Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional graphic designers and non-designers trying to do their own graphic design. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know many work in where they enjoy but lately after spending all day at work I get home and all my thoughts and ideas for my freelance projects all day become annoying after I am drained and exhausted. So how do you:

  • manage your energy with your work and freelance?
  • not burn yourself in your field?
  • balance your time with work and freelance?
  • Stay inspired to complete what you've been working on?

I know I tend to bounce around on projects because I believe in managing my time when I get into a design block. However, is this method bad? Should I stick to one project until completion even when battling a hurtle?

I have read many articles on this but nothing seems to motivate me. If it helps someone else:

share|improve this question
    
    
@Scott seems to have an answer or question for everything ;) I do look forward to reading it though later. –  Gramps Sep 4 '13 at 14:24
1  
Not a good habit, but the occasional unnecessary sick day. You'll feel guilty enough you need to be productive. –  Eric Sep 4 '13 at 14:27
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Besides the energy drink or taking a quick walk, I usually do one of 3 things when tired or burned out:

  1. Switch to a quick easy task. Completing something small is quick and fulfilling. The productivity/accomplishment helps build momentum.
  2. Take a break by reading an article or checking out a forum, write a quick post/answer (just like this one - I'm a little burned out at the moment...).
  3. When all else fails, switch to a pet project that you are more excited about.

By having a few projects at a time it helps give you the flexibility when you really couldn't be stuffed working on something. You need to be disciplined though not to keep pushing all the undesirable projects back though (something I do too often).

On the other hand, when I've got a crunch/challenge to complete one project, usually the challenge itself is motivating enough.

share|improve this answer
    
Forums can be a double-edged sword, though: if you're not motivated to work on what you're supposed to be doing, you may just end up spending all day (or all night) on the forum instead. But sometimes, it can indeed work, you just need to be careful. –  Ilmari Karonen Sep 5 '13 at 18:54
    
true, forums can be a time suck. :) –  John Sep 5 '13 at 19:37
add comment

Should I stick to one project until completion even when battling a hurtle?

I know what you're going through, I am currently going through the same thing.

The one answer I can give you that seems to be the answer to all your questions above is:

Take a break!

Depending on how tight the deadlines are, I take a break when I'm stuck. I do something else, I enjoy like playing bass.

Step away from the computer, pick up something you've been meaning to learn. Allow yourself to recharge for a while, because you're only human.

Just last night I was working on a deadline. I was dog tired, and stuck. I found another task to do that was a bit more fun for me. Spent a hour designing and completing the fun task, which charged me up to complete the first task.

share|improve this answer
1  
I'm with you. I think the big issue here is being overwhelmed after work. One of the unfortunate aspects about freelance in addition to working full time is, depending on your job, that time you have to do freelance projects might be your break time. I've noticed I get more done on Sundays. After the work week, once I've been able to unwind without waking up for work the moment I'm rested again. –  Eric Sep 4 '13 at 14:27
add comment

I'm a bit envious as I am a freelancer and have been since 1998 - my last full-time job at an agency. My days are long, though. I have discovered something that helps, that I heard about but never expected would work for me.

Exercise with your favourite music (mine is Latin). I use a NordiTrack X-country type, full body machine that I got used, years ago. It lowers your blood pressure and after a few minutes workout, a quick shower, and a snack like chocolate milk, you'll feel great.

This might sound a bit excessive, but it works for me.

During the exercise, my mind wanders and seems to recharge itself.

Good Luck

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for music and exercise, whether together or separately. –  Ilmari Karonen Sep 5 '13 at 19:04
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.