Freshen Up Your Work in 2017

With the new year ringing in, I thought I would share a few of my tips for keeping my process fresh and not falling into a rut in the office. Give some or all of these a try, and let me know what works for you.

Change the Scenery

At Atomic, our office and work stations are quite fluid. We strive to keep our teams close together. When team sizes change, we often shift the location and number of desks used by our teams.

This is a great chance to make a big change. Sometimes this change can be pretty dramatic, like moving across the office, or even to another floor. But even if you are staying in the same location, you can try sitting next to someone else or facing a different direction. A small peripheral change can be just enough to keep you feeling fresh.

Adjust Your Hours

Do you always go in at 8:00, take an hour for lunch, and leave around 5:00? Mix it up. If your office (and team) are flexible, try going in just a half an hour later and either staying at the office a bit later, or working partially through lunch. If you have always been the first person there, try being one of the last people to arrive for a few months. You’ll be surprised how much different the office will feel.

Start Over

One of the most satisfying things I can do as a designer is to start a fresh art board in Sketch (or similar programs). I don’t just do this when I start new projects, or phases of a project; I’ll do it right in the middle of working on a mock-up.

This allows me to take inventory of everything I’ve been working on, and I’ll either port over the elements or build them from scratch again. It’s a great way to iterate on a UI, adjust a color, and especially name (or reorder) my layers and folders.


Obviously, all of these tips will not work for everyone. If you are the type of person that has been following the same routine for 15 years and would feel lost without it, I’ll understand if you don’t try these. But if you are starting to feel lethargic at the office and not producing the same quality of work you usually do, try mixing up a few things in your routine and see if that helps to get the creative juices flowing.