2. Take a Break, Pick a Card
Hi! It’s author-illustrator Eliza Wheeler in with Creativi-Tea Time; a 2 minute / 2x month digital break for artists, writers, & makers to chew on a piece of creative process together.
In the past Creativi-Tea break, I shared how I structure my work into timed 1 hr sessions and take 10-20 minute breaks in between. During breaks, I used to find myself getting sucked into mindlessly checking email/phone/internet-blahblah, and after some time noticed that these are things that drain my energy and disrupt creative focus (or could even derail a whole day’s work trajectory). Which doesn’t make for a helpful break at all.
This problem prompted me to make a list of things that consistently give my body and brain a true break. Most items seemed to fit under a resting or active category. For awhile I had these written as a list of choices, but my very visual brain suffers easily from decision fatigue when faced with words and lists. So I created some custom illustrated break cards to choose from—the visuals seem to read much quicker for me.
I lay the cards out at the beginning of the work day (usually narrowing them down to 6-7) then approach them after my hour work timer goes off.
I take a pause and check into my system…
Am I tired or achy?
Do I feel like moving a bit?
If I’m tired, I choose from a card with a water icon. If I have some energy I’ll choose from a card with the sun icon. I try to let my senses draw me towards the type of 10-20 minute break I need most in that moment.
If you were to make a list of things that rejuvenate you in a 10-20 minute time window, what would they be?
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“Radical self-love demands that we see ourselves and others in the fullness of our complexities and intersections and that we work to C R E A T E S P A C E for those intersections.”
~ Sonya Renee Taylor
P.s. I’ve posted these break cards if you’d like to download for free here, which include a row of blanks so you can add your own favorite break activities. (After making them, I realized I missed an essential ‘watch TV’ option!)