One of the big issues I have is taking breaks. They’re absolutely crucial, but as freelancers, we seem to kind of sweep them under the rug.

Taking regular breaks help you avoid repetitive stress injuries (carpal tunnel, etc.,) they help you keep fresh and your ideas flowing, and they help keep you from going blind. Those cathode ray tubes and itty bitty pixels are not the easiest things on your eyes and your chair, no matter how ergonomic, is bad for your back.

It doesn’t have to be a long break, but you need to get up and walk around for a minute or two. Get a cup of coffee or some water. Go outside. It might sound odd – but do a jumping jack or stretch your arms and legs. Get the blood flowing again. If you really can’t get up and mill around, take a couple of minutes to turn away from whatever you’re doing and tense up every muscle in your body a couple of times. Tense, release, tense, release. It’ll help.

It’s always good to break the cycle of what you’re doing – if even for a few minutes. It’ll keep your design work fresh, and your body a little healthier.