Beating the Dreaded Designer Burnout

If you are like me and work as a designer or freelance then you probably overdo it.

If you are like me and work as a designer or freelance then you probably overdo it.

What I mean is, that you may work excessive hours and very long days. If you work from home then 9-5 completely goes out of the window and you can be working into the small hours, not taking any breaks and if you are perfectionist then you never stop working!

I love my computer/s and there is nothing more I love to do than be working on some project in Photoshop, Illustrator or writing up some code. There is also the distraction of social media such as Facebook and Twitter too, but staring at a screen all day no matter how big or small it is can take its toll, especially if you forget to drink enough and use caffeine to boost yourself which sometime can have a negative effect by making you dehydrated resulting in more tiredness.

Somedays I feel the strain and can get sore, tired and strained eyes, the ‘fake awake’ of running on autopilot and recently a symptom I called ‘laptop neck’, due to looking down on a screen for long periods of time!

Overworking myself like this can seriously affect my creative flow and my productivity starts to wane and the ‘designer burnout’ kicks in.

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It’s all about Work Life Balance. Why not make a schedule for your working hours and then the rest of your day can be used to recharge those batteries, have some fun and spent time with friend, families and enjoy your hobbies.

Yes, of course our work is very important and we do have to meet deadlines, but it isn’t the be all and end all. Putting that schedule in place will stop the excessive hours and get those creative juices flowing again.

Take those breaks…. Get out and get moving. Take the dog for a walk, go to the gym, go running or cycling and get some well deserved exercise. If you work alone from home then it’s nice to spend some time with friends. Go for lunch, drinks or shopping (or all!). If you don’t fancy going out then why not try Nintendo Wii or Xbox Kinect?

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Switch off

It is hard to switch off, because if you are like me then your mind is always thinking. I’m always thinking about latest projects, future projects and also those dreaded deadlines. Why not switch your computer and smart phone off? Take a weekend break or longer vacation. There is nothing better to help with recharging that creativity flow then a break away. You don’t need the internet to find inspiration because it’s all around us.




It’s just a thought, but why not learn something new? There are loads of new skills and things you can learn. Not only in your profession but in other subjects too. You could apply these new-found skills in your personal projects and update your portfolio or update those bios on professional and social media sites and why not create a new personal Facebook or Twitter cover design?

How do you defeat the burnout?

Written by Anjelica

(Starr) Anjelica De Alexandris is a part-time designer and co-owns a surf and clothing shop based in the South West, Great Britain. Anjelica considers herself to eat and sleep design and considers herself a dedicated Apple fan. Anjelica has written for numerous design blogs including Digital Art Mix, Girly Design Blog, Design Mash, Web Design Mash, Rez, Design is Dead and Blog of Francesco Mugnai


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