As your business grows, you’re going to find that time will be of most value to you. So, what should you do to ensure that you get the most value from your time?
Here are 10 tips I can suggest for you to follow so that you can better manage your time and have a more productive and fulfilling a day.
Tip #1 | SCHEDULE EVERYTHING
Use a calendar and write down everything you have planned to do on that day.
This method is call time blocking, by time blocking you are scheduling all your jobs and activities for that day.
Doing this will give you a better scope of your daily workload, but will also ensure your work efficiency.
Tip #2 | TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS
You want to clear yourself of any interruptions and distractions, so to try and avoid reading any unnecessary emails or notifications. Turn off any notifications from your phone or computer, having these distractions will definitely lead to a day of procrastination.
Tip #3 | START WITH ONE
One of the important tips is to always focus on one job at a time.
Tackle the largest job first, keep your priorities from largest to smallest. Even though you might feel the small jobs are quicker and easier, you will usually find that after working through a series of small jobs, the larger job is the least motivating to work on towards the end of your day. By focusing on the largest job first, you to feel more accomplished.
Tip #4 | GIVE YOURSELF A REWARD
To keep yourself focused, set yourself a reward at the end of the day.
Whether it’s to watch a movie, go to dinner, catch up with family or friends or even have some personal time for yourself. You will find that setting a reward for a good day’s work will result in an accomplished day.
Tip #5 | MAKE A PLAN
Make a plan that you can stick to. You don’t want to don’t overload yourself with unexpected and unnecessary work. Make sure you always make a plan to have time to yourself, so you focus on your creative development.
Tip #6 | TAKE A BREAK
Don’t forget to take a break! For you and your sanity, brakes are important. Even though you might feel like you’re on a creative whirlwind or you’re ‘in the zone’. You definitely need to give yourself a time-out. Having a break will allow you to relax and get back into the game. Use your break to gather inspiration, take the opportunity to go out and get some sunshine, focus on your fitness, hydrate, eat some food and most importantly detach yourself from your work station.
Tip #7 | DO SOMETHING UNRELATED
Sometimes your brain needs to switch off. Reset. So, do something unrelated, something that doesn’t require thinking. Separate your brain from the current work at hand and focus on something that is unrelated to what you are currently doing.
Tip #8 | NO TIME FOR EDITS
During a productive day, a key point is to not think about editing or refinements straight away. The best practice is to lay everything out and ensure you have your structure set up. Get whatever is in your head out onto your computer or paper, regardless of errors. Once you have laid it all out, then use your scheduled time you have to do refinements and edits your project.
Tip #9 | NO TIME FOR MULTITASKING
Focus on one job at a time, don’t overload yourself with multiple tasks, because you’re only going to confuse yourself. I’ve seen it and done it before. Working on multiple jobs at the same time can sometimes lead to confusion, work crossover, creative blocks and average results. Give Job #1 100%. It will ensure your workflow will not only be efficient but also accurate.
Tip #10 | DOCUMENT EVERYTHING
Document your processes, tips and cheat sheets.
You can use these as guides to follow every day. Make a list so that you can follow and check it off as you work. Documenting your work will save you a lot of valuable time. It creates efficiency in your work. So, take the opportunity to write down all your processes.
These are my tips, you may have heard of some of them and some might be new to you now. This is only a guide, but I thank you and I hope that these tips are helpful to you, time is important to us all and is crucial in the business world. Get the most value out of your time so that you can run a successful business.
In the creative space being a recognised designer is key. But how do you go from a self-starter to sought after designer. When starting up there are multiple avenues you can go down in order to build presence.
Creating social media accounts for your business is the easiest and the cheapest way to gain exposure. Using social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn can give you local and global exposure and help build a dedicated following. They can also lead to exciting opportunities that you would not normally be exposed to.
By creating a website for your business it provides you an identity client can look to. Your website can be a great tool that allows you display your portfolio, growth, achievements and successes.
But just because you have a website doesn’t mean people will automatically know who you are and how to contact you. You are still going to need to get maximum exposure. In order to ensure people are visiting your site make sure you focus on your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
SEO is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic. By increasing your visibility of your website, it will result in more exposure for you and your business.
I would recommend Googling ‘SEO in marketing’ and ‘how SEO it works’ so that you get a better understanding on what you need to do.
BLOGGING OR PODCASTING
Blogging or podcasting has become popular in this day and age. People are interested to know what you are thinking, so take the time to write and post on your website or blog page. You don’t like writing, try Podcasting, where you can talk about your thoughts, experiences or even interview people of influence. These methods can really help you engage with like-minded people or even show your clients that you have a strong business acumen.
Though advertising can be costly it can also be worthwhile. Use your creative skills to produce an ad that will help you market your business. Whether (budget dependant) it be ads for social media, local papers, television or radio, they do have high exposure and can generate leads faster.
Ensure you have a marketing campaign in mind before hand, take the time to research like-minded business and how they advertise, be aware of the trends in the market and ensure you know your target audience. Research is very important otherwise it can become a very costly and timely exercise.
Building exposure is not easy, keeping exposure is even harder. You need to stay on top of the game always be active, don’t quit and stay ahead of the trend.
If you enjoyed reading this, please feel free to hit the like button to send me some feedback.
HOW MANY TIMES HAS THE CLIENT GIVEN YOU A BRIEF BACK WHICH RESEMBLES A BLANK SLATE?
Let me know if you heard this one; ‘I don’t know what I want’, Or my personal favourite ‘You have free reign to do what you want’. Then you go out, put in the time and work to produce your masterpiece for it to be criticised because it didn’t quite ‘hit the mark’.
Well…here is where a great brief comes in. If you can provide your client a brief that will help answer all your relevant and also irrelevant questions, then you will have no issues in hitting that mark the first time around, leaving room for refinement.
Here is how you do it:
1. KNOW YOUR CLIENT.
- Research your client look them up if they already exist.
- Email them or even better, meet them, have a coffee and a chat to get to know them.
2. WRITE DOWN ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU WANT TO ASK THE CLIENT.
- Be Outrageous
- Be Creative
- Be Challenging.
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. DON’T JUST INCLUDE COMMON QUESTIONS.
- What emotion are they selling?
- What animal do they see themselves as?
- Is there a company they idealise?
The list can go on and can be as out there as you want it to be. It’s these questions that will assisting you in understanding your client
4. MAKE IT EASY.
When you submit your brief to the client, make it easy for them to fill in.
- Have open and closed questions.
A Closed example would be: Would you like this font? Yes or No
An Open example is: How does this font make you feel?
- Give the client some choices
To help narrow the process down you can provide the client with some choices to choose from, this will allow you to identify their likes and dislikes.
- Provide Examples
There are two things you can do here. You can provide examples for the client to choose from or sometimes have the client provide examples of what they like, perhaps a website, logo, colour scheme or font.
Lastly, make sure you communicate your findings and brief results with the client. Doing this will ensure you and the client not only share the same vision but will also help you clarify anything you were unsure of.
Please feel free to use these tips as a guide, to help you in creating your own client briefs.
Remember, all clients are different, so this is where researching skill comes into play.
One bonus tip for the road
CREATE A TEMPLATE.
Put the common questions in the front for example, Name, Business Size, Requirements, Demographic etc. and the add the open and close questions after, so that it can be customised according to your client
GREAT DESIGN IS ONLY AS GREAT AS THE BRIEF IT CAME FROM.