Most designers and creative professionals have lots and lots of projects going at the same time. One of the keys to being succesful is to do things effectively. The more you’re able to do, without loss of quality of course, the more projects you’re able to finish. This again will lead to more income, potentially more spare time, more clients and so on.
In this article we’ll have a look at a few great tips on how you can step it up and become more effective than you are today!
Do you keep wishing there were more hours in a day or that you didn’t have to work as much?
If you want to be succesful at what you do, it usually involves hard work. Still there’s a good chance that you can make some adjustments to become better. In some cases we just take on way too much work, which again leads to a situation with no room for a social life and so on.
Before you do anything else I suggest you analyze your situation to see if you’re in need of being more efficient or if you’re just taking on too much to make sure you’re not mixing things up.
Now, let’s have a closer look at some tips!
Up to date equipment and software
To be efficient you definitely need tools that work properly. This goes for everything from your computer and phone to virus protection and all sorts of software. If you need to spend a minute every now and then to restart your computer, click away various windows or just do things in complicated ways, you will lose a lot of time during weeks and months. Make a routine of checking everything once a month or so, and get problems solved as soon as they occur!
Know your software
Over and over again through the years, I’ve seen examples of designers being excellent creatives but not knowing their software well enough. You should always aim to get better with the software you’re using regularly. Watch tutorials, read magazines and play around with it to become more efficient. One brilliant example of this is something I’ve seen numerous times with Photoshop. The actions and scripts functions in Photoshop can be customized to do repetitive tasks for you very easily. This alone can save many designers hours on a weekly basis.
Stay away from social media during work hours
One of the biggest stealers of our attention these days are the number of social media available. Twitter, Facebook and so on, can be an excellent way for you to get in touch with new clients and other contacts. They have a big BUT though. Spending time on these during workhours can quickly take a lot more time than you first planned. Being hard on yourself on this point is the only way you’re guaranteed to see work. If you absolutely must be using social media while working, make sure to do so only at set times and monitor the use of time closely.
Take regular breaks and holidays
It has been proven that by taking regular breaks you will be more efficient. We all need to recharge the batteries, get some fresh air and move around a bit. This does not only prevent health issues, it also makes us more efficient. If you work too much over a long period of time you will get in trouble.
Have you ever kept redoing a certain design to such a degree that you know you’re definitely overdoing it? By practicing you can get a lot better. Learn to stop when you’ve reached a good end result without working too much with redoing smaller details or feeling insecure. For many designers this is a huge issue and they ruin a lot of time this way. Try to learn to believe more in yourself and know when to stop.
Be undisturbed during work hours
If you’re a freelance designer or have a home office, you’re very likely to be disturbed easier than someone who has an office away from the home. Family members, pets or other tasks in the home can all be potential time-stealers. You have to be aware of this in order to prevent it.
Stop “doing everything else” when you’re at work
By being more focused you’ll save time. Some people tend to go out for personal errands during work hours, make private phone calls and so on. Once you’re able to completely eliminate this from your work hours you will free even more time for doing what you’re supposed to do.
Those were my tips on how you can become a more efficient designer. If you’re able to work with these specific points you will most likely notice a difference already after a week or two.
Finally we would love to hear your own tips in the comments, and any other feedback you may have to share with us.