5 TIPS to disconnect… focus better and eliminate procrastination as a designer

Hello, Design Sketchers!

I was born in 1981.
And I realize I am among the last generations born without the Internet.

I grew up without wi-fi or 4G.
No iPhone, tablet, computer, at home.
But color pencil, paper and a TV with 6 channels.

Oh… I am not going to say: “Life was better before.”
I am grateful for my childhood and I embrace new technologies. 

  • I got my first mobile phone from Sagem at 17 years old 
  • My own computer NEC at 19yo.
  • My first graphic tablet Wacom Graphire at 22 years old

I discovered most of these technologies as a young adult.


I want to 
ring an alarm bell for the younger generation of designers.

Beware of Social Distraction”.

While the Internet is an infinite source of inspiration for designers and creative people, it can become a “stubborn obstacle” to productivity because of Distraction.

social media invasion

Social Media is invading your private sphere

Have you ever told yourself that you should spend more time drawing, but you don’t? 

We give ourselves thousands reason for not starting. Being so busy.

However, to succeed, you have to realize that the main obstacles
won’t come from the outside world, 
but from inside you. 

I know, it sounds a bit chessy like the great movie “Karate Kid and Master Miyagi” giving philosophical lessons.

However, I hope at the end of this article, it will make sense to you. : )



Create time.png

Do you have time to do things you love?

Nowadays we sacrifice so much of our time to things that doesn’t matter.

How come?

Yesterday, today or tomorrow… we never have time…

  • No time for cooking delicious meals. 
  • No time for meeting people. 
  • No time to be kind to strangers. 
  • No time for a beer with friends. 
  • No time for a call to our relatives.
  • No time to go to the gym.
  • No time to have a hobby.
  • No time to chat with our parents… 
  • No time to live slowly and quietly. 

What do we do that is so important to overwrite all these great moments of life?

Staring at luminous screens… like zombies (or a mosquito fascinated by a light bulb)

  • Playing iPad
  • Taking pictures of our food,
  • Posting pictures on social media
  • Looking at people’s stories
  • Binging on Netflix
  • Messaging people at thousands of km from us while our friends are just here in front of us… also looking at their smartphone. -.-U

I feel uncomfortable when a friend is typing on his/her phone while we are together. I suddenly feel invisible. I feel like a furniture or a decoration flower pot. 

How about you? How do you feel when it happened to you?
From that stand point, we gotta make sure we don’t do it to others as well. 🙂

Time is precious.

And it all about how you allocate it to your activities.
If you feel you don’t have time. Think twice of what is essential to you first. 

For example, if you fall in love with someone.
No matter how busy you are.
You will create time to meet him or her.

If you are in love with sketching and creating from your imagination.
Create time to make that “relationship” with design intimate daily. So you can build a long term happiness.




Notification invasion on phone.png

How many times do you check your phone per day?


Quick Test: 

How many times today did you check your phone for notifications from Facebook and others?

Pretty much a lot right?
When I was a kid we checked our mailbox once a day. 

  • How about checking your emails once or twice a day only? 
  • What would it change in your life to check your phone notifications 1 or twice a day only?
  • How much % of these notification were so urgent to deserve to be checked now?

We do not put enough effort and time to cultivate and grow a true relationship or a true skill. We want quick, fast, results without enjoying the journey.

But if you wanna learn how to sketch, it won’t appear in a day like magic.
It needs your inner drive.
Your determination and passion to put on the work, and the love for progressing daily. 

That is only possible if you cut down distractions.

I know these little ring are addictive.
But they are “eating” your most precious moment of life.

So, go to your settings, and stop your apps notifications.
You will see that Android doesn’t want you to do so, and added extra steps to “discourage” you to pause them.



Screenshot 2019-11-23 at 17.30.56

How many of these apps do you really need?


As a designer, if you wanna create with quality, make sure to input quality information in your mind.

  • Read books
  • Get artbooks from your favorite artists
  • Go to museums, exhibitions…
  • Buy specialized magazines
  • Meet students and professional designers

Select your sources of information carefully instead of letting Facebook (or hundreds of apps) to dictate the content you’ll consume. These should be restrained to occasional entertainement only. Not a zombie daily consumption.

If you consume the Facebook feed like a zombie and you straight away take your phone when it rings to check, you are in the reactive mode.

Basically, Facebook is dicating your “rhythm of life” with constant interruption.
All these without talking about all the applciations installed.

Go to your phone settings, and pause all the notifications you don’need.
A minimalistic approach will help you take ownership of you life.


Wacom Intuos Comic Manga illustrations production for model M size CTH-680:S1.png

Wacom Intuos Comic Manga illustrations

My little niece loves drawing Manga.

And my brother is already thinking about her Christmas present! (If I am not wrong, my niece doesn’t read my blog, or I am going to spoil the surprise!)

Last week, my brother asked me recommendation of the tablet that would suit her. At first I thought about a screen tablet. And iPad is doing a great job!

However, iPAD (or Wacom Cintiq) is very expensive, especially for a first tablet for a kid. And an iPad it also the paradise of distraction…

When you wanna start sketching,
Angry birds will love notifying you that you better send furious birds into green pigs.

I remember that Wacom has a special Manga pack for Graphic tablet. It is not a screen tablet, but a regular one you plug on your computer – and look at the screen to see what you draw.

Drawing on Wacom Manga Comic Illustration plug to computer.png

It takes about 1 week of practice to synchronize your eye on the screen drawing with your Wacom Graphic tablet pen

These tablet are cheaper investment and is much more Mono task.
(Somehow like a Kindle for reading for example)

I told my brother that he will need to encourage her the first week to keep up! Because these tablets take at least 1 week of practice for our brain and arm synchronise. It’s very werid at start.

So don’t give up!
That is a normal transition.

Plus the pack include a Manga software and the packaging is appealing.
Her motivation to adopt the tool will rise up! Which is essential for a kid :).



Have you notice that Present also means Gift?
So appreciate it at its true value every second you receive it.

Don’t get distracted by the past or future problems that may or may not happened.

If you want to do something, do it now.
And face the obstacles in real life.

Be aware that whenever we have a project, some people will love keeping that project as a dream. They will talk about it non stop with plenty of passion!


They will never start….


Because the brain loves that feeling of that dream where everything is possible. And putting things in action means facing the reality and maybe a possibility to fail.

In both cases, to me both fail anyway.
To only way to succeed your sketching learning journey is to start and give your best.

If you let procrastination win.
You will become grumpy and talk with regret.
Don’t give “your future self” a chance to start your sentences by: “If only I did…”


PS: I hope Master Miyagi wisedom sentence makes sense to you.

“To succeed, you have to realize that the main obstacles
won’t come from the outside world, but from inside you.”

All along the article,
I did not complain about the society, family obligation or else. It is not about trying to change others. But about changing ourself first to become a high-performer as a designer.

master miyagi karate kid teaching student the right movements.png
Master Miyagi teaching the basics

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About The Author


Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

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