During my recent web scouring i came across a great 9 step program. Yes, you guessed it, they cut out 3 of the 12 steps to help me break my addictions! who needs to “admit they have a problem” when designing is just a solution TO a problem! ha! Ok, but really. these 9 steps are for helping designers get out of that designers block that we all dread so much!
Here are a few things you can do when you recognize that you’re in a lull:
1. Take a deep breath, relax and ENJOY it. That’s right – you’ve (probably) earned it, so take a moment to stop and smell the roses. After weeks of being “slammed” it’s good to take a break. Realize you’re slow, ratchet down a gear, let the stress you’ve built up flow out of your body. Assume a more relaxed state of mind and let your “batteries” recharge. Ok, 5 minutes of that should do it. Now move quickly onto number 2.
2. Re-focus. Now that you realize you’re in a lull it’s important to re-focus your attention. After spending weeks scrambling to keep up with your customer’s requests, it’s easy to feel kind of lost for direction when the demand for your time suddenly dries up. Now that you realize you’re slow, you need to refocus your attention on your company! If you sit around twiddling your thumbs waiting for work to come to you – you will perish. So, now is your opportunity to do all those things you daydream about while you’re slammed with customer work. Here are a few things you might consider:
3. Seek out a new client. Been fantasizing about working for Puma? Great! Write a letter, do a mock-up, contact their art director… Whatever. Just take some ACTION. Sometimes it’s nothing more than a simple e-mail that lands a big design project.
4 Advertise! This could be passing out fliers in your neighborhood, sending e-mails out to people you would like to work for or designing a new marketing piece. There are a thousand ways to spread the word about your services. Get cracking!
5. Drive traffic – Got a blog? Write an article you think people would like.
6. Work on your company systems! How do you organize your projects? How do you keep your books? How do you do your banking?
7. Be a student. Have a piece of software you’ve been DYING to learn but haven’t had the time? Find a tutorial, open the software and learn something! (No. Video Games DO NOT count as “software.”)
8. Get in touch with your clients! Haven’t had time to write thank-you letters? Sometimes a simple note to an old client will spark them to buy more services from you.
9. The important thing is to STAY BUSY. If you use your design lulls to be productive, they will be short lived. And I promise – just about the moment that you’re REALLY getting into your side-work, a new client will drop a massive project in your lap. So set a goal and get to it!