What is a day in a typical designer’s life like? We wake up, check our e-mail our e-mail, spend all day working on a computer, go home to watch TV then browse online for inspirational design sites, and for every little gap in between we’re checking our smart phone. As designers, our sedentary profession is based almost entirely on computer and electronic usage; so much so that a NY Time article suggests this could make it more difficult for us to remember information and come up with new ideas. For our Orange County website design firm, this is particularly alarming news considering the fact that innovation and creativity is what drives our careers, new ideas must sprout with every project we take on.
The article sites the example of a typical gym workout. We step on the elliptical machine then distribute our attention to three different electronics: a television, our ipod and iphone. While we’re burning calories we’re also exhausting our brains by viewing a program, listening to music and texting all at the same time. This has been a result of electronic devices’ ability to negate boredom in our everyday lives. Instead of staring at the time left in our workout or standing idly in line at the bank we have something to entertain us. Even a recent smart phone advertisement boasted the products’ ability to provide high-speed internet access that would make waiting for a delayed flight at the airport an exciting venture.
However, all of these electronic outputs are taking a toll on our brains. Memory and creativity are vital to our work’s success. In effect, the new technology that should supposedly make us more efficient and able to access infinite amounts of inspirational data is hindering our creative processes. The solution: make your downtime technology free. Of course it’s important to check your e-mail once a day and pick up the phone, but if you’re exercising or simply waiting in line at the grocery it’d be best to give your mind a break. It’d also be helpful to step away from the computer at work every once and a while. Take a pencil and paper, go for a walk, get some fresh air. This will do wonders for your work and most importantly your state of mind.