Time is the most valuable resource for any business. To improve productivity, and improve cash flow, time management is a crucial skill. And unfortunately for many of us, time is not always on our side when it comes to work.
Whether you are working at an office as an employee or a remote contractor, distractions are everywhere. Especially for web developers and designers, it is easy to get lost in the pile of work that’s needed to be done on a daily basis. With the countless projects, balancing deadlines, and trying to check off a laundry list of specs, scopes, templates, and deliverables that we need to juggle on a daily basis, getting off track almost comes instantaneously. This leaves you with more unfinished projects and dealing a heap load of stress from your bosses and clients.
On the bright side, there are numerous hacks designers can use to curb their ‘creative block’, improve their way of working, be able to save more time for personal stuff, and boost overall productivity.
Here are 5 practical time management hacks for web designers:
1) Learn the art of saying ‘no’
There is a positive side in learning how to say ‘no’. Your schedule can easily get consumed by meetings, calls, and emails. By making yourself unavailable especially during times when there are a lot of work that’s needed to be done, you can double your productivity and it can help you focus more.
Carve out blocks of time every day to be completely unavailable to anyone in maintaining momentum on the projects. Scheduling your day will help you get more on track with your goals.
2) Don’t try to be perfect
A design in draft presented with a meaningful story will make more impact compared to a half-finished perfect design in disarray. The key to consistency in delivering great results rests is to be able to come up with the crucial pieces in a package for the final presentation. Don’t get caught up trying to make things perfect. You can always polish a design any time. But the opportunity to impress a client only comes once in a while.
3) Learn to prioritize
List down the tasks you need to do on a daily basis, what projects you are currently involved in, and try to arrange them according to impact to your business. Pursue bigger fishes first. One large project is infinitely better than 10 small ones. Eliminate the noise and focus your attention on quality, valuable work.
4) Set an email schedule
Do you check your email as soon as you get your work? Most of the time, answering emails early in the morning can take away from your daily goals. If you have unfinished tasks from the previous day that you need to get done, make sure you prioritize that early in the morning. Don’t open your emails unrelated to these pending tasks, otherwise it will leave you overwhelmed with a daunting pile of tasks.
Set regular intervals within the day to check your inbox and stick to them. Knock out the easiest requests first before moving to difficult tasks.
5) Cut down on the production time
There’s no need to spend more time doing redundant task each week. Learn all the necessary shortcuts on the tool that you use. Are you using Photoshop? Lightroom? Find out if there are guides available in bookstores on online that you can study. It may be a simple keyboard shortcut, a template, or even automation.
Got some more time management tips you want to share with your fellow designers? Tell us in the comment section below!