5 Tips from a designer in lockdown
Previous to all this, I’ve never really worked from home. I’ve always found it difficult as a designer. I’ve had to opportunity to, but I’ve always preferred the environment an office brings in terms of no distractions, other designers/developers, no kids!
It’s tricky. I mean, if you remember to package everything up and whack it on a hard drive the day before, then sure. It can be relatively pain-free. But what’s to say a new brief won’t come through that needs your attention asap. It happens.
I’ve seen a lot of companies and brands sharing tips on how to get the most out of working from home. Things like: stick to a routine, get changed, don’t stop communicating with your colleagues. And I get it, those things help. I mean, for the first few days I was coming down to sit in front of my laptop after only getting up 5 minutes ago with just some shorts and a t-shirt on. It was hard. I found myself not being able to give 100% to what I was doing.
With all that in mind, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve found help me when it comes to working a full day as a designer (with an 8-month-old daughter and a cockapoo who barks at the slightest of noises).
Deliveries. Whether it be from our good friend Jeff Bezos at Amazon, or from your local bar who are out delivering their new juicy IPA. That little bit of excitement when you hear a knock on the door and someone leaving a package on your doorstep is enough to put a smile on anyone’s face right now. Doesn’t really matter if it’s for you or not. Everyone likes opening parcels, right?
Listen to what you want. It could be the new Peter Crouch podcast, an album you’ve recently rediscovered or simply just pop your favourite radio station on. There’s nothing stopping you (unless you live with someone else who hates whatever it is you’ve put on, but then there’s always headphones).
Snacking. Speaks for itself really. We all know the importance of taking regular breaks away from the screen. Research has shown that short breaks can result in being more alert, increase your productivity and even help with attention levels. All I’m saying is, a biscuit or two won’t hurt, will it? I might just be speaking for myself but I always feel a bit better after a few minutes of raiding the chocolate cupboard.
Bake. Or cook. Either really. I think we’ve all been doing this anyway seeing as I haven’t been able to get plain flour since all this started. But I have found it helps. Being at home more means I’m cooking more. I’m making proper, filling breakfasts (and not just a breakfast bar) and eating decent lunches. Even if it is just the leftovers from the night before. Probably better than the £3 meal deals I was getting previously. Although I do miss those double-decker duos. Anyway, I’ve found it does help me when I finally settle down and open up my laptop for the first time. Makes me feel prepared.
Communicate. I know I mentioned this previously as one of the tips I’ve seen floating around already but don’t just confine it to colleagues. Get video calling your family, your friends, anyone you want. It’s probably one of the best things we can do in a time like this. Keep talking to people. Keep sending your parents pictures of your kids playing, keep losing at quizzes to your friends (just me?) and we’ll be out of this thing in no time.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me. They might not help you, but that’s fine. We’re all different and if you’re most productive and happy working in your pants from your sofa, then that’s also fine. Just remember to put a top on before your next conference call.
Keep smiling, keep talking and stay safe.