Breaks, unwinding, and maintaining sanity were the topics of discussion on #mochat this week. In the short term, a lot of us take breaks in different ways—walks, playing music, stretching, peeing—some more often than others. But on the whole, the group tended to consider it important to their day. Though a few of us admitted to getting caught in the zone and staring our screens for far too long. The big hurdle comes, though, when clients are in the room. At that point, breaks are mostly dependent on their schedule.

Burnout also came up during the chat. The general consensus was to get far away from what we’re burned out on. The way to do that ranged from just looking away from your designs to reading/listening to books to playing games to full-on get-aways/trips. Stress can be a big part of our jobs, and reducing it as much as possible seemed important to most everyone.

Take a look at the full transcript for a lot more advice.

Transcript

Welcome to #mochat everyone! Tonight we’re talking about taking breaks, unwinding, and not going insane.9:00 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Hi ! Just arrived to Mochat #mochat9:01 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

We’re all told we need to take regular breaks during the day, but how many of us actually do? #mochat9:02 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

When I’m “in the zone” working on something I can go for hours at the computer, even forgetting to eat something!! #mochat9:03 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

hails Mochatterers #mochat9:04 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I can get that way too. Not really healthy. #mochat9:05 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Hey, Ronn! #mochat9:05 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

no, not healthy at all #mochat9:05 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

RT : We’re all told we need to take regular breaks during the day, but how many of us actually do? #mochat9:05 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I don’t make it a MUST but when I remember to, I’ll walk around for a couple minutes or even just stand at my desk. #mochat9:05 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I kinda “force” my breaks.. by drinking lots of water, gives me a very good reason to get up & walk/run from the computer.. 8) #mochat9:06 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

That’s a good tip. I’ve heard it before but haven’t applied it yet. Gotta start doing that. #mochat9:07 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I rent a PO box at my local post office; regardless of whether any cheques are inbound, make sure to go for a walk & check it daily. #mochat9:07 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Good excuse to get up / get outside! #mochat9:08 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

It’s tough to be consistent but I do for the most part. Walks help me fight creative block and temptations to give up. #mochat9:09 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I started bringing a bottle to work to fill up with water, but haven’t quite gotten to that point yet. #mochat9:09 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Hello good people of #MoChat9:11 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

For breaks I try to get up & walk around at least for a little bit. Now that the weather’s getting nicer, I take longer lunch walks. #mochat9:11 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

pinball breaks are always good. 🙂 #mochat9:11 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

its hardvw/ just water I figure it makes me take breaks + Im drinking moar water, so thats spose to be good right? #mochat9:12 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Greetings Erwin! #mochat9:12 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

always have some water with me along with coffee. 😉 #mochat9:12 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Similar but usually tea for me. #mochat9:12 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Does anyone actually take a break every hour like “they” say? #mochat9:13 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

My brain is FRIED. I will be sitting here chiming in once or twice. Not much for advice, but would love to receive some! #mochat9:13 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Exercise is also extremely important for me! #mochat9:13 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

not at all, but I really should. Specially since I have back pain. #mochat9:14 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Here’s a tip: try dipping some of the fried brain in a little curry ketchup. Delicious! #mochat9:14 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I totally want that AC/DC pinball game. #mochat9:14 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

probably every 30 minutes. Relax my eyes and clear my head. #mochat9:15 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I get up to refill water. Drink. Pee. Rinse. Repeat. #mochat9:15 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Are you talking full-on, get up and walk around breaks, or just looking away from your screen? #mochat9:16 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

really? What do you do every 30 minutes? Go out for a quick walk? #mochat9:16 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

hmm that could work. How do you come off of being burnt out? #mochat9:17 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I have to walk away and completely disassociate from mograph. #mochat9:18 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

no, get up and walk. Maybe every 45 minutes. #mochat9:18 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Really guys? I take a break every week. It’s called #mochat9:18 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Either passive (movies, walks), or active (non design creation). But I need to be away from computer. #mochat9:18 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

haha nice one #mochat9:19 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

that’s great. How long do those walks last? #mochat9:19 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

it may seem unproductive but it actually helps me keep my mind fresh. #mochat9:19 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

What about longer term breaks? What do you do to unwind after working? Or on weekends? #mochat9:19 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

book? get your mind off what its burning out on. I prefer audio books or podcasts.. sometimes I LOL & look Cray at work #mochat9:20 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I disclose my deepest secret. Hello, My name is Ro, and I am a gamer. I like shooting virtual 12yrs olds in the FACE!! #mochat9:22 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

This is my view right now. Might need to do this more. #mochat #outside http://t.co/VSBDFkOf9c9:22 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

After work; glass of whiskey. Weekends; anything but work, no exceptions. #mochat9:22 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Oh that was my long term break.. btw.. #mochat9:23 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Oh shit, I’m late! What’d I miss? #moChat9:23 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I take a walk while listening to podcasts. Sometimes podcasts totally unrelated to work, like Comedy podcasts #mochat9:23 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

After I get home, no work emails or calls until at least after kids are in bed. Then maybe only freelance related. #mochat9:23 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

It’s important to me to have boundaries, otherwise work becomes my life. #mochat9:23 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Well, is eating fried brain… #mochat9:23 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I still can’t really get into podcasts. I’ve tried, but I usually end up with This American Life or Radiolab. #mochat9:24 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Tru RT : Well, is eating fried brain… #mochat9:24 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I volunteer at a conservation center. As far away from computers and the studio as possible. (The wolves I mentioned.) #mochat9:24 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

#MOCHAT | I work full-time, on the bus to work, in the evenings after work and some weekends. I fit family and house renovation in between.9:25 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I go and have a beer. Here I go #mochat9:25 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I was curious about that. It looks awesome. How’d you get into that? #mochat9:25 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Really? I like listening to podcasts while driving and walking. Podcasts about vfx, design, movies, comedy, etc #mochat9:25 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

hang with the fam. Copious amounts of guitar #mochat9:26 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I’m drinking beer, too! (Anyone who knows me know how weird it is to say that.) #mochat http://t.co/c8TMCV3h4y9:26 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Animal person all my life, long term goal to be a wildlife documentary filmmaker. Got into it through friends of friends. #mochat9:26 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Watch vimeo. Tutorials. Practice. Try various coding languages. Who needs breaks when you can learn? #mochat9:26 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I usually fall into Netflix syndrome: too much to choose from. #mochat9:27 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

You’d get along well with my friend . #mochat9:27 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Nerdist podcast is always fun #mochat9:27 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

beers, concerts, movies, date night, etc … that how I like to take breaks #mochat9:27 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I have to get back into music. Was DJing for a while, but it fell by the wayside. #mochat9:27 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

On my way to ZUm Schneider for any #mochat in the city to meet 9:28 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

That’s one of the few I’ve listened to. They are good. The Alton Brown one was great. #mochat9:28 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

RT : #MOCHAT | I work full-time, on the bus to work, in the evenings after work and some weekends. I fit family and house renovation in between.9:28 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I’m actually taking a long weekend this week … gotta have a work/life balance #mochat9:29 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Given the life-goal part, it’s sort of working towards that goal. So in a sense, I’m always working. #hustle #mochat9:29 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

How much of that is side work? I can’t remember if you have a salaried gig or not… #mochat9:29 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

lots of pencil drawings on napkins, scraps of RFPs, and old schedules #mochat9:30 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Just did that last weekend. Didn’t even look at email, twitter, or facebook. It was nice. #mochat9:30 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

RT : #MOCHAT | I work full-time, on the bus to work, in the evenings after work and some weekends. I fit family and house renovation in between.9:30 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Full time salary, everything else is for Motionworks and freelance. #mochat9:31 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

ja whol! #mochat9:31 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

We’re planning a few camping/kayaking trips this summer for exactly that reason. Disconnect and live. #mochat9:31 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

yeah I’m gonna take a small day trip, spend time lounging in parks/nature and caught up on my vinyl listening sessions 🙂 #mochat9:32 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

For people with client sessions… how likely are you to get a break? I only remember getting up from the desk for lunch for those… #mochat9:32 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

fxpodcast can have some good stuff. #mochat9:33 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

do it man! It’s not like you gotta coordinate with others to jam 🙂 #mochat9:34 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Breaks are pretty rare if clients are in the building. #mochat9:34 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

On the topic of breaks and unwinding: How do #moChat-ers deal with stress?9:35 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

RT : On the topic of breaks and unwinding: How do #moChat-ers deal with stress? vodka #mochat9:36 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

To combat stress I do kickboxing and yoga #mochat9:36 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

blog about… get those ideas / issues out in the open. It helps you figure out how to deal with it. #mochat.9:37 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

scotch and underground bumfighting #mochat9:37 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

i do yoga and yogurt. #mochat9:37 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

everyday playing ball with the boy.. and by boy I mean my 5yr old 100+lbs rottweiler named Bravo.. #UnconditionalLove #mochat9:38 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Biking, running, some kind of exercise. Need some way for the body to work it out. #mochat9:38 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

not long, maybe 5 minutes at the most #mochat9:39 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Oh man, I have tried to keep a blog so many times. I’m just no good at updating. #mochat #blogchat9:39 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Sounds like what would do. #mochat9:39 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I also haven’t drunk liquor in 14 years. #mochat9:39 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I spent so much of the early part of my career focused primarily like that … as I’m getting older I’m focusing more on me #mochat9:40 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

that sounds good. It’s less than an hour less of work a day but it surely makes you more productive in bewteen walks #mochat9:40 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

me, I practice alone lately. #mochat9:40 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

what about liquorice? #mochat9:40 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

ummmmm where do you think I got the idea from 😉 #mochat9:40 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I think may be able to help with that soon… 😉 #mochat9:41 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

that’s fine, keeps you regular 🙂 #mochat9:41 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

har!! 8) RT : thats fine, keeps you regular 🙂 #mochat9:42 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

A New Earth by Eckhardt Tolle also taught me how to not worry and be in the moment more often. A life changing read for me. #mochat9:42 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

yeah, my work always gets done on time if not sooner. May not work for everyone #mochat9:43 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Did you see the short “This is Water”? https://t.co/529Wt23Tpu #mochat9:43 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

whoa I leave for a few minutes and come back and this convo just got deep. #mochat9:44 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

exercise is the way to go. I’m addicted to it. I get irritable if I don’t work out. It’s my “healthy cigarette” #mochat9:44 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Having an in-house job has definitely opened me up to having breaks and less stress. (Softer deadlines.) #mochat9:44 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I met a designer that was at a level I could only dream about and he told me how work will always be there … your life won’t be #mochat9:44 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

couldn’t agree more! The separation is important to me as well. #mochat9:44 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I saw that one, it’s great! #mochat9:44 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

It can just make it difficult when I have off-hours freelance work… making it all fit. #mochat9:45 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Any ideas for a flipbook animation? I’ve never gone to any of these… #mochat9:45 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

That’s awesome! #mochat9:45 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

but I assume to get at that level he had to sacrifice his time a lot, at least for several years. Or not? #mochat9:46 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Oh yeah. My weekends are spent working outside in all manner of ways. Rain or shine, summer or winter. #mochat9:46 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Grab a pencil and paper and see what happens. Make it a stream-of-consciousness animation. #mochat9:46 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I used to do those all the time at highschool. Mainly fight animations. (I was into Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct) #mochat9:47 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

It’s powerful to hear from people you respect that you should chill out/stop focusing on what you should be doin vs. what your doin #mochat9:47 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

That’s a great way to put it. I look it as I can get more work. I can’t get another family. #mochat9:47 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Shifting my brain over to dev work helps me as well. Then when I get stuck with that, I jump back to #mograph #mochat9:48 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Haven’t figured out the relax/unwind thing yet. Have 2 kids and I work around the clock. I animate to unwind. Will be dead soon #mochat9:48 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

in this industry were lucky in a way. The ability to make freelance $ on top of FT gigs & decent $ too. #mochat9:48 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

That needs to be stated more. So many people think the only way to get ahead is to work 24/7. #mochat9:48 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

If you enjoy it, nothing wrong w/that. But I’ve met people who default to working because they don’t know anything else. #mochat9:49 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

This is very true! I always try to find balance with this though. #mochat9:49 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

(And I also have 2 kids with a FT gig & occasional freelance.) #mochat9:49 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I don’t doubt it … But it’s something we learn the hard way I guess #mochat9:50 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Same here. I get easily irritated if I don’t exercise for long periods of time. #mochat9:50 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

thanks man but I am looking for a technique that I can use to build a flipbook animation and im really having big trouble #mochat9:51 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

absolutely … we work hard and I appreciate everyone putting a high level of excellence in their work but we gotta live too #mochat9:51 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Wow. That’s pretty awesome. #mochat9:51 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

if you’ve got loved ones to support, you know who you’re really working for. #mochat #dontgetittwisted9:51 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

: I also haven’t drunk liquor in 14 years. #mochat” >> Good for you man!9:51 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

“Animate to unwind” is exactly me. Will be dead soon as well. #mochat9:51 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Truth. #mochat9:52 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

We have a few minutes left of #mochat. Any last questions or advice?9:53 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

what do you mean? Are you looking for ideas for the animation or how to build the flipbook itself? #mochat9:53 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I said it earlier, but it’s important for me to have boundaries. I enjoy what I do, and it could easily consume me. #mochat9:53 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Creativity dies under constant pressure. Without time to enjoy life & adventure, everything suffers. #mochat9:54 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Siesta. #mochat9:55 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

absolutely right … I guess don’t let the things you dream about get in the way of what your passionate about #mochat9:55 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

My wifes a teacher & for her make money over the summer, the hourly rates are horrible for tutoring, etc. #mochat9:55 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I hear ya…my buddy asked me why I never play video games, Im like “Sometime work is as much fun as video games!” #mochat9:57 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

oh absolutely,besides if you don’t recharge your mind you’ll just keep doin the same work over and over again forever #mochat9:57 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I’m pretty sure in one sense or another our work is video games. #mochat9:59 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

I feel better for it. #mochat9:59 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Time to unwind at the g+ hangout. Who’s with me? #mochat10:00 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Alright everyone, that about does it for tonight, but feel free to keep the conversation going! #mochat10:00 PM EDT May 14th, 2013

Look for the #mochat transcript in the coming days. And, as always: #GoMakeSomething… then take a break!10:00 PM EDT May 14th, 2013