Down time has been given a bad reputation. We can be lazy with our down time and do nothing productive with it. The guilty pleasure we’re all a culprit of – the I’m going to lay on the couch in my pajama’s all day, with a Costco-size bag of chips, and watch every movie I own. Or the I’m killing time at work by watching YouTube videos of kittens, creeping high school friends on Facebook, and doing online Christmas shopping in July. This may not even be down time, just avoiding the job at hand with much skill.
There is nothing wrong with a bit of a “I’m going to do nothing with my free time today” attitude. With today’s crazy schedules we all need to be lazy every once in awhile. If the Europeans get siestas then we can vegetate in front of the TV. But don’t we all feel a bit better about ourselves when we accomplish something? Big or small, a bit of gratification on a self-initiated creative project is always a nice boost to the self-esteem.
As designers it’s important to stay creative when you have a bit of spare time. Like a body builder, you have to keep flexing your muscles to stay in shape. Doing something creative with down time can also give a designer fresh perspective on other projects in unexpected ways. When the Pure Vision team ran into some spare time this past week we decided to give Matt’s office a fresh new look… while he was away on vacation. A fresh coat of paint, a magnetic wall with army men magnets, Push Print stretched canvas, and a wicked cool Nerf gun (complete with a pegboard to hang his collection) did the trick.
Needless to say, Matt was pretty surprised when he came into work on Monday.