different level of excitement. One can get excited when cycling along a lake or up a hill. I rather put myself to the edge and once I do so, my mind is focussed only on this one thing. When riding a steep downhill trail or jumping over a road gap above, there is no time to think about how I’ll solve my clients usability problems.
Surfing the waves
Although I don’t live at the ocean I go surfing the waves at least once a year. It is so inspiring, I just love it! It’s not only the act of surfing a wave or riding the board, it’s everything around and in between; the silence, when sitting in the line up waiting for the next set — the struggles, while fighting through the white wash or paddling a wave that plays hard to catch! Just after a few rides I feel more inspired to go back in front of my screen and create new things. Get some distance and recharge your batteries for better productivity.
2. Observe the surroundings
Travel the world
I travel a lot. In my opinion traveling is the best way to educate yourself! I keep getting inspired when I am somewhere else. I truly believe that it makes me a better designer and a more sensible human being, as I tend to see and appreciate the creative solutions people come up with. As a swiss girl living in a country of design and perfection, watching this man painting the trash bin made me smile. Explore as much of the world as you can, connect things while generating new ideas.
3. Capture the moments
One picture a day
It happens during downtime when I’m waiting for the next train or sitting in a cafe, I see moments worth capturing. Most of the time my mobile phone does a good job. I find myself taking at least one picture a day. And I review them several times to reflect my days. When armed with my Fuji X-E1 I’m on a mission — a mission of taking specific photographs. I walk the streets and watch people in their moments. Let peoples moments inspire you to create things.
Creativity is just connecting things.
When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. — Steve Jobs, Wired, February 96
This is how I make creative space. What about you?