Last updated on February 2nd, 2022
Creative designers look for fresh and unique ideas and get things done on specific deadlines. That’s what makes them productive. However, staying productive can be difficult for many. There are a plethora of things that can lead to procrastination or, even worse, burnout.
And designers can’t afford it, especially when working in the world’s most competitive industry, where staying productive and meeting deadlines are integral.
We have asked dozens of successful designers for tips and strategies that can sky-rocket productivity up to 200%.
Below Are Some Of These Tips That Can Help You Boost Your Productivity
Productivity Hacks For Creative Designers
01. Plan Your Day
A goal without a plan is just a wish, which stands true in most cases. Whatever industry you are in, making a detailed plan ahead can boost productivity.
Start your day by creating a priority list and placing the most important task whose deadlines are approaching at the top. This way, you can stay on top of things and avoid any unwanted situation.
You can make multiple lists for each project to reference and decide what to complete that day.
02. Jot Down Your Ideas In A Notebook
Designers are always looking for inspiration; you don’t know when and where these ideas strike. It’s best to keep a sketchbook or notebook with you so that you’ll save these for future use in your projects.
In this way, you can maintain the normal flow of your creative work without any delay.
03. Time Tracking and Management
Tracking and managing time can help reclaim some of what you’ve been spending on other activities. Tracking working hours can also help ensure the correct billing in cases where you are charging per hour.
There are plenty of apps available that not only let you see the time you’re spending on a particular task but also suggest where you could be more productive.
Better use a timeboxing technique to allocate a fixed time to a specific design task. This tool allows us to meet deadlines and finish the work promptly.
04. Watch For Your Energy Levels
Your body, unlike a machine, has varying productivity curves— you may have more energy, a better focus, and output between 10 am to 1 pm compared to the rest of the day.
Further, when you’re hungry or tired, you won’t be as creative as you would otherwise. For optimum functioning of your body and mind, you should maintain a good diet and get adequate rest to attain proper energy levels.
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05. Choose Comfortable Furniture To Boost Productivity
The designer job involves long hours of sitting on their desk. The ergonomically-designed chairs, tables, and workstations can improve productivity.
On the contrary, if you have a chair that promotes slouching, you may get serious health complications, including back pain and sciatica.
You should consider high-end office chairs that improve posture and comfortability by getting help from Quick Stuffs.
06. Set The Milestones For Big Tasks
On any given day, designers are bombarded with many tasks, especially when working with multiple stakeholders.
Designers use a strategy to break down the tasks into attainable milestones to increase their work efficiency. With a little progress, you can easily knock down these bite-size tasks.
07. Aim Big, Start Small
Sometimes you may face a design rut, just like writer’s block. The simplest way to respond to this is by finding the easiest way to tackle the task. It can help you to refocus and move forward productively.
08. Work By The Clock
Deadlines can have a negative psychological effect and can lead to procrastination. Therefore, you should force yourself to remain focused and devoted to your work for a set amount of time.
Work for a few hours without any distraction, and then give yourself a break. In this way, you can increase your performance and work quality.
09. Set New Targets
It is essential to analyze your progress and set new milestones. The milestones you’ve achieved keep you motivated and encourage you to set new targets with positive energy.
10. Keyboard Shortcuts To Success
While working with Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, knowing the keyboard shortcuts can squeeze some time out and prompt the project completion.
You can even create a custom keyboard shortcut in Illustrator.
11. Clean The Clutter
Keeping your workstation organized can help you remain focused.
“Tidy desk, tidy mind.”
If your work desk represents chaos, you are in a deep mess. Put away paperwork you don’t need right now, and use draws to store stuff you may need shortly.
Ensure your home screen is clutter-free. Close all the tabs on your browsers, clear the images and downloads and turn off the email notifications. It will reduce the distraction while you work on the task.
12. Take a Break! You Deserve It
If you work continuously on design projects for 8-10 hours daily, it may lead to loss of productivity.
Researchers have found that your brain stops responding if specific activity remains constant over time. Take off some time in between the work at regular intervals.
Plan a vacation or a little day out. It will clear your mind and replenish your energy, making you more focused and creative.
13. Choose Your Tools
Use tools that can help enhance your creativity and productivity. Get familiar with some tech-savvy tools like Canva, ProofHub, Cloud networking, prototyping tools, and more.
14. Handling The Clients
Often, a client isn’t familiar with the technical terms in designing, making the communication difficult. This communication failure may translate into designs that are not precisely what clients want.
However, everything has a solution; you can make the best out of the meeting by:
- Understanding the business of the client
- Avoid technical terminologies
- Show them various samples and prototypes
- Ask questions to get the idea of what they want
15. Share Your Opinion
While working with the team, discuss the design projects thoroughly. Let your team know what you think about the project and share your opinion out loud.
It is important to be clear about what you will do and let your team members help you in aspects where you are struggling.
16. Set The Tone with Right Music
Listening to the right music can make you concentrate more on your work. Play something you enjoy, and let your mind flow with it.
Music can make you forget everything and relaxes you by taking you somewhere peaceful.
17. Get Comfortable with Unknown
While working on a specific design project, you don’t know how your design will turn out or how the client and world will respond. Be comfortable with these unknowns.
All your work is based on assumptions. For this reason, validate and test these designs with the things you know to ensure you’re on the right track.
Don’t be afraid of failing, and do what you know best: be creative!
18. Shut off the Internet
Distraction can slow down the progress and affect the task completion on top of deadlines.
Frequently using mobile phones, checking emails, and using social networks can detract you and waste your time.
The best solution is to turn off the internet and fix a time for all this. In that way, you can smartly utilize the time.
19. Don’t Stack The Tasks
One of the best ways to enhance productivity is to respond to the task instantly. When you get the tasks or design requests, process them right away or add them to your to-do list.
20. You Shouldn’t Do Every Minor Task, Do Outsourcing
Design that part of the project that is the most critical. However, a project may include many minor tasks that may consume time and energy. Outsource these trivial tasks.
21. Look For Online Inspiration
For design inspiration, you can visit design galleries online in your spare time. You should also look at your competitors’ work. These designs may give you new ideas.
22. Keep The Rhythm: Circadian Rhythm
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is vital for you and your work. Designers are often so obsessed with their work that they neglect their body needs, which affects their productivity.
You must keep a normal sleep-wake cycle; getting the proper sleep is crucial for brain functioning.
Similarly, eat healthy food and keep yourself hydrated. When your body is in optimum condition, ultimately, your performance is also enhanced.
23. Schedule Meetings If Necessary
Meetings are an essential part of the designing process. Many aspects related to the project are discussed.
However, sometimes these meetings can take too much of your time. Therefore, schedule the meeting only when it’s necessary.
24. Ask For Help
It’s natural not to have all the required skill sets for a design project. However, you can collaborate with other designers that may help you with the given task. It would avoid delaying your work.
25. Use Templates
You can create graphic templates for the designs you do more often. These graphic templates are time savers and can kickstart your design project.
26. Automate Repetitive Tasks
Like making templates, you can save presets or wireframes while using various tools.
For instance, with Photoshop, you can use batch processing to edit hundreds of images in no time.
27. Share Files Instantly
With the advent of technology, several tools can help you manage projects, instant file sharing, and access your designs on various devices.
Cloud-based services streamline your workflow and allow you to share files with ease.
28. Reward Yourself
Rewards can give you a sense of achievement. Whenever you or your team complete a project, celebrate it with a coffee or maybe dine together.
It feels good to appreciate and recognize what you have accomplished. It builds the positive momentum necessary for the next plan.
Graphic designers are subjected to a greater amount of work. However, it takes a lot of time and energy to finish the project, affecting productivity. You can produce more meaningful design works with some productivity-enhancing tricks in a given time frame. With these hacks, you can sky-rocket your productivity.