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More often I am hearing of people moving into the freelance side of the creative industry, and why not? More time for yourself, you make your own rules, set your own hours, you are ultimately your own boss and what could be better than that? All this freedom and responsibility can however be a bit of a burden at times as you not only have to control your workload but also your administration, client relations and marketing. So many things to do, so little time!
I am offering you some tips that will help you keep yourself organised and ultimately help you increase your productivity so you’re not left wondering what happened to your day.
1. Organise your timetable.
Mark down your working hours clearly and realistically.
Setting yourself various hours just for working on your projects allows you to concentrate and gives you purpose, keeping you from wondering away and getting distracted. Make sure you stick to your timetable and don’t defer from it. Mind of matter is the key so play the part of being in an office environment, get dressed, have breakfast and get to work on time.
Everyone needs a rest from time to time.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” Give yourself a break from the computer for a few minutes and you’ll feel refreshed and ready to continue working on your next project. Make it a priority to eat your lunch, and taking a short break every 3 hours. Remember it is all bout quality and not quantity when it comes to design work so keeping yourself focused is key.
2. Everybody loves making lists.
Plan it out.
Make a list at the beginning of the day of everything you would like to accomplish that day. Start with your top priority work and move down the list. Give yourself some goals and write down what you would like to achieve today, this week, this month and even this year, everybody needs goals it gives you a drive to work harder and a point to reach.
Be clear when writing your lists, don’t generalise your tasks and write them down clearly. Bullet point each of your titles on your list and break down what you need to do for each of them and start ticking them off as you along. Soon you will realise just how efficient you have become.
How am I doing?
Sit back at the end of the day and marvel at your achievements. go through what you worked on and how long they took you to do. Can you do them better? can you finish them quicker next time?
Have you finished everything on your list? if not, why not? It’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses to help you develop your skills and grow as a designer.
3. Avoid Distractions.
There are many ways to spend your time and procrastinate from working but that is not going to do you any good is it?
Stay off the internet unless it’s work related. Set aside a specific time during the day to check your emails and read your twitter feeds and other social media distractions, having them open whilst you’re working is possibly the worst thing you can do as they will fishy for your attention. When working focus on work and finishing your tasks for the day.
4. Be Comfortable and Organised
Clean up your workspace and you will see how quickly and efficiently you will get things done. By having all your papers, files, and other bits and bobs on your desk neatly stacked will make you feel better and keep you focused. Working in a messy and cluttered environment is just an accident waiting to happen, especially when your tea is sitting right next to everything. TRUST ME you learn from it and never do it again.
Tidy your email accounts, and organise your contacts into folders.
When it comes to checking your emails, and social media pages, check them all at once, it is much easier and quicker to get everything out of the way in one go than to be checking constantly throughout the day, as you will get distracted from your work and lost your inspiration.
let there be light…and sound
Keep your working environment bright and happy. Open your blinds, sit in a well lit area and put on some cheerful and motivational music. There really is nothing less motivating that sitting in a dark and quite corner.
Change it up from time to time
As a freelancer you’re not stuck to one place. If you feel less inspired in one place that day, change your scenery and go elsewhere. Having the luxury to work on your own terms means you can sit anywhere. Be inspired by the world around you constantly.
5. Help is always at hand
If you feel stuck use the internet for help or ask your other designer friends, don’t waste time trying to figure something out when you have answers at hand.