Getting Past The Wall.

Steven Morrison
May 4, 2021

Sometimes the hardest things about design work is not the design itself, but the countless hours where you are trying to think of what to even make. Sometimes it’s easy you sit at your desk and boom you are going. Other days you are sitting there coming up with ideas only to scrap that idea seconds later and second guess everything you know. I find I run into this issue more often if I have not done any design work for a long time it can be hard to get a project started. Over the years I have come up with few techniques to get myself working. I will share with you in the hopes that it helps you get things under way for any projects you need to get done.

First thing I often do is the simplest. Look at things, head to the internet and have a look for something that is in line with what you are trying to make. This is easier said than done sometimes, but just looking at things can trigger a thought that you can follow to a design all your own. The simple act of looking at other people’s work or images of the area you are looking at can be a great way to get some ideas and get the ball rolling.

Get Started

Just getting started is sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself even if that means that you start on small sections of what you are trying to make. You can do things like work on colours you are going to use or chose a font and get any text you are going to need on the page. I have found just doing something has helped me many times when I am trying to work on something, but can’t get into the right frame of mind. It is a lot less daunting when you have something on the page and it’s not just a blank page staring you down.

Make Something

Make a thing just, sometimes just working on anything that comes to mind I find that having a small 10-minute thing done and dusted can make me want to keep going. Take a second and make something to break that mental seal. If you are struggling on what to make think of hobbies that you have and make something that is inspired by them. I have a lot of things I do when I’m not in the office and most of them are very nerdy and they are the best for being able to make a quick thing. You can make something as simple as making a logo in a shirt with a bit of text.

Take a break

Go off and do something a bit mindless for a while. Do some documentation you have been putting off go get a coffee just something to take your mind off the work. Steeping away from the work is a great thing to do if you are able. The simple act of stepping away can give you the bit of mental space you need to relax and make it easier to focus in on the work at hand.

The great thing about the base of all the things I do when I’m stuck is there are not limited to design work. You can use these techniques in a lot of different areas, stuck on some code go back and do some documentation (We all know you haven’t done any), need to get that blog done find an image for it.

I hope you have fond something in here that helps you get some work done.


Image of Steven Morrison with the OptimalBI logo in the background.

Steven Morrison is a design innovation grad who’s part of the team here at OptimalBI, so you’ll find him squirreling away working on stuff that helps make us look good. 

Connect with Steven on LinkedIn, or read some of his other blogs here.

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