Like all other professions, working within the Web is most certainly a lifestyle choice, and all this time spent engrossed in our working environment can have adverse effects our passion and motivation for it. But, at the very same moment, it is our passion and motivation only that drives us to spend so much time in our medium, and something which I think is extremely important to our success within the industry. In simple words, it is like a feedback cycle.
No matter how much you may love your job as a web designer, there might, and most surely will, come a day or two that gazing into your computer monitor is the last thing you want to be doing; where you simply wish you could do anything but work on (or even look at) a website. But chances are that you more than likely have a deadline or goal that needs to be met and therefore you feel forced to work, although you simply do not want to. When this happens you have to be very careful as to what you use to stay motivated. This is vital because it can sometimes make or break your ability to remain focused and properly motivated throughout your career. One thing all design schools fail to teach is that in the mist of dealing with clients and other aspects of our careers, there will be various times where you do not want to design, and that could be deadly if you do not know how to approach the situation.
I know that staying highly motivated is of great importance for every web designer and, hence, is the topmost priority. Fortunately, I have found a few amazing solutions that we all could apply when we feel that we are running low on battery. Here is a list of 10 ways to stay motivated as a web designer. The list can be endless, however and you can always add on to these remedies in the comments’ section below.
[divider]Do Not Over Work Yourself[divider]
All the while that you work, try to remember that you are only a human being and not a robot and you need to rest for some time no matter what. Avoiding yourself some peaceful time and overworking is a surefire way to reach an un-motivated level. Begin by getting a substantial amount of sleep, managing your workload effectively, and knowing which clients to take on and which projects to deny. Also, after you have agreed on doing those particular projects, be very mindful of their deadline. Make a timetable accordingly and stick to it. This will ensure that you have allocated enough time for the work entitled.
Note: Do not procrastinate! Strive to set your goals and work diligently to achieve them. In addition to staying motivated, this will prevent you from facing sleepless nights.
[divider]Know When To ‘Throw In The Towel[divider]
Most of us get easily bored and distracted. I am one of them and this annoys me to great heights. So when it comes to working on a huge website project, it can get on our nerves to get through the whole thing without wishing it was finished already.
Remaining motivated means that you are aware when to work and when you should take a vacation or a small break such as the weekends off or one specific day out of the week that you just do not have to worry about work. Knowing when to throw in the towel is so not the same as giving up. Instead, it is the reason why so many designers and freelance professionals abandon their careers; because they were unable to manage their time in the most effective manner.
Free time essentially comprises of rest, enjoyment, and activities that soothe your mind and body. If you have a family, you should find a way to take breaks here and there to spend time with them. You can use them as your motivation and part of your strength. If you do not have a family yet, then with more reason you should be relaxing and taking things slow once in a while. No vacations and an absolute absence of breaks lead to a steady deterioration in your motivational level.
[divider]Free Yourself From Any Interruptions[divider]
This is the one of the most important of all the remedies because email, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and various other interruptions are just as big disadvantages as they are beneficial. Taking a few minutes here and there to check your RSS feed or dropping a glance at your emails will quickly add up in the course of the day and therefore reduce time spent on your projects. Blocking out and limiting these interruptions is the only and the best way to stay motivated and meet your deadlines.
[divider]Change Your Work Environment[divider]
Sitting in front of the computer day in and day out will definitely take its toll. Carrying a laptop and moving to another locations or changing environment is an excellent way to mix things up. Go down to your local cafe, coffee shop, library or even a book store once in a while to work. It will surely brighten your day and provide something to look forward to the rest of the week. Also, this will refresh your brain and will prove to be a great source of relaxation. The basic point is that you should always try to have at least 2-3 different places or areas where you can work comfortably so as to keep your motivation brewing.
[divider]Enjoy Your Work[divider]
Turn your work into fun and enjoyment by adding little twists to it, thus making it more competitive or even getting others in on the action. I have found this to be one of the best ways to keep myself motivated.
[divider]Keep Your Stomach Full And Satisfied[divider]
In addition to giving you a break and some time to clear your exhausted head, lunch also provides you with the much needed energy. If you have been working continuously and come across a barrier too high to breakdown, go grab a snack or go eat lunch. You will see for yourself that you come back full of force ready to break the obstacle down. Not just eating, drink loads of water to keep yourself hydrated. Water will help to avoid fatigue and stay ahead of the game, too.
[divider]Stress Inoculation Therapy[divider]
Stress inoculation therapies are so not meant for severely stress patients only. Ordinary and normal people like us can always use it to our benefit. Stress is one thing that lowers are level of motivation. Simply uttering ‘I can do it’ can do most of our job. Try this! It works like magic for me. And this is no joke.
[divider]Keep Track Of Your Progress[divider]
After working on a project for a while it gets very convenient to lose track of your progress, at which it begins to feel like you are just plugging away for or running after an unreachable ending. Therefore, one should, at all times, keep an eye on his/her overall progress and make sure to note when he/she reaches the desirable points so as to stay motivated.
[divider]Attend Conferences Relating To Your Job[divider]
Conferences are an excellent environment in which to “top-up” your passion for the craft. I can almost guarantee you that at least one from a whole lot of speakers will surely present something new to you or provide you with a new perspective on something that will have you desiring to adopt the same in your own work process.
In fact, you will feel like you cannot get back to work fast enough to try out the new things you have just learned. I swear!
But we all know that conferences are not all about learning. In addition to learning new things, there is this element of networking and socialization and the enjoyment of getting the opportunity to speak to (and perhaps grab drinks with and party) other Web geeks. This will boost your motivational level and make you remember why this job that you are doing is so awesome.
We are usually forced by our employers to attend such conferences, but then again you can always turn such boring sessions into something fun and enjoyment. At such times, you should always think of all the positive things that you will be getting a chance to experience.
[divider]Work With Your Head Up[divider]
At times we all feel like throwing in the towel and calling it a day. Well, everyone feels that way at one point in life and it is perfectly normal. Fact of the matter is that quitters never win. Just remember that every day is comes with a new opportunity and it is completely up to you how you make the most out of it. Learn from your mistakes (always keep in mind!) and do not let things get the best of you.
What Do You Do To Stay Motivated?
Every individual is different. And therefore every one approached the problem of staying motivated in a very different way. Share with us what you do to solve this problem.