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Creatives are fearless.

Well, apart from two things: deadlines and burnout.

Only merciful clients can reduce the risk of the first one. As for the latter: it can be prevented with some well-deserved time off.

But after running full speed ahead the past couple months, you may have forgotten how to, as they say, “chillax.”

So, let’s bum-rush…wait, no…let’s ease into some tactics for restorative hanging.

Enter a no device zone

We forbid you to “read this email real quick” or “check in on that project.” FORBID! In fact, you might even think about turning off Outlook notifications and leaving your laptop in its sleeve. Research has shown that fully disconnecting from work improves productivity AND helps reignite your focus and confidence.

If you feel “guilty” about being off the clock (which, by the way, you shouldn’t), consider this TED talk from design guru Stefan Sagmeister. His shop closes for a full sabbatical every seven years, and their work kicks even more butt after the break.

Visit someplace new

As I learned in my Professional Design Practices class (shout out to University of Akron’s Dave Flynn!), a great way to spark inspiration is by simply going somewhere new. Bonus points if it’s Outside Your Comfort Zone, USA.

Can’t pack up and head to Toscana for a week? That’s fair! But at the very least, try changing up your workstation: head to the local café or switch desks with a coworker. New perspectives can bring—get this—new perspectives.

Hobby it up

Any activity not motivated by a paycheck can help refuel your emotional and creative values. While it’s tempting to plant yourself in front of the TV, consider that jamming on a side project for just 45 minutes has a major mental payoff. There’s really no better investment than putting Self-Esteem Coins in the old First Federal Bank of You.

We sincerely hope you use the upcoming holidays to relax and refresh—and not just because that means fewer emails in our own inboxes. Time off helps clean the creativity slate and inspire all the ideas you’ll need in the New Year.

Have an unwinding kind of weekend, everybody!

—Your pro-PTO friends at Brokaw

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