Time is the most important resource that can’t be regenerated. An hour, a day or a week that is lost is lost forever, it’s impossible to remediate the loss. It’s not something new for you, but we have the tendency to ignore this fact. Let’s be honest, how often have you postponed an activity for the next days, but deep inside you knew that it’s possible to never accomplish it?
Under these circumstances, I try to offer you an honest and effective perspective over how a designer should manage his time. More or less, each of us is trying to improve his/her efficiency and one of the purposes is doing the same tasks in less time.
Once we accept that time can’t be reversed we should do as much as possible to maximize what we can accomplish in our limited time destined for work. Time management is relatively a new coined expression for designers, but applying some principles to better manage the time may prove to be pure gold in some situations. A designer that really wants to realize more in less time should know that is scientifically proved that there are three fronts “to fight”. Firstly, it’s about time management, a topic that we will discuss thoroughly in this article. Secondly, it’s the workflow- how the individual is working effectively and thirdly it’s about space management- how the individual is arranging his/her work space to get better results.
The common conception is that these ideas might work, but their effects are still negligible. Unfortunately, many designers think this way and I hope that you won’t commit the same mistake. In the next lines I will give you some precious hints about how to better manage your time. Of course, I will be honored if you shared with us your interesting thoughts about time management, so please use the comment form and reveal your secrets to us.
#1. It’s all about inner will
The Internet is full of good resources about time management, so nobody has the excuse that he/she didn’t know about it. The huge majority of us have at least a superficial idea about what time management is about, but we prefer to stay in our comfort zone. It’s written in our DNA to prefer the commode solutions, but it’s not a good approach for a professional evolution.
The first thing to do in order to better manage the time is to accept that this process is for a medium to long time perspective and nothing major can be achieved on short time. The sad fact is that those who want to better manage their time must make huge sacrifices almost immediately. More exactly, the negative aspects are on short time while the positive consequences are on long time perspective. I hope that now it’s clear why someone that wants to better manage his/her time must be ready to make some sacrifices.
#2. A/B testing for designer
A/B testing isn’t a novelty even for a novice web designer. Practically, it supposes the existence of two variants (landing pages, layouts, call-to-action buttons, and so on) and it determines which one is more appreciated by people. This method may be used in time management, too. The idea is simple and effective. There are some universal tips about how to efficiently manage the time, but some may or may not work for each individual.
Time management supposes trials and errors and there may be applied some A/B tests that will determine, which variant is better.
#3. Planning is vital
A plan is always made in order not to be respected. In spite of this fact, planning is vital in many activities, including time management. As a result, if you want to better manage your time, every aspect must be planed. Besides these, it’s not enough just to properly plan, but also to execute it. Yeah, very few plans are 100% respected and you shouldn’t be upset that sometimes your plans aren’t accomplished. The main idea is that good time management is strictly dependent on wise planning.
A designer that wants to better manage his time must have a clear schedule and respect it. Planning to realize too much per day might negatively influence and conduct to excessive tiredness. On the other hand, having little work to do per day isn’t a good idea. In conclusion, the middle way is always a good solution.
#4. Set up the priorities
All the clients must be equally treated, but some projects have a higher priority than others. This fact means that a wise designer must set up some priorities. So, another cool idea in better managing the time is to set up clear priorities. The situation is different, from case to case, but the setting up of the priorities must have as the final result the meeting of the deadlines.
#5. Give you a half an hour for feedback
It’s very simple to say that starting from tomorrow you will became more efficient and your time wouldn’t be wasted. To apply these thoughts in practice is a totally different story, because it’s way more difficult than you have expected. The road to transforming yourself into a master of time management is very challenging and only a few reach the final destination.
If you want to be one of them, then you must accept that this is not an easy process and from time to time, it’s necessary to judge your actions. The objective feedback is vital in this case. Under these circumstances, a designer must carefully examine what has a positive influence or a negative one over his/her workflow. He/she must correctly keep track of the actions made to improve the time management in order to have a useful feedback, at the end of the day. There is no doubt that it depends on each person mentally, but on average a half an hour is enough to determine the advantages/disadvantages of the actions made throughout a day.
I consider that applying the above ideas into your life will have a positive effect. I must repeat that the results won’t appear immediately, but the endeavors will be demanding. Everyone reached this level: the winners made it, while others are still unable to go further. In the end, one has to keep in mind the idea that nothing major can be achieved without efforts! What do you think about it? Do you agree with me?