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December 28, 2016

Creative Focus: The Zone

Author: Valerie Baker

Distractions. They can be quite a nuisance when trying to focus on your design work. Any designer knows that there is a certain special place where they must go in their head to hone in on the creative part of the mind. For some this comes relatively easy, for others not so much. Do not fret! I have a few tips for you so that you can stay on the ball and focused on your end goal. It is possible that I could be a little nuts and I know everyone has their own niche to get them into the zone. Here is how I get there. You might be asking yourself… What is the “zone”? The zone is a place where all annoying noises are blocked out, productivity is increased, creative thinking is exploding, and your stress is reduced.

Noisli – This web application allows you to customize your audible surroundings. Listen to the calming sounds of a campfire or even immerse yourself in an imaginary coffee shop. I find myself using the coffee shop a lot because I like the speed of which everyone seems to be moving. I would use this for the more repetitive type of tasks.

Film Scores & Soundtracks – I have grown to love film scores. I have found that my best work is often created while listening to this type of music. I prefer to listen to uplifting, courageous, music without words to sing. If there are no words, then I will not be distracted with the lyrics I’ll sing in my own head. Without words, I find that I can give the music my own interpretation, this helps the creativity, mood, and focus along my design process. I would use this type of music typically when I am drafting a logo or website design. Some of my favorite film soundtracks include:

  • Inception
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Robot
  • Stranger Things
  • Gladiator
  • Braveheart
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Kung Fury
  • The Dark Knight
  • Star Wars
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

Video Game Soundtracks – This type of music is MADE to help with thinking, especially for puzzle or strategy based games. I find that this type of music allows me to make logical decisions and solve problems more effectively. It helps me execute and explain reasons as to why. I would use this type of music to make changes to an already created design. Some of my favorite videogame music comes from these games:

  • The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim
  • Minecraft
  • The Gallery
  • Halo
  • Guild Wars
  • Neverwinter Nights

There are many different types of ways that you can hone in on your creative focus and get into the “zone”. Everyone is different! If you are having trouble, I ask that you try my method. It may help you unlock your inner creativity and increase your motivation to power through. These methods can be applied to any creative thought process whether it be building a website, investigating a crime scene, or even carpentry.

Valerie Baker

Valerie is the Senior Account Manager & Project Manager here at Atilus.

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