The Playbook





The Playbook  /

Think of me as that friend who's always there to cheer you on and help you navigate the design world. 

about / 



20 Years of Deadlines: Lessons on Finding Balance and Peace

June 13, 2024

I’m Nelett
You're powerful, way more than you might think. And in this cozy corner of the internet, I'm all about keeping you inspired, pumped, and ready to take on the world.
TOp categories

About two years ago, I realised how much my graphic design career had influenced my always-on, rushed, and driven life. We’ve been groomed from our studies to work and business to be deadline-driven, and this mindset seeped into how I managed myself and my family. It has been a struggle to break free from this way of operating. Wanting peace and manageable timelines has proven to be much more challenging. For almost 20 years, deadlines dictated my days, weeks, and months. So, how do we strike a balance and ensure we care for ourselves in this fast-paced industry? Here are some heartfelt tips from shared experiences to help you maintain your mental well-being as a designer.

Take Breaks

Imagine you’re in the zone, fingers flying across the keyboard, ideas pouring out like a waterfall. But then, you hit a wall. Your brain feels foggy, your eyes are strained, and you’ve lost your creative spark. Sound familiar? That’s your cue to take a break. Step away from your screen, stretch your legs, walk, or breathe. Taking breaks every hour or two can do wonders for your focus and creativity. And if you’re into energy medicine like me, give EFT/Tapping a try – it’s a fantastic way to reset your mind and body. I remember a time when I was working on a project and felt completely stuck. I decided to take a break and go watch one episode of my favourite show. When I came back, I had a fresh perspective and was able to finish the project with a new energy and veiwpoint.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a lifeline that underscores your value as a designer. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat nourishing foods, and stay hydrated. But self-care goes beyond the basics. Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you unwind. Whether reading a book, watching your favourite series, or spending quality time with loved ones, these moments of pleasure can help you maintain a balance.

Now, I don’t believe in work-life balance – to me, it’s all living. But finding harmony between work and personal time is crucial for your well-being.

Set Boundaries

We’ve all been there – a client demands a last-minute change, and you work late into the night. While it’s tempting to say yes to every request, setting boundaries is essential. Define your working hours, avoid weekend work, and communicate your availability. It’s okay to say no to tasks that overwhelm you. Delegate when possible and have honest conversations with clients about deadlines. Remember, you’re only human, and your well-being matters.

Seek Support

Feeling overwhelmed is a normal part of our journey as designers. You’re not alone in this. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member for a heart-to-heart chat. Sometimes, talking about your struggles can lighten the load. And if you need professional help, don’t hesitate to seek it. There’s no shame in asking for support. I’ve found immense help from Dr. Kim Diaramo, Dr. Caroline Leaf, and The Tapping Solution – they’ve been my guiding lights when I needed them most.

Prioritise Your Workload

Ever feel like you’re juggling too many projects at once? It’s time to prioritise. Create a to-do list and break down tasks into manageable chunks. Focus on one task at a time, avoiding the stress of multitasking. Prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance and tackle them one by one. Procrastination might seem tempting, but staying organised will keep anxiety at bay.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is more than a trendy term—it’s a powerful tool for mental well-being. It’s about being fully present in the moment and aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This practice can significantly reduce stress and improve your overall mental health. Whether through meditation, yoga, or relaxation techniques, find what works for you. I love tapping and Pilates—they help me stay grounded and centred. For instance, when I feel overwhelmed, I focus on my breathing for a few minutes or do a round of EFT. This simple act of mindfulness helps me regain my focus and calm my mind.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Your mental health is closely tied to your physical well-being. Regular physical activity, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep are essential. Physical activity can also be a great stress reliever and mood booster. So, take that yoga class, go for a run, or dance around your living room—whatever gets you moving and makes you happy.

Designing is a beautiful, challenging career, but prioritising your mental health is vital to sustaining your creativity and passion. You can maintain a balanced and fulfilling life by taking breaks, practising self-care, setting boundaries, seeking support, prioritising your workload, practising mindfulness, and taking care of your physical health. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Let’s work towards a healthy mind, soul, and body daily.

Four places that helped me even more than any psychologist or medication ever could: 

Dr Kim Diaramo 
Dr Caroline Leaf 
The Tapping Solution

The Emotion Code

Add a comment
+ show Comments
- Hide Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Hi there, I'm Nelett, and I'm a designer just like you. Life's always changing, and being a designer can feel like a wild ride. But we're more than that, aren't we? We're caregivers, friends, and life lovers who find joy in more than just our work. We're all on this journey, each in our own way, but somehow, we're together in it.

Here's what I believe: You are powerful, more than you might realise. In this cozy corner of the internet, I'm here to keep you inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way.




Let's do this 

Welcome Powerful Creative — This isn't just any newsletter; it's packed with inspiration and tips to help you design a life that's uniquely yours.

Join me to fuel your passion, build confidence, and design your life with purpose. Say goodbye to cluttered inboxes—every email brings joy and real insights to help you create a life you'll love.

Ready to go BEYOND DESIGN?