Top 7 Best Color Palettes for Graphic Design This Summer

  • Pairing blues with pinks gives palettes a dynamic, fresh vibe.
  • Always balance your vivid colors with light pastels and soothing greys.
  • Choose a darker base color to add depth and mystery.

Summer is a time of joy, relaxation, and adventure. If those attributes suit your company’s personality, you can use summery colors to visually refine your brand. The right color combination evokes customers’ feelings of bliss and excitement. Add a fresh, engaging look and feel to your brand with these color palettes.

Ocean Tide

If you want your brand to evoke feelings of wonder, depth, and beauty, draw your inspiration from the shifting colors as the ocean nears the shore.

Seashore

Few things are more delightful than walking alongside the sea and seeing what’s drifted ashore. From shells to driftwood to seaside critters, there’s always something interesting to see

Summer Breeze

Looking for a yummy, refreshing palette, or a combination that evokes boardwalk excursions, ice cream shops, and summer shopping. ?

Sailboat

Bring a dose of tropical sophistication to your brand with a darker palette that mirrors the colors of a day at sea.

Poolside

Inspire your customers with the fun, vivid shades of a swimming pool and a vibrant summer garden.

Summer Blues

It’s okay to stay in the shade and relax, and add a splash of bright color amidst some muted shades, to make the color variance balance out in a calming pleasing way.

Wrapping Up

These palettes may sing of summer, but they’ll give your brand a beautiful, fresh vibe all year-round. If your company wants to tap into the delight and relaxation of this wonderful season, try out one of these palettes. Your brand will benefit from a lush, fun look and feel.

The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs

  • A strong entrepreneurial spirit has helped many smart enterprising workers achieve successful careers.
  • The rags-to-riches story happens when entrepreneurs have a unique blend of skills and ambition.
  • Several of the world’s leading entrepreneurs have embraced charity as a core part of their philosophy.

It takes a special blend of skills, spirit, and sheer guts to become an entrepreneur. Some of the world’s wealthiest people started with little to their name. Their rags-to-riches stories are not only inspiring, but also provide guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere. Let’s take a look at their stories.

Andrew Carnegie

The epitome of “rags to riches,” Andrew Carnegie started as a child worker in brutal factories, and eventually started working for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. He was no stranger to hard work, and his dedication paid off. He founded several businesses, including the incredibly successful Carnegie Steel Mill. Carnegie went from being a starving, soot-covered teen to a wealthy businessman. Yet he believed in giving back, and he donated so much of his wealth that multiple libraries, museums, and learning institutions bear his name.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey had a rough upbringing. From abuse to poverty, her childhood was a nightmare. Yet Oprah’s entrepreneurial spirit and gift for communication could not be suppressed. She got a gig at a local radio station, where she quickly impressed the producers. In time, she worked her way up to getting her own show. From there, she was unstoppable, using her powerful personal brand to launch a magazine, book club, radio channel, and a verifiable empire. She is the wealthiest African American of the 20th century.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs is certainly one of history’s best known entrepreneurs. He came from humble roots, including an internship at Hewlett-Packard. Known as the creative force behind Apple and Pixar, Jobs was a college dropout who had a knack for getting people on board with his projects. His people skills and innovative style paid off, and he successfully launched the Apple Computer Company. When he was ousted by Apple, he turned his attention to Pixar Animation Studios and made it one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world. Meanwhile, Apple clamored to get him back on board, and he shepherded the company into its role as one of the world’s top tech brands.

J.K. Rowling

Widely considered one of the wealthiest women the world, J.K. Rowling used to be a single mom who lived on welfare and wrote early drafts of her YA novel in coffee shops. Through brilliant storytelling and strategic self-promotion, Rowling not only landed a book deal but also built an entire world to support her stories. Harry Potter became the bestselling book series of all time, making Rowling the world’s first billionaire author. Now, the Harry Potter universe encompasses multiple movies, theme parks, merchandise, and much more. Rowling has had a heavy influence in each of the Harry Potter products, yet has remained humble enough to give away so much of her wealth that she lost her billionaire status.

Jeff Bezos

If only all of us could turn our garage business into a multibillion dollar enterprise. Jeff Bezos is officially the wealthiest person in the world, and it all started with the online bookstore that he ran out of his garage. Amazon quickly cornered the book market, edging out mainstay competitors such as Borders, and eventually sold a variety of other products. Bezos remained a driving influence at every stage of Amazon’s development, using his business-savvy skills to make Amazon into a global marketplace.

Wrapping Up

These are just a few of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, but all the people on this list started from scratch. Many were impoverished and had to work hard to overcome life’s hurdles. With a combination of business acumen, great ideas, and people skills, they established successful empires that have changed the world for the better.

How Design Influences Our Lives

  • Design encompasses everything from media we consume to the devices on which we consume it.
  • Good design taps into our behavioral tendencies and reflects our needs.
  • Design can evoke strong emotions and enable communication across different groups of people.

From the clothes you are wearing to the device you’re using to browse the Internet to this very website, design is everywhere. Sometimes, it’s overt, such as when we look at posters and logos, but usually, it’s so integrated into our lives that we don’t give it a second thought. But what would our world be like without these designs, especially during the past century? How much of our perception is guided by the designs that surround us?

Design reflects and shapes our behavior.

Ever paid close attention to how our smartphones and tablets are designed? How do you tend to type on them — with your index finger or your thumb? This simple behavior is affected by the design of the product, and how we tend to type influences future designs. In time, we become so used to this modality that we instinctively apply it to new technologies.

Design also guides our basic navigation and movement. Consider how crowds move in an open space versus down a hallway. Different architectural features and civic engineering affect our perceptions as we move through public and private spaces. For example, a poorly designed public space can cause distress and even accidents, while a well-designed one leads to better crowd control.

Design guides our emotions.

Research has shown that colors and shapes evoke specific emotions. Imagine a spa with soothing pastel hues and gentle curves, compared to a gym with powerful shades of red and blue and strong angles. Think about logos such as Nike’s, which communicates speed and grace, versus Coca-Cola’s whimsical typeface and vibrant red.

These are all deliberate design choices that evoke certain moods. These emotional effects help us feel more connected to a brand or product. While we might advise each other not to judge a book by its cover, most of us do — which is why graphic designers devote so much time to creating a compelling cover image. Emotional, thought-provoking design grabs our attention and takes us on an emotional journey.

Design allows us to communicate.

The letters you are currently reading are all products of design. Not only is the typeface an example of design, but the symbols themselves are designs that we have used for millennia. We’re surrounded by communicative symbols, such as the hashtag sign (aka the pound sign), the equal sign, and the “@“ sign. Design represents a shared understanding that enables us to communicate effectively. How we design and perceive our worlds also impacts our communication.

A designer created the garments you wear, then you design an outfit that expresses your personality. The design of apps, websites, and magazines are all created to give readers a user-friendly experience, but the core purpose is communication: to sell a product, to share a story, to connect us to others.

Wrapping Up

Design encompasses almost every aspect of our lives. Without it, we’d rely upon spoken language, disorganized movement, and mundane experiences. Good designers are able to cross boundaries, communicate vast amounts of information, and provoke emotion. They give us the means to stay connected and productive in a chaotic world.

Famous Graphic Designers That Shaped Our World

  • The world’s most influential designers played with typography and images in an unprecedented way.
  •  Great graphic design acknowledges the history and culture of the institution that it’s done for.
  • These designers offered thought leadership and trendsetting aesthetics throughout their work.

Humans are a highly visual species. We’re surrounded by logos, magazines, posters, and other forms of visual expression. These iconic images shape our perceptions and reflect our culture. And they’re all created by graphic designers. Some graphic designers have had a remarkably influential role in our lives — yet aren’t household names. In this article, we aim to change that. Here are the top five famous graphic designers who have shaped our world.

Paul Rand

Widely considered to be the father of modern graphic design, Paul Rand was a professor at Yale University and author of the seminal book Thoughts on Design. Highly philosophical in nature, Rand believed that design should strike a balance between functionality and beauty. Perhaps that explains why Rand was able to create such iconic logos as IBM’s, ABC’s, and UPS’s.

Milton Glaser

Known for his whimsical use of typography and a psychedelic aesthetic, Glaser truly captured the feelings and culture of the 1960s and ‘70s. He created the iconic “I Heart New York” logo that adorns bumper stickers and t-shirts around the world, as well as the logo for DC Comics. In 2009, he became the first graphic designer to receive the prestigious National Medal of the Arts.

Paula Scher

With a fresh look for New York mainstays such as the City Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and the Museum of Modern Art, Paula Scher has established herself as one of the world’s top female graphic designers. Scher focuses on the creative use of typography to communicate the history and breadth of her clients’ work. She also created the new Windows 8 logo to freshen up a tired look into something innovative and user-oriented.

Saul Bass

Saul Bass got his start in advertising but abruptly found himself in the world of Hollywood when he was asked to design the poster for the 1954 film Carmen Jones. That launched his career as a seminal film poster and credits designer. Ever seen Vertigo, Psycho, or The Shining? Bass designed the animated titles for those films. He also created striking posters for the films Anatomy of a Murder and Schindler’s List, to name a couple. Not to be outdone, Bass also created the distinctive logos for AT&T, Dixie, and United Way, among many others. His logos are so good that they tend to stay in use for several decades before a design is needed.

Ruth Ansel

Ruth Ansel shaped magazine design for the century, serving as the first female art director for famous publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, House & Garden, and Vogue. Her signature style blends strong typography with powerful photography, and she’s worked with the likes of pop art provocateur Andy Warhol and esteemed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Wrapping Up

These designers did more than produce stunning designs. They tapped into the heartbeat of our culture and created something with a deeper meaning. We know these logos, movie posters, and magazine covers because they reflect our society’s core interests and deepest emotions. Their designers weren’t afraid to stand apart from the crowd and do something different. That’s what makes them among the century’s most influential designers.

Hidden Meanings Behind Famous Logos

  • Many company logos include subtle references to their origins and history.
  • Clever logos use hidden symbolism and emotional colors to define the brand.
  • Some logos have kept the same symbolism throughout many iterations.

Ever wondered how your favorite companies got their logos? Clever logo designers spend days or even months on the design. The best logos stick out in people’s memories, yet communicate the personality of the company and what it offers its customers. Sometimes, there are hidden symbols that express a brand’s history and values. Let’s take a look at eight memorable logos with secret messages.

Toblerone

We all associate Switzerland with its glorious mountains, so it makes sense that Toberlone’s logo features a mountain. This famous treat is made in Switzerland. Moreover, Toberlone is made in Bern, whose coat of arms features a bear. If you look closely at the mountain in the Toblerone logo, you can see the outline of a bear.

Cisco

This telecom company features a simple wordmark with nine vertical lines of varying lengths above it. At first glance, the lines seem to represent radio waves, energy levels, or some other symbol of the technology that the company offers. However, the founders say that the lines mirror the structure of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, where they registered the company.

FedEx

The FedEx logo features a bold font with contrasting colors to indicate its standout service. However, there’s hidden symbolism in the type: the FedEx font is run together so that an arrow appears between the “E” and the “X.” This symbolizes the speed and efficiency of FedEx’s service.

Pinterest

This social media platform allows users to “pin” images as though they’re building a digital bulletin board or pinboard. The unique shape of the “P” in the logo is modeled after a pushpin, in keeping with the pinboard metaphor.

Amazon

The curved arrow beneath the wordmark extends from the A to the Z, indicating the large range of products Amazon sells. It also resembles a smile to express the happiness that its customers experience.

Baskin Robbins

Ice cream is fun, and Baskin Robbin’s colorful logo celebrates that. However, there’s also a bit of company history in the logo. The ice cream shop was originally called 31 Flavors, and if you look closely at the “BR” in the logo, you can see that the pink portion of the letters makes up the numerals “31.”

LG Electronics

LG’s logo features a shiny red button with a winking face. If you look closely, you can see that the shape of the face is actually a “G,” and the nose is an “L.” The overall composition of the logo resembles a power button, symbolizing the types of products that LG makes.

Goodwill

Goodwill rebranded a few years ago, and its new logo expresses the career development opportunities that the organization provides. The logo includes half of a smiling face that resembles a “g.” The face logo also appears in the “Goodwill” wordmark.

Wrapping Up

Logos have a big impact on our lives. When we look at them, we immediately recall our experience with a company and the values they represent. Logos that don’t align with a brand’s personality just aren’t as effective! That’s why this “hidden” symbolism is so important: it’s not actually hidden. It’s communicating to us that we should support the brand. And once you see the secret message, it’s hard to un-see it!

Ways To Be A Successful Business Leader in Our Day and Age

  • True leaders are able to inspire others toward action rather than resorting to demands.
  • Leadership stems from a strong mindset and clear vision, not a job title or other artificial characteristics.
  • Being humble, authentic, and compassionate are the ingredients of a great business leader.

For as long as people have been around, leaders have emerged to guide others through projects and inspire them toward action. Countless books, plays, and films have explored the concept of leadership and what it entails. But how does one become a leader? Is it innate or learned? And during these troubled times, what does it mean to be a leader? “Leader” isn’t synonymous with any job title, and it’s not something that naturally happens as you move up in your career.

Being a true leader comes down to your mindset. As the saying goes, you don’t need a title to be a leader. You do, however, need the right attitude and philosophy.

Clarify your vision

Think of your leadership as a journey. Without a roadmap, how can you expect to show others the way? The first step to building your leadership role is to build a strong vision. These are tough times, economically and otherwise, but you shouldn’t confuse vision with prediction. Successful businesses survive because their leader’s vision carries them through — even if the landscape changes.

Humble yourself

People with authority may point and shout orders, but true leaders inspire action by demonstrating their willingness to get their hands dirty. If you’re tucked away in your office as other people do the hard work, that’s not very inspiring. A leader is someone who can share their wisdom because they’ve been there, rather than someone who doesn’t “walk the talk.”

Show compassion

The best leaders throughout history have been able to inspire others because they connect with them on a deep level. To do so, one needs to have empathy for those they are leading. And with empathy comes compassion. When your employee or team member makes a mistake, how you respond is the difference between a supervisor who judges them and a leader who empowers them to do better.

Be authentic and honest

You’re only human, and you make mistakes as well. It can feel scary to be vulnerable if you’re in a leadership position, but it’s important to own your missteps. By doing so, you show others that you’re not burdened by pride. You’ll also instill trust in those you lead. Honesty and authenticity go hand in hand, and your team is more likely to be open to change if they see that you yourself can change.

Share your mission

Any marketer will tell you that the “why,” the story, permeates all their efforts. Why should anyone care? What is the story that we’re telling? That’s true for leaders as well. Have you taken the time to communicate your mission to your team? Be open about what makes you tick. That’s the key to inspiring others to follow in your footsteps.

Show appreciation

One of the most common complaints in the modern workplace is about micromanagement. The last thing you want is for your team to feel like they can’t do anything right. That means that if you have any perfectionist tendencies, you need to let them go. Your team can sense that. The flip side of this attitude shift is to express your appreciation whenever possible. Show your team that you value them and their work. They’ll be much more likely to put in extra effort to put your vision into action.

Wrapping Up

Being a leader is much more than having authority or issuing orders. It’s a role that you assume on a team when others need guidance. True leaders clarify and express their vision to inspire others on a shared mission. There’s no need to overexplain or judge your team because they’re already empowered and motivated to work with you. Building yourself up as a leader comes down to your mindset, not your job title. With a great attitude and strong philosophy, you can be a true business leader.

Graphic Design: Its History and Where It’s At Now

  • Graphic design began its evolution with the dawn of printing, when typefaces were created to share mass-printed material.
  • Graphic designers use visual language cues to represent more than what words alone can say.
  • In the digital age, design is crucial to communication between brands and their audiences.

Since we specialize in graphic design, we found it fitting to feature a blog about our chosen field, its history, and where it is at now. Graphic design has always been intricately tied to the era in which it’s produced. Since the origin of the printing press, it’s played a key role in how we communicate. The art of graphic design is somewhat hard to define, as it entails everything from the design of memorable logos to lush, immersive book covers.

Indeed, it wasn’t until 1922 that book designer William Addison Dwiggins coined the term. What’s clear is that graphic designers are deeply connected to technological trends. Moreover, they typically design to express a brand rather than for their own creative expression. Graphic design, then, is a specific form of visual language. Let’s look at how this language has evolved over the centuries.

The Origins of Graphic Design

Graphic design essentially began with the creation of typefaces, which were used in printing presses to mass-produce written content. One of the earliest typefaces was Trajan, and it’s actually still used by today’s graphic designers. The printing industry also invented logos; printing companies used pictographic representations to label the documents they produced. In time, graphic design encompassed complex combinations of pictures and typography, as well as logos and word marks.

Notable Graphic Design Styles Throughout History

Art nouveau

Emerging after the Industrial Revolution, Art Nouveau features organic flourishes, elegant shapes, and ornate typography. Today, it has a bit of a vintage look but can still be seen in designs such as the General Electric logo.

Art Deco

The style we associate with the Roaring Twenties and the Prohibition Era is called Art Deco. It features geometric elements, high color contrast, bold typography, and gold flourishes. Designers use this distinctive style in throwback designers.

Modernism

During the 1950s, graphic designers made a deliberate departure from past styles. The modernist style features thick, smooth lines, bold colors, and open designs. It can still be seen in logos such as AirBnB and NASA.

The Use of Graphic Design in Marketing

Graphic design used to revolve around illustration and typography, dating back to the ads in corantos (newspapers of the early 17th century). As printing techniques improved, we began to see print marketing emerge in the form of chromolithographs, which were often used to reproduce advertisements. With advancements in printing technology, ads evolved into a complex communication style, especially in the text-heavy ads that appeared in periodicals of the 1940s and 50s.

In time, typographic elements began to give way to image-forward designs. Now, graphic design can communicate a brand’s long history, cultural assets, and core values with a single logo. We’ve always been a highly visual species, but graphic designers have helped us refine our visual communication style.

The Importance of Graphic Design

Graphic design is crucial to marketing efforts. Designers create the visual presence that helps brands connect with their audiences. Everything from emails to social media needs custom, branded design. Each piece must be carefully cued into its intended platform and audience. Now that marketing has expanded into the digital sphere, there is high demand for graphic designers, crossing all forms of media.

Wrapping Up

We’ve come a long way since the dawn of printing. Now, we thrive in the age of the image, where decades of visual communication and technological advances have led us to a shared visual language. The core principles of graphic design reflect years of tradition and culture. Good design taps into our psychology to cross boundaries and forge deep connections. That makes graphic designers essential architects of our shared experience.

A Quick Guide to Design Thinking

  • Because Design thinking is human-centric, it can adapt the creative process to the needs of the user.
  • Design Thinking entails five stages that prioritize innovation and adaptability.
  • Taking a user-friendly perspective helps your project or process break out of a rut and better serve your audience.

“Design Thinking” has become a bit of a buzzword in marketing circles, but it remains a mysterious, vaguely philosophical concept. We know that it’s responsible for everything from improved UX to successful startups, but what is it? How can we put it into action to meet our own goals? Design Thinking crosses boundaries to provide a framework for both thought and action. While there are several variations of the concept, all revolve around the idea that the user comes first.

Let’s look at Design Thinking in more detail and see how it impacts our efforts.

What is Design Thinking?

The core of Design Thinking is that you must prioritize the user when addressing a problem. Often, we become entrenched in our way of thinking, to the point that we can only envision solutions within established structures. If you’re working within an outdated business model or design paradigm, that presents a hurdle to your success. And often, these “solutions” require external resources or unnatural user behavior to work. Design Thinking means that your project or process keeps the user in mind. With Design Thinking, when you “think outside the box,” you’re thinking about complex problems from a human-centric perspective.

That’s what designers do, which is how this concept got its name. However, anyone can put Design Thinking into action.

What are the Stages of Design Thinking?

Design Thinking stemmed from the ideas of Nobel Prize laureate Herbert Simon in his 1969 book The Sciences of the Artificial. However, it was Stanford’s Hasso-Plattner Institute of Design (d.school) that developed the five-stage model that most people use today.

  • Empathize. The key to successfully implementing Design Thinking is to think about something in terms of the problems it presents. This human-centered approach entails empathy, in which you abandon your preconceptions and think about your project from the user’s perspective. In other words, to find user-friendly solutions to your problem, you must put yourself in others’ shows.
  • Define. In the Define stage, you translate the perspective you gained in Stage 1 into a framework for your problem. This might involve rewriting or reconceptualizing the problem from a human perspective. It’s crucial in this stage to stop basing your process on your desired business results and start thinking about what you can do for your audience.
  • Ideate.This is where innovation comes in. With your human-centric perspective, you can start to develop solutions that stem from the user’s needs rather than your own. Ideation is the process of brainstorming, body storming, and reverse engineering as many ideas as possible to solve your problem.
  • Prototype. Product designers will create prototypes to evaluate their work, but in Design Thinking, anyone can prototype their solution. This might include a workup of a new process, a trial run of a service, or any other mockup of your user-centered solution.
  • Test. The testing stage naturally follows from the creation of the prototype. A big part of Design Thinking is to be agile and iterative, rather than following a rigid process. Testing evaluates the prototype’s efficacy while incorporating user feedback to make the best possible solution. That’s what makes this final stage so powerful.

How Can I Put Design Thinking Into Action?

With these stages in mind, how can you use Design Thinking to improve your products and services? To start, you must think about the user’s needs. What are their primary obstacles, and how can you help them overcome them? Don’t be afraid to abandon the routines and ideas that you’ve been holding dear. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes goes a long way toward your ultimate success.

You can implement strategies such as regularly obtaining feedback from customers or employees, hosting brainstorming sessions and workshops, or envisioning your products and services from an outsider’s perspective. Throughout the process, stay agile and adaptive; don’t assume that what you learn in Stage 1 is still true in Stage 5. In fact, that’s why many who use Design Thinking run the “stages” in parallel rather than sequentially. This iterative process helps you find the best solution to the problem.

Top 5 Graphic Design Trends of 2020

  • Slick, liquid textures are defining a new standard for graphic design.
  • At the same time, designers are embracing a vintage aesthetic
  •  Text-driven designs are dominant this year.

With each new year comes a new wave of design trends. However, 2020 is a special year. It’s the dawn of a new decade, and graphic designers are taking it to heart by emphasizing innovation and futurism in their designs. At the same time, many are seeking a return to our earthy roots. Here are the top five graphic design trends of 2020.

Magical Metallics

Now that we’re in the ‘20s again, designers are very into gold. They’re using ornate gold designs, glittery accents, and elegant gold type. These designs look classy and timeless, and they remind audiences of wealth and luxury, which is always a good thing. Silver and bronze are also popular design elements, appearing as inlays, borders, photographs, and typographic elements.

Funky Fonts

Who doesn’t love fonts? The right font can make or break a design. But in 2020, designers are elevating fonts to be front and center in their designs. More and more new fonts are being released every day, and typographic distortions, custom-designed letters, and text-forward designs are all very “in” right now.

Mysterious Masks

There’s nothing quite like sweeping a layer of dust to reveal a shiny, fresh image — and that’s the feeling that masking achieves digitally. Designers are layering solid colors over vibrant images, with cut-out letters or shapes revealing the beauty beneath. Masking gives a sophisticated allure to any design.

Luscious Liquids

As graphic design software has improved, so has its capacity to make hyper-real designs come to life. One 2020 trend is an indulgence in liquid dreams: designers are creating fluid, gooey designs to entice viewers. From drippy fonts to wavy masking to fluid textures, liquids are quite in vogue.

Tantalizing Textures

For years, slick surfaces and cool hues defined the modern era. Now, as many designers seek a return to a more organic style, they’re incorporating earthy textures and colors into their designs. Often, they’ll layer the textures to add depth to the design, or use them in unexpected ways to add visual interest. 2020 has seen a resurgence of vintage aesthetics and natural shades, all of which give designs an immersive, engaging look.

Wrapping Up

Graphic designers play a huge role in defining our cultural aesthetic. In 2020, we’re seeing the most diverse and engaging designs we’ve seen in decades. From slick liquid designs to earthy textures and tones to multi-layered designs to creative typography, 2020’s design trends embrace innovation and creativity like never before. Designers are working to change the world through their craft — and we’re all benefiting immensely from their contributions.

How To Stay Motivated, Productive and Creative During Isolation

  • Monotony leads to distress and distraction, so switch things up!
  • Creativity is a muscle that you need to work out — and rest.
  • Declutter your mental and physical space to keep a level head.

If you’ve been working from home for a while, you may have gotten into the swing of a new routine. Still, it can be hard to get into the right headspace when you’re disconnected from your coworkers. Isolation can sap your energy and harm your productivity.

How can you boost your motivation, check off your to-dos, and think up new ideas? It all comes down to a few simple shifts that help break your mind out of its rut and get moving again. Here are some basic strategies you can implement to help yourself stay on track, even when you’re working in isolation.

Mix up your routine

Many of us wake up, make coffee, and check our emails and social media before officially starting our work day. That routine may be comforting, but if you’ve been doing it for years — and now entirely from home — it can become a rut that drags us down. Try switching things around. Start your day with a workout or yoga session, then immediately dive into your work. Avoid email and social media until you’ve knocked out some of your time-intensive tasks. You’ll likely get more done and feel a little less stressed.

Tidy up your workspace

When we all first started working from home, we heard all about the importance of establishing a dedicated workspace. Now that we’ve been there a few weeks, it’s time to do a quick check: is your desk tidy and organized or a chaotic wreck? It’s easy to become a workaholic when you work from home, and that sometimes causes us to neglect our housekeeping. A clean, well-kept workspace allows us both mental and physical space for new ideas to emerge.

Get your creative juices flowing

Burnout is a real possibility for people who are working hard to stay afloat during the pandemic, especially for those who struggle to disengage from work at the end of the day. With burnout comes a decline in creativity and motivation. Ultimately, it’s important to take a break to resolve burnout, but if this isn’t an option, try a creative activity, such as a puzzle or a bit of creative writing, to recharge your creativity.

Wrapping Up

Of course, you should check in with your coworkers as often as possible. But let’s face it: you’re still working from home, alone, without the exciting buzz of your workspace. That’s why you need to invest in a little extra self-care to keep yourself balanced during periods of isolation. Plus, it’s helpful to switch up your normal routine and physical space so that you can feel fresh and energized. Devote a few minutes each day to tidy up, reflect, and just breathe. You’ll feel much more motivated to tackle the next thing.