We all know what it means to “get in the zone”. These are the moments where nothing can stop us from creating that which we set out to do. We seem to be on a roll and we work with such flair that we already envision ourselves accepting an award from AIGA or another established organisation. However, we also all know what it means to be completely out of the zone and have trouble getting into it. There are a million ways to get to this point but three tried and tested methods that work for me are listening to music, imagining success and procrastination.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love and appreciate music. Listening to this beautiful work of art is in itself an inspiration for us to do our own creations. There is an infinite amount of genres out there and most of us can appreciate at least one of them. Hearing and feeling the vibe can take us away and help get us into the right state of mind in which we need to be in order to start or continue on a project. Sometimes the music may resonate so strongly with us that we block out all external factors and focus on nothing but the design which we have to do. Finding a genre of music, or just certain songs, that we like can immensely boost our productivity potential and help us to get the ball rolling on our projects.

Imagining success is another possible way for us to get in the zone. We all have wide imaginations. Sometimes maybe too wide. Regardless, we know how easy it is to go off on a tangent and end up in a daydream without even realising. We can use this to our advantage to help get us into the zone in order to design fluently. Many of us have heard of the success stories of various graphic designers. In some instances, their career skyrocketed after the creation of just one logo. Of course, they were all working extremely hard but their hard and as a result they attained the success which they enjoy today. Sometimes we may be in the process of designing a logo. I think in order to get in the zone it’s a good idea to allow ourselves to lose focus ever so often and imagine the “what ifs?”. Think of all the possibilities that could happen if we’re somehow noticed by the right crowd and all of a sudden see success in ways we never even dreamed.

This next method could be extremely dangerous. I’m referring to procrastination. There are times where we may end up doing everything else but our project only to realise that we have to pull an all-nighter in order to complete it. In that example, we have no choice but to get into the zone. Self-induced panic is a great motivator. However, it may not necessarily be the healthiest option. Sometimes procrastination can be as simple as taking a break in order to get our mind off of what we’re designing. Or it may sometimes give us new ideas or add vitality to the ones we already have. Procrastination can help to lead us into that zone in which we love to be.

Overall, there are many different ways in order to get into the zone. Everyone’s minds work differently. Some work well by following a timeline. Others work well by waiting until the world is asleep. Everyone finds their own ways and tricks that help them to be more productive and to get into the zone. One thing is for certain, the more we design is the more that we can learn about ourselves and know which ways work best for us respectively.