Productivity Tips for Designers Who Care about What They Do
Do you know what to do and what not to do to enjoy your workdays and to get the most out of them? With these productivity tips for designers you’ll be able to control your business without getting burned out.
Sounds interesting? Then read the following paragraphs and try them for yourself. If some tip doesn’t seem applicable for you – well, it may happen that it doesn’t actually fit you. We are all different and what’s good for your friends may be bad for you. So stay critical, but open-minded!
1. Keep workspace and tools organized. When your outer space is in disorder you have to spend a lot of time just to find things you need. It is not rational and somehow you may try to avoid doing it by suspending the entire work. On the web you may find hundreds of creative space organizers that will suit your working environments as well as apps/add-ons to sort our online tools you use.
2. Track actual working hours. This may seem a little too obvious, but it’s not that simple in reality. It’s a really great thing to keep track of the time you actually work at work. Nobody will see your metrics, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. A day or two of such measurements will make you a master of your time. You’ll be able to manage working hours consciously and to do more tasks during the day. There are a lot of time-tracking apps like Toggi, RescueTime, Atracker. Or you may use stopwatch with a pen and a piece of paper to write down the metrics the old way.
3. Set self-made deadlines. When having several projects at a time you’ll face clients’ deadlines sooner or later. They always stress you out, but also keep you moving ahead. Thus even if falling out of your personal deadlines you have time to gradually complete clients’ terms on time.
4. Write floating to-do lists. It is always hard for creative people to follow strict rules and schedules. However, it’s still possible to organize routine tasks. Create several to-do lists for the next week and randomly choose what to do every day. The only condition is to complete all designated tasks till the end of the period. This method brings you freedom of choice and still gets everything to be done.
5. Admit it: perfection is a mystery. In most cases clients don’t need perfect designs as well as you don’t need them too. Every website has to be effective and match its objectives. That’s what really matters in the end. Moreover, what’s perfect for you isn’t necessarily perfect for customers. You’re an art-oriented designer and he/she is probably a single-minded businessman. Don’t try to equalize and to make you think the same.
6. Don’t procrastinate. Everybody procrastinates and that’s ok if it doesn’t prevent you from doing usual things. We’re afraid of complex tasks that seem to be confusing, boring and never-ending. All you need to do is to decompose the task into smaller pieces. If following these manageable steps one by one very soon you’ll find that the task is not so hard to do.
7. Find out sources of inspiration. It doesn’t matter how much you like your job sometimes the flow of creativity runs out and you’re left to your own devices. It’s good if you can go outside to relax in the park or on the beach. However, many have strict office schedules that don’t imply relaxing behavior. Thus designers constantly need inspirational sources within routine surroundings. It can be a collection of motivational quotes, funny sketches, cute videos, eye-catchy graffiti or whatever makes you work effectively
8. Stop doing several things at the same time. Multitasking is not effective nor productive. It just scatters your mind and makes the tasks be uncompleted or badly done. If you want to be a really good designer you have to be flexible and to find time for every single task without detriment to others.
The most dangerous time-stealing things are:
- Social media (Facebook, Twitter, Dribble, LinkedIn, etc.);
- Popular blogs;
- Your smartphone;
- Your own fantasy.
9. Reserve time for rest. If you’re not a Superman (most likely you’re not) you can’t work all day long without any rest. It’s proven that you stay focused for quite a long time when you’re doing something interesting and desirable. At the same time when the process doesn’t inspire you it’s easy to become absent-minded. So if you feel dead tired you’d better take some time to recover your energy and mental strength. Otherwise, you’ll spend time, energy and efforts to force yourself to work instead of actually working.
10. Let people know about your working schedule. It is essential to call your friends to say that you won’t be able to go dancing tonight with them. But when it comes to business occasions we often neglect this simple statement. Your clients deserve to know what’s going on with their projects especially if you’re too busy to complete them. Just let the customers know you remember about them and they are important to you.
11. Remember about Ctrl+S. Once and forever remember that Ctrl+S is the best digital person’s friend. It will keep your current work safe from unexpected troubles. It’s also a good idea to back up your stuff or save several copies of processed files.
If you consider yourself to be a very productive web designers please share your secrets with us. We bet, millions of creative people all over the world are struggling with this problem and they’ll be grateful for proven and reliable tips.