Workdays matter a lot in your professional life when you take and overview of all of them. It is important that a professional makes the most out of his workdays in order to succeed in his career. Same goes for the designers. Either you are a salaried designer working for a design house or a freelance design business owner working from home, spending your workdays effectively is the actual key to success. There are some key-points to be remembered by both these individuals. This article focuses on freelance designers only however, I am going to discuss salaried individuals in my next posts.
As a freelance graphic designer you are running your own independent business and in order to be a success at it, you need to spend your workdays more effectively. People with typical desk jobs also find it difficult to work more efficiently at times due to various reasons. Why it becomes more difficult for freelancers is indeed a good question. The reason is that freelancers have a lot of added distractions in comparison to someone who is going to office for work. As a freelancer if you will not prioritize your tasks, you won’t be able to stay in this business for a longer period.
It is a fact that every individual has its own way of dealing with things and a typical work flow won’t help each and every freelancer as it might be not their way of taking care of things. However, there are certain tips that every freelancer can follow in order to improve the productivity of his work and that can only be done if he good at spending time in an effective manner. No in is perfect and while you are at work, do not seek perfection, always try to improve if you are really passionate about your work. Following are a few tips that might be able to help in you in spending your time effectively:
Create a Task List
Getting organized is the basic thing as a freelancer. You can continue working for an entire day but if you are not clear about what you want to accomplish by the end of the day, your efforts are of no use. If you want to achieve your targets and meet your deadlines, you need to create a to-do list so that you have a fair idea of how much work needs to be done in a day.
As a freelancer you would be handling so many things and off course they are important for your business in one way or the other but you need to differentiate between the most important and least important. You can get lost in so many tasks that at times you can end up ignoring the most important ones. Focusing on priorities is really important and creating a task list will definitely help you.
Prioritize Your Tasks
Once you have created a task list, you need to enlist things according to your priorities. You need to understand the urgency and importance of your tasks and once you are done with making the list; you should start doing your tasks. As a freelancer one has so many things on his mind that that focusing in one thing becomes next to impossible.
Your list should contain the most and the second most important tasks so that once you are done with your priorities you can start working on other important tasks. Remember, this will never delay your work and will help you in concentrating on your work in a better way. Imagine, having so many roads and not knowing which way to do will exactly be your situation if you do not prioritize your tasks.
Complete the existing projects
Since freelancers are always looking for work and they have multiple projects on their hands, it might be impossible for them to focus on one project at a time. Apart from this a person has to deal with some personal tasks as well. Doing so much in one go, takes you to nowhere.
Eventually you will realize that you were unable to finish even a single thing. In such cases you should complete the existing projects and then start working on your new projects. Obviously every project has different requirements and if you are handling 3-4 projects you are sure to get confuse and waste a lot of time.
Work on Your Preferred Time
If you start working on odd timings and timings with which you are uncomfortable, you won’t be able to concentrate on your work properly. Always work on time that you think is the best time for you to work. It can be late night or early morning. You need to work on your important projects at the preferred time and for the rest of the day you can focus on no so important tasks or other pending tasks such as updating blogs, replying to comments etc.
Being flexible is really important as a freelance graphic designer. Always keep in mind that there are good days and there are bad days. Also, things will not always workout the way you want them to or the way you have planned. If this happens, do not get frustrate and be flexible. There is no point in being rigid. In such cases all you can do is go with the flow and eventually things will start falling at perfect places.
As a freelancer you have a chance to work all day long but just because you have time do not mean you should continue working. It’s quite easy to take breaks in office because you have a decided time for that but while working for yourself; you might ignore the fact that you need break as well. You might think that working for more hours will help you but the proper way to work is that you work for certain decided hours and then relax. Once you know that you have limited hours to work, you will achieve more in them instead of working for an entire day.
Handling bulk in a proper is very important to achieve productivity and efficiency. Instead of concentrating on so many small things, you are advised to concentrate on one big project so that you can end the project soon. Avoid checking emails or if you can avoid signing into your inbox to avoid useless distractions.
Recognize Your Distractions
Keep a track of your time and this will help you in recognizing your distractions. If you really want to spend your workdays effectively, you need to understand and find out your distractions during working hours so that you can get rid of them.
Running a one man show is not at all an easy task and being a freelance graphic designer is exactly the same.
Since you will be the only person who would be handling everything, it can be a daunting task to maintain a good progress through out. If you make a list of your tasks you will realize that you are not only a graphic designer but you are also handling multiple duties at the same time. For instance, you are making calls to find leads so you are working as a marketing person.
You are also replying to emails, answering calls which makes you a customer support representative as well. Handling so many duties at one time can affect the way you handle your workday efficiency and if you are not good at managing your workday efficiency, you cannot succeed as a freelance graphic designer.
There is a lot that a freelancer can do in order to achieve his goals. The most important thing is to understand the importance of time and utilize it in a proper way. You need to have realistic expectations, proper planning for each day, comfortable sleep so that you can wake up all fresh, good food, fresh air are also a few things which will keep your mind on track.
Keep your work place as comfortable as you can but make sure it is organized and it should look like a work place. A little bit of effort on your part can actually help you manage your time and tasks in a proper way and this will help you a lot in achieving your goals.