All of us know the importance of time and the role it plays in our lives. Especially for designers and creative people, due to the constraints of the job, time management takes on a whole new dimension. Truth is, we all have the same twenty four hours. It is what we make of these 24 hours that matter. Thus lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem.
For designers and even other people engaged in creative profession, juggling countless projects, balancing deadlines, and trying to check off a laundry list of specs, scopes, templates, and deliverables are part and parcel of daily life. And it is the bitter truth that even the greatest design skills do not matter when one can’t meet a deadline.
This leads us to wonder that what is the answer to time management in these cases? Truth is that time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives and it is management of priority that is the answer to maximizing the time we have. Keeping this in mind, following below are certain tips that can help creative people manage and prioritize their time better.
Time Management Tips For Designers
Manage Your Energy, Not Just Your Time
As established before, time is a finite entity. Try what we may, we can never change it. What we need to understand is its value. And this brings round the concept of energy management. Energy management involves conserving your energy to expend it on high value tasks rather that wasting it on low value ones. Thus energy management means understanding how one’s time should be spent by identifying high-value tasks that deserve most of their energy. A way to do that can be to outline your goals at the very start of the day and prioritize it by its value and then allocate your energy in order from the high-value tasks down.
Playing to Your Strengths
For most people, abiding the office time is an unchangeable option. But creative people and other employed in the design business need a bit more leeway. Creative people need to identify when they are at their best, when their creative juices get flowing and use that time to do their best work.
Some creative people may be morning larks and require have peace and quiet to truly focus on what they need to do and channel their energy before they can be worn down by all the demands of the day while others maybe more of night owls who get their rush late into the evening. The point is simple, it is not morning or evening that matters. What matters is identifying your nature and playing to your productivity strengths.
Most of us take procrastination as a God given right. And truth is that procrastination is not completely avoidable. What is important if to manage it well and not let it get in the way of good work. A way to do that can be use days instead of weeks, months, or years when thinking of deadline. Psychologists have said that when people thought of a timeline in days instead of other measurements of times, it made the deadline seem sooner. This leads to a more focused attention and ultimately better work.
For designers and creative people, this can be applied effectively by setting project deadlines not too far in the future and then count out the days. This can also be done display a calendar prominently at your workspace so as to not let the deadline skip your mind.
Making Your Breaks Count
The problem with most designers and creative people is that they are obsessive people and are always on the go. The downside of that is if people don’t take the time for themselves, they run the risk of burning out. Downtime is essential for everybody and especially for those employed in the creative field. It is important to allow your mind or body to have the rest it needs to recharge.
Keeping this in mind, it is extremely important to use a break. Be it short term breaks, either for lunch or long one like for a week, take it and use it to its fullest potential!
Taking Care of the Practical Aspects
Whatever may be the profession, some things are unavoidable. From unlimited emails to unavoidable meetings, some things just cannot be done away with. The solution is to manage it better so as to not let it encroach on the more important tasks.
A way to do that can be tracking your time and look to see whether there are any unimportant tasks that you can eliminate and if it is not so, it is important to work out whether it can be approached differently to save yourself some hassle. Especially in the case of email, just a simple management in the way of filters and folders to sort and prioritize incoming messages can be a big help.
After all these tips, one thing that remains to be said is that if you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. So take these tips and use it to its full potential to bring positive changes at your work!