There are countless web designing blogs out there that consistently and frequently come up with bulletins on design technology and application methods. The mind boggles at the possibilities and the infinite scope for use. But creativity and technology combine only so far before something else takes over – STRESS! Yes, I am talking about the one eternal problem that hounds professionals while they work and thereafter.
What Causes Stress?
If you are a web designer, I am sure you strongly feel the need to experiment with colors, patterns and images before you come up with a website design that is both appealing and useful. Because we are creative people, and creativity should be free of constraints, we greatly desire an environment that is favorable and encourages innovation. A client deadline is perhaps the single impeding factor that robs us off creative satisfaction and cripples our style.
Like it or not, clients are the boss. Any service industry thrives because of its customers. Therefore, client satisfaction is more than are aim, it is our need. Satisfied clients mean more business and more business means more work and more work means more stress. It’s a vicious circle we are all trapped in, stress being its natural consequence.
We are designers; we love to create designs. The big problem is, passion has turned into profession and creativity must follow the rule book. Somewhere between exploiting our artistic talents and confining ourselves to search engine disciplines, we manage to squeeze out designs. But all this comes at the cost of working long stressful hours.
Can we tackle stress? Luckily, yes, although nothing compensates for the couch back home. Still…
Music – This is the greatest stress buster of all times. Music relaxes the mind; has calming and contemplative qualities that helps your mind focus and think clearly. A little music, especially when you are bogged down with deadlines, can help speed up your creative thinking and designing process. Music also helps ease your muscle tension, which explains why it’s so highly recommended as a stress reduction technique.
Many people also agree that music helps them conjure images and new ideas thereof. Many corporate offices encourage playing music during work hours. Believe it or not, music helps you concentrate better than silence. Whether it’s the calm, pastoral theme variety you like or the heavy techno variety, music is an effective stress management tool.
Get Up and Move – Exercise is a great way to manage stress. We may not realize it, but a minute’s walk to the water cooler, or the balcony, or corridor and back can help reduce stress immensely.
Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make “happy” people. Endorphins are hormones that instill your body with a sense of well-being. A little bend and stretch, cracking fingers, neck and back, climbing stairs or 10-minute walks during your coffee breaks will help refresh you.
Utilize your lunch breaks to walk long stretches. Have swimming pool and gym facilities? Use it to their full advantage.
Browse Images – Look at pictures; cliparts, celebrities, sceneries, animals. If you come by something interesting or impressive, make a note of it so you can use the pattern or color-scheme for your designs. ‘Save’ the image or webpage link for future reference and continue idle browsing.
Learn to enjoy images without a critical eye. You should not be searching for web design ideas to implement in your designs. If you come by something inspiring, use it. If not, don’t fiddle with keywords to look for design templates.
Play Games – Paintballing is a proven stress reduction technique. There are several free online paintball games sites. You can also download free games from free online games sites.
Also, if your office provides indoor games facilities for table tennis, chess, carom, scrabbles, or good-old snakes-and-ladders, spend some time playing those.
Waste Time/Relax – Yes, literally, waste time! Get up, walk to the next cubicle and engage in a 5-minute conversation with your colleague. (Should Colin Firth have won the Oscar for King’s Speech?); insignificant nothings that bear no relevance to your work.
If you can’t find someone willing to engage in idle chit-chat, pay a visit to the restroom for a self-talk session. Do the jig; better still, make faces at yourself. Have a common room? Slump down on the sofa and rest your eyes for a moment.
There are really a million and one ways to kill the boredom of repetitive work and bust stress. Of course, ensure it doesn’t come at the cost of neglecting your work.