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How To Plan an Inspiration Day

Vacation days, sick days, mental health days. There are lots of reasons people take breaks from work. At Design Pool, we’ve added inspiration days to that list. I think any creative entrepreneur will agree that running a creative business is both rewarding and challenging. On the rewarding side, the creative pursuits that inspired you to start your business in the first place are now your focus. On the challenging side, the tedious tasks of running a business (returning emails, bookkeeping, being your own IT department) take up a lot of time and mental energy. Additionally, it can be hard to be creative on demand. It’s why the creative aspect of work needs nurturing as much as the operations side.

One way we do that is with inspiration days.

On the surface, an inspiration day seems like a luxury. Something you do if you’ve checked everything off your list and you have the time. Let’s be honest; such a day does not exist. Running a business means that every day feeds into the next, and the work keeps rolling along.

Inspiration can happen any time, any place. Yet, sometimes you need to help it along by creating an environment for inspiration to strike. Inspiration days do just that. They give you permission to focus on something besides the day-to-day running of your business or simply focus on nothing at all. It temporarily clears the mental clutter, so your brain has space to think and imagine.  

What are examples of an inspiration day?

  1. Head out into nature.
    Nature is endlessly inspiring and beneficial to your physical and mental well-being. Go on a hike, to the beach, or tour a garden. Bring a sketchbook and a camera for quick notes, drawings, and photos.

  2. Dedicate a day to making.
    Plan on spending a day doing a creative project. This doesn’t have to be directly related to your work. Getting the creative juices pumping for something entirely different will likely spur on all kinds of ideas. If you need a bit more structure, book a workshop or class.

  3. Visit a museum.
    Do a little research to see what exhibits are happening in your area. Maybe visit a bigger institution for a special exhibit or find a small, quirky museum you’ve never been to before. Research rooms at museums or libraries are also great places for diving into one specific topic.
  4. Make it a date.
    Is there someone in your life that feeds your creative soul? Invite them along with you, even if it’s just for part of your day. Certain people can be so fun to talk about creative projects with and offer good feedback.    

  5. Spend the day shopping.
    This is especially useful if you have the kind of job that requires you to be up on trends. Trends often start at the higher end, so head to the fancy part of town and visit high-end shops. You don’t need to buy anything; just observe and jot down notes about colors, patterns, moods, and themes after leaving a store.

How do I plan one?

  1. Get it on the calendar and keep it there. Give your inspiration day the same respect you give any other appointment.

  2. Let people know you’ll be out of touch or keeping someone in the office to hold down the fort. Fight the urge to check in and trust the person you’ve left in charge will get in touch if there is an actual urgent need.

  3. Silence your social media. Our phones are equally great tools and needy little devices constantly trying to distract us. Instead of the mindless scroll, give your brain a break from always being stimulated by what other people are doing.

Depending on what you plan, these types of days can be fun as a team-building experience, for example, a creative workshop or class. But, coworkers also spend a lot of time together. It is also rewarding to plan inspiration days when needed and encourage employees to share what they did the next day. This will surely spread that inspiration around.

Has your studio ever planned inspiration days? What do you do when you need help out of a creative block? Let us know in the comments or tag us on social media to see how you’re being inspired.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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