It doesn’t take years of being a designer before you can complain about “designer’s block”, or lack of inspiration to work on the projects you’ve got to get finished or started on. We’ve all been there. Browsing other designer sites trying to get inspired or ideas for elements, layouts, and color patterns. Gripping our hair in our hands as we hold our faces in our palms staring at the fresh wide-screen monitor you swore would never cease to inspire. Don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s totally ok, I know exactly how you feel.

Do you remember the last time you had that burst of creativity? You know, where you could easily work through the night with nothing more than a few glasses of water, grilled cheese sandwich, and maybe a banana. Harming your bladder because you don’t want to pull away to use the lavatory. You’re on top of the world in those moments. Everything you think of, your hands can draw, or your mouse can trace. For me, its like that huge victory moment close to the end of a movie. Redemption for all the hard work in the previous scenes are now paying off.

But what about when the pixy dust runs out? What do you do then to get yourself going? Well for me it comes down to a few things.

  • Atmosphere and Surroundings.  I mainly work from home. The same home with my wife and kids. And sometimes I just can’t get motivated to work, or when I do I have to work extra hard to flush out the distractions. It helps to leave from time to time to a coffee-house or public place with wi-fi.
  • Time of Day. This is a bit crucial because I truly feel like it could be ingrained in my psyche that either early morning or really late at night are my most productive or best times for inspiration.
  • Music. This one is common among all my design friends. I’ve got a few choice playlists that instantly get me going. On the times I can’t get in the zone I spend about 30min getting new music via Grooveshark, Spotify, or iTunes. (Though when I say new, I mean new to my library for old school hits)
  • Get in Good Company. Get a hold of some of your associates and fellow designers. Organize a quick #TweetUp at someone’s house, order some food, and everyone pick a corner and get working or collaborating.

So these are my top things that help get me in the design mood to get my projects done when I really don’t feel like it. I think it goes without saying that checking your bank account usually will create a mood to work if all else fails. Hehe. So what do you do? I’d like to hear and I’m sure others may appreciate the diverse tips. Let us all know in the comments below.