Top 10 Tips on How To Boost Your Time Management While Designing

Managing your time wisely as a designer can be quite challenging because you usually spend hours and hours sitting behind your computer screen and working through the task quite slowly.

There is nothing much you can really do about that, but there are some ways you can manage your time nonetheless. Here are the top ten tips on how to boost your time management while designing.

#1. Get Rid Of Distractions

Get Rid Of Distractions

The biggest problem all kinds of workers face is the fact that they get constantly distracted by all kinds of things. You can’t get your job done if you can’t focus on what you are doing. This is why getting rid of distractions is so important in order to manage your time more effectively as a designer.

For example, if you constantly get notifications on your phone, make sure to turn it off every time you sit down to work. Mute it or set it up in a way that will only display the most important notifications for you not to miss. Some other sources of distraction include music, TV, and even family members.

In any case, you will need to identify the things that make you lose your focus and make sure that you keep them in check. It is the first step towards improving your productivity and performance.

#2. Go Big Or Go Home

Many people will be getting in touch with you for smaller projects all the time, but if you really want to become better at managing your time as a designer, you will need to start getting your priorities straight and accepting bigger projects rather than small ones.

The problem with small projects is that you will end up spending a lot of time to get acquainted with each new project you take. With bigger projects, on the other hand, you only ever need to understand some things about it before you start working on it for a longer period.

This way, going big is a preferred choice for managing time better. Try to find clients who are looking for several jobs to be done and are willing to pay you to do them all. This way you will ensure that you spend less time looking for clients too.

Of course, if you are just starting out and don’t have an impressive portfolio that could help you connect with bigger clients, you might want to first accumulate some smaller projects to showcase. In the end, it all depends on the goals you are pursuing, but professionals always try to go for bigger projects.

#3. Taking Too Long To Design

Some designers are obsessed with doing everything perfectly down to the smallest details. If you are one such designer, then you probably know how much time it usually takes when you pay such close attention to everything you do.

To stop taking too long to design, you need to try to change your mindset and view your job a little less seriously. That being said, you still need to be responsible for your work. Try to find that golden middle for yourself and stick to it.

Sometimes your clients will be the ones demanding absolute perfection from you, but if they aren’t too strict, don’t be that way to yourself either. Stop judging your work too seriously and spending too much time to make everything just right.

#4. Having Too Many Meetings

Unlike the previous point, this is an issue usually initiated by the client rather than the designer. If you notice that there are too many meetings happening, it is up to you to try to deal with this problem in order to manage your time properly.

Having Too Many Meetings

If your client wants to check the progress at almost every stage and demands that there is a meeting every time, you might end up spending more time talking about the project rather than actually working on it. This is a mistake mostly made by amateurs, but professionals make it too.

Don’t let your clients dictate your every step. Voice your opinion when you know that you want to have a say in the matter and don’t be afraid to explain why something will work better than what your client is proposing. After all, you are the expert here.

#5. Outsource Some Of Your Work

One of the best ways to manage time better is to reduce your workload. If you can outsource some of your work, you will be able to focus on the more essential parts of the project and get done with them much faster.

For example, if you know that part of your job will require you to translate some of the elements of your design, you can outsource that to a translation service like The Word Point. This way, you won’t have to spend a lot on outsourcing tasks.

The key here is to understand the logic of outsourcing your work. If you know someone you can trust with the task in question, outsource it to them, but make sure that they are a reliable person. You don’t want your plan to go terribly wrong.

#6. Cut Down On A/B Testing

Many designers believe that it is absolutely essential to test everything many times before announcing the project to be complete. However, you actually lose a lot of time when constantly testing what you are working on.

Instead of focusing on the performance while A/B testing, try to identify weak spots early on and then work on those problematic elements. You don’t need to check and test every time you make a small improvement but rather do some experiments once you’ve done a major change.

If your client insists on testing regularly, explain to them that it will be more reasonable to do it rarer but with more impact. It’s what you discover while testing that matters as well as how you choose to work on it and possibly improve it.

You also want to have consistent testing requirements so that you know that you are comparing valid performance data. Always be organized in this sense and keep track of all the information you collect while A/B testing.

#7. Reworking Most Of The Design

You probably know about how painful it is to have your client tell you to rework the design completely. Yet, this decision is usually made by the designer rather than the client. Instead of changing some small details, the designer suddenly decides to rework absolutely everything and ends up in a difficult situation.

From one side, you want to have everything done perfectly, but from another, this will mean starting from the beginning. This is definitely not the route to go if you want to start managing time better. After all, this is by far the worst decision you can make.

You need to refrain from reworking the entire or most of the design you’ve been working on for a while. It is simply a bad choice to suddenly scratch the whole thing and start all over again. Besides, your client might also get annoyed by it.

If this has become your habit, try to get rid of it, just like of other harmful habits that affect your productivity. These can include checking your phone constantly, taking breaks that end up being longer than intended, and so on.

#8. Establish Your Boundaries

To really start managing your time better, you need to establish certain boundaries for yourself and for others that will restrain you from doing stupid things. It is essential to have a framework to follow for the job to be done properly.

Establish Your Boundaries

Think of the steps you usually take to create a design. Then, throw away anything that seems unnecessary. More often than not, there will be at least one action that is not mandatory for you to be able to complete the design, yet you do it anyway unconsciously.

If you know that you need to set boundaries in the physical sense of the word, do it. This is especially true for freelance designers working from home. Your family shouldn’t bother you when you are working, so you must explain such things to them.

It’s a good idea to have a separate office room where you can work. Try to divide your leisure space and your workspace in order to program your brain for doing the job every time you enter the appropriate environment.

#9. Set Deadlines And Aim High

Once again, having a framework for yourself or certain requirements for yourself is crucial. You want to set a certain level of standards that you will strive to match in order to get the product done in the fastest and most efficient way possible.

Deadlines have proven to be quite motivational when it comes to working. In fact, they can even boost your inspiration, because your brain works better under pressure. Many people set separate deadlines for themselves just because they know it helps them.

That being said, you might feel intimidated by deadlines. If you don’t work well under pressure, it is better to stay away from stressing yourself out this way. In this case, try to take baby steps towards the completion of the project.

Create small achievable goals with deadlines. This will lift some pressure off of you. It will also make you organize your schedule better which will lead to better time management in the long run.

#10. Train, Train, And Train

Last but not least, train, train, and train yourself again and again in order to become better at managing your time. The only way you can become good at time management is by constantly improving the methods you are already using.

Train, Train, And Train

For instance, if you have reduced the time you spend for unnecessary breaks, your next step would be to eliminate the distractions in your workspace. There is always something you can improve about your work ethic, so you need to actively seek it out.

Remember that professional designers have a strong will that helps them do their job well. However, a strong will can be trained – you don’t need to be born with it. If you dedicate enough time to developing a strong character, you eventually realize how much more productive you have become.

The biggest advantage of a strong will is that you can stop yourself from being distracted or staying on breaks for too long. In other words, a strong will helps you get rid of laziness. If you want to stop killing time, this is the way to go.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the most important thing to keep in mind is that professional designers will be able to manage their time easier because they will already know their own strengths and weaknesses. Once you figure those out, you will also be able to start managing your time for designing more effectively.

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One Comment

  1. Informative article that makes us to learn about the steps to manage time when involved in designing. Thanks for sharing, Hoping for more article.

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