What is the best way to use your forced free time? For designers downtime is more important than working time and most of us do recognize this. In fact, we spend time planning our downtime. The downtime is not called ‘recharging your batteries’ for no reason. Though the currnet downtime is not usual, since it is a forced one, it needs some extra thoughts.
1. Don’t be a Shaheed: Since we are all in the same boat, it makes no sense to keep repeating how the situation is creating problems for you. Understand that the current situation will result in bad economic, business and personal issues for all. Everyone has to be focused on their own issues. Use the down time to spread some light, actively help your community.
2. Shut everything: If that’s the only choice, so be it. Spend time at home, with family. Catch up on your sleep (designers never have enough of that), movies, TV serials, games, whatever you have. And if you read…read. Don’t think of work for some time. Let this be your detox from the responsibility of changing the world.
3. Don’t panic: Easier said than done. If you are a freelancer or running your own studio, this time is surely going to hit you financially. Speak to the family, clients, vendors and also your team. Try rearranging payments, get recoveries (even at discounts), let go of expensive ambitions for the time being. Work on your situation. Rearrange timelines of deliveries.
4. Use the time to build some ideas: Rethink your life and your work. Rearrange how you would do certain things. You could also use this time to build future project proposals for your customers. Do sketches, mind maps and rearrange your data. Engage in online research about the new collaborations and projects that you should undertake.
5. Blog, write and video record: We designers don’t document our great ideas. Use this time to write or speak into your video phone. Categorize and document your ideas. Put them in formats that can be presented or shared.
Let me know how you used your forced vacation.
Sudhir Sharma, Editor-in-Chief