Doing less to do more
I am not a man who does less easily. I’m the kind of guy who’s always busy with something. When I sit down, one leg is bouncing up and down, always ready for the next thing.
I usually spend no longer than 40 minutes sitting down at work. I’ll have to stand up and go for a walk. I like starting new things. I like doing things. I called my website Get Doing Things. I’m restless and I’m always doing something.
However, I became a better designer when I started designing less.
I used to spend pretty much 14 hours of most days designing stuff and learning my craft. If I wasn’t designing something I was practicing designing something. If I wasn’t practicing I was reading about design.
Design was my whole life, and I was like that for about 8 years. I loved design, and I was privileged that I got to enjoy design as my career and hobby.
Doing it so much was doing terrible things to me though. I had constant backache from sitting down so much, I was putting on a lot of weight, and my body was just generally ruined.
Creatively I was starting to struggle too. Finding ideas was difficult. Generating new ideas was difficult. Design was way harder than it should have been for me.
Then I did something unusual. I got a hobby.
I’m very obsessive when I get a new thing to learn or focus on. I chose Jiu Jitsu and it was the best thing I ever did. Suddenly I had something new to learn about and focus on.
I had something new to obsess over, and it was exactly what I needed.
Creativity requires space. You can’t constantly be generating new ideas and thinking about your job because you get ground down.
When I created some space and stopped thinking so much about design everything became easier.
Doing less has made me a better designer.