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Life can hit you in ways you can never imagine. It can get to you, make you angry, miserable, sad, hating and over time you can become what you never wanted to be. You lose motivation and confidence over this time, and unfortunately both are things that are needed for design. It is a huge uphill battle to overcome these feelings and try to get back to a happier more motivated state of mind.
When you’re a designer, doing UI / UX work like me, motivation is a force that provides inspiration, ideas, and solutions you can be proud of. You notice this when you lose motivation. Motivation also breeds confidence, and confidence can get you to places you can only dream of when you have none. Confidence impacts your creativity, decision-making, and overall success. There are days you wonder if life will be better, where you can get back to your old self and hit the ground running. What does it take to get there?
Design without motivation has no clear purpose or objective, your mind seems to be all over the place. It is creating something for the sake of creating it, without considering the needs, goals, or context of the design. No motivation makes poor designers, ones that are not even mediocre.
While it is possible to create aesthetically pleasing or visually interesting designs without specific motivation, design typically serves a purpose. Motivation is an essential aspect of the design process as it helps guide decision-making and ensures that the design effectively fulfils its intended function.
Design may lack coherence, relevance, and usability without motivation. It may fail to communicate a message, solve a problem, or meet the needs of its intended audience. It can be seen as purely decorative or abstract, and while it may have some artistic value, it may not be considered functional or meaningful in a broader context.
Working with clients or stakeholders can be tough during this time, they have motivation behind design projects. Without motivation it is hard to deliver your best work or to create purposeful and impactful designs that align with the desired outcomes.
Things I tried to get my motivation back. Maybe you could try them to:
- Number one (Vital) – Take a Break: I promise you, you do not understand the good this can do for you. Take a break from design and engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. This can help clear your mind and rejuvenate your creativity. Go on holiday. You will come back and do things, things that will amaze you and make you grateful that you took a break. It will help with confidence and motivation. Just stepping back from your work can help you gain a fresh perspective.
- Find your why: This is very important. Remember to reflect on why you started doing design work in the first place. Identify the aspects of design that inspire and excite you. Reconnecting with your passion and purpose can reignite motivation and drive to overcome the current challenges.
- Set Small CLEAR Goals: Break down larger goals into smaller more achievable one. This can help you regain a sense of progress and accomplishment, even if it’s on a smaller scale. Life is a journey, celebrate each and every milestone reached, no matter how small. This will help build momentum.
- Diversify Skills: Consider expanding your skill set or exploring new areas within design. Learning new techniques, software, or branching out into related fields can open up new opportunities and make you more marketable. Always be on top of things. Start doing something and take it from there. You are capable of more than you know.
- Seek Support: Reach out to fellow designers, join design communities, or attend local design meetups or events. Engaging with like-minded individuals can provide support, encouragement, and networking opportunities. They may also have advice or insights on how to overcome challenges you’re facing. You can do what you want, don’t limit or condition yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore again: Try experimenting with new design techniques, tools, or styles. Explore different mediums, colors, typography, or compositions. Embrace the freedom to play and explore without the pressure of a specific project or client brief.
- Continuous Learning: Take advantage of free or affordable online resources, tutorials, and courses to enhance design skills. Improving your expertise can make us more competitive in the job market and increase the chances of finding paid design work. Always keep learning.
- Make sure to reflect & be grateful for your past successes: Take a moment to reflect on your past design successes and accomplishments. Remind yourself of the projects you enjoyed working on and the positive outcomes you achieved. Remembering your past achievements can reignite your motivation and boost your confidence.
- Personal Projects: Engage in personal design projects that excite and challenge you. This can take your mind off things and help you stay motivated. It can help showcase your creativity, and potentially attract attention and new opportunities.
- Stay Positive and Persistent: Remember that setbacks are a natural part of any creative journey. Stay positive, remain persistent, and continue to seek opportunities for growth and improvement. Maintain a strong belief in your skills and the value you can bring as a designer.
- Last but not least TRUST in your abilities: Trust in your design skills and capabilities. Believe in your self. Believing in your abilities helps you approach design challenges with a positive mindset and tackle them more effectively. This self-assurance enables you to take risks, push boundaries, and explore innovative solutions. Much needed in design.
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