Good Design Takes Energy.

Good design rarely comes out of luck. You need to have some good energy in your body for anything truly creative to come out. So how to get more of this good energy?

In this post I’m going to share 4 tips that have helped me increase personal energy and bring forth more creative juices during our workdays.

1. Be an early bird

It’s well known now that the most productive and successful human beings on earth such as Madre TeresaElan MuskTony Robbins, and Nelson Mandela (just to name a few) are early risers.

Starting the day ahead of everyone else gives you a competitive edge and allows you to get more done during the most productive hours of the day, the morning!

Some “night owls” might argue this saying that they are most productive at night.. and that can be the case for a certain few, but I have personally tried both ways and at night, your body’s energy inevitably goes down and so does the ability to come up with good design solutions.

So what time is early? That’s up to you, but it should’t be later than 6 / 6:30.
This also means going to bed at a reasonable time at night, everyone has different sleep time needs but remember that we need as much sleep as we believe we need.

The secret to easily waking up early is to create a powerful wake up intention before falling asleep. This means imagining how rested you’ll feel once you wake up. Think of an exiting thing you’ll do the next day, or something that gives you purpose when the alarm goes on.

Your last thoughts at night will be the first ones you have in the morning so choose them wisely.

2. Create a morning routine

The first hour is the rudder of the day. That first hour will steer your whole day’s productivity and creativity. Mediocre and unproductive mornings will transform into mediocre and unproductive days.

Here are few things I use that you too could include in your routine.

Hydration – In the morning your body is dehydrated and that’s one of the main reasons why you feel tired. So as soon as you wake up give your body the gift of lots of water, you’ll wake up easier and you’ll have more sustained energy throughout the day if you keep drinking water (at least half gallon a day).

Reflection – Spending some time in silence and free of distractions (no phone or emails) will bring a lot of clarity in your day. You can sit some place silent and contemplate on the things you need to improve upon, thing you need to do, things you want to achieve in the future or simply sit still in a more meditative state. You can learn more in 20 minutes of silence than reading 10 books.

Exercise – This is pretty obvious, everybody knows it yet very few do. Movement will wake you up faster, stimulate your metabolism, and simply make you feel good. If in the morning you are short on time just know that you don’t need to complete a crazy exercise practice. You can always start with a 10 minutes speed walk around the block, walk to your office or for harder workouts you can do things like p90XInsanity, Crossfit or yoga.

Journaling – Writing down things forces you to think and helps you bring clarity, expand ideas, don’t forget the lessons you learned, and helps you track your progress.

Reading – Feed your brain with a good book that can bring you fresh ideas to implement during your day. Avoid fiction books, choose books that actually can teach you something you can practice. Consider this as the breakfast for your mind and remember that if you don’t learn more and get better, your designs and creativity won’t get better either.

3. Exercise

As humans we used to move a lot (on average walking 12 miles a day). Sadly, our modern lifestyle does’t force us to move anymore so you’ll need to implement it yourself. Its easy to get caught in the “I need to work, I don’t have time to exercise” mentality but just realize how your life is not compartmentalized in sections like “Work” / “Exercise” / “Love” / “Friends”… every aspect of your life is interconnected.

If you skip your workout it will effect everything else in your life, you won’t have focus at work, you won’t have clever design solutions, you won’t have energy to give to your loved one, you probably won’t feel satisfied which will affect your friendships and so forth.

Another way to say this is see your exercise and part of your work, moving your body will stimulate the creation of endorphins – powerful hormones that make you feel good and bring you in a positive state. So moving will help initiate you lots of creative juices for your day.

4. Eat Well

This is an extremely important step, food is the fuel of our bodies yet few people understand why they should eat better. In today’s junk food uber advertised society’s, it’s very easy and tempting to indulge in processed sugary, salty and fatty foods. However thats not how our bodies were designed to eat and if you want to get the best out of your mind and body, you’ll need to follow these 3 simple rules:

Eat things that come directly from earth – This means vegetables and fruit, and also unprocessed healthy meats. Try to eat things as they appear in nature, not foods that come in a box.

70/30 – If your plate could be a pie chart should have 70% fresh vegetables and 30% of the other thing you like (Meat, fish, rice, pasta, etc) this is a simple rule that will guarantee you are filling your stomach with the right amount of calories and good about of nutrition.

Nutrition over pleasure – Everyone loves food and food is a big source of pleasure. However, during your working week try to see food as a fuel for your body and mind. I guarantee that thoughts and solutions that come out of your head after eating a box of oreos will definitely be of lower quality than after eating a fresh peach. This doesn’t mean live a life of deprivation as on weekends you can indulge in pancakes and bacon, etc. But during the workweek, remember to eat clean 😉


I hope these steps will help you get the energy you need to reach your goals and come up with great design as the world really needs it. Remember that just reading these notions won’t help you, you need to actually DO those things to feel and see the change!

Best of luck and feel free to share and comment below 🙂

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Ignazio Lacitignola

Founder & Designer

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Ignazio Lacitignola

Founder & Designer

Meet Ignazio, affectionately known as “Igi” to friends and colleagues. An Italian designer, creative and entrepreneur who finds it a bit peculiar to refer to himself in the third person, but he’s willing to do so for the sake of this bio.

From his earliest memories, Ignazio’s mind has been a canvas of creativity, and his love for digital design ignited as soon as he could afford a computer and an internet connection that wasn’t the sluggish 56k dial-up.

Growing up in the less glamorous corners of Milan, Italy, Ignazio defied the odds, earning honors at Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti without ever brushing shoulders with the law.

Following his heart’s call, he ventured across the Atlantic to San Francisco, USA, to immerse himself in the startup and User Experience world. It was here that he kickstarted his journey with Meno Design, a digital design studio dedicated to distilling complex digital experiences into their essence, while learning through experimentation.

In Ignazio’s eyes, every piece of design is a potential masterpiece, an artistic expression in its own right. His ongoing challenge is harmonizing his meticulous attention to detail, sometimes bordering on OCD, with the practical timely demands.

Beneath his approachable and calm exterior lies a delight of colorful Italian cursing that surface whenever he stumbles upon poor design choices—though it’s worth noting that he’s incredibly friendly, and a simple “ciao” is always welcomed.