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7 Things to Do When You’re in a Design Rut

No matter what your career is, we've all experienced the inevitable rut. It’s a place where creativity and motivation are incredibly lacking. It's a struggle that all graphic designers know all too well when their energy isn't managed properly. The good thing is that there are ways to find inspiration and strike the passion for design again.

  1. Get out of the mundane everyday scenery of your workspace. Whether you work from home or in an office, our environment can sometimes start to drain our creative energy. If you are able, switch up where you’re doing your creative thinking. An hour or two at a local coffee shop can do wonders for your motivation and get a new perspective on projects.

  2. Go to the store and get inspired. Graphic design is everywhere and sometimes it’s easy to miss good design. Go to your local grocery store and intentionally seek out items that have amazing branding and design. Take pictures or even buy some of your favorite finds.

  3. Visit your favorite online inspiration spots. Seeing how other people are designing can strike creativity in your own design life. Pinterest or Instagram scrolling can be such an inspirational kick in the pants. People around you are always creating amazing work and using techniques you have never thought about.

  4. Check in on yourself. Stress is the #1 killer of creativity and determination. So please take a look at your life as a whole and make sure there aren't things that should change to help you out, such as sleeping enough or getting enough exercise. Stress is a distraction and is detrimental when you are trying to create. It's amazing what a full eight-hour sleep cycle can do.

  5. Get outside. Not only is the fresh air good for you, you never know what inspiration you’ll find as you take a walk. Refresh your mind by being outside and getting a new perspective.

  6. Organize the clutter. Every designer has been in a situation where there are 59 tabs open and the desktop on your laptop is so cluttered, it’s hard to find anything. Clutter is a creativity killer, so take the time to organize your laptop and the environment around you. Your brain will thank you for the new sense of productivity.

  7. Do something creative that has nothing to do with your job. Sometimes finding your creative side means painting on a canvas for the heck of it or creating with clay. Graphic designers spend most of their day working on a computer so everything they create is digital. Doing something creative with your hands that are not on a computer can trigger a renewed sense of self-expression and boost motivation.

While we have all been in a work-related rut from time to time, we don't want to stay there. Try implementing a couple of these ideas and see what happens. Get the fun and spark back into your design life.

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