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A Typical Day in the Life of 10 Successful Designers, What is it Like?

Posted November 29th, 2010 in Inspiration by Eko S

One of the keys to success for freelance designers is good at time management. Unlike employed professionals, you are your own boss and can set your own hours. If you don’t manage your time weel, you mignt find yourself not accomplishing everything that needs to be done in that day.

Below are A typical day of 10 successful designers, how they manage their time? I hope you’ll get some insight and inspiration for more better time management in your daily routine.

You may also want to take a look at the following related articles:

Chris Spooner

Designers daily routine
What does a typical day look like?

I am currently under full time employment at a small Sheffield based design studio which means I undertake the daily 9-5 routine. A typical day involves working on various projects for both print and web such as leaflet designs, brochures, exhibition graphics and website design. Throughout the day I also enjoy browsing the internet, keeping up to date on various design related news and looking through my feed reader for updates on my favorite design blogs.

Collis Taeed

Designers daily routine
What does your typical day look like?

I don’t really have a typical day because I change jobs a lot. I usually write out a list of what I’m planning to do in the day, and usually it is about 5 times what I could possibly achieve in the space of a day. Then I either avoid reading my email the whole day long in an effort to get some real work done, or I have a day where I multi-task and email and skype and juggle a million other things and finish the day not really knowing what it is I did. :-)

David Airey

Designers daily routine
A typical day in the life of David Airey, how is it like?

A typical day involves getting out of bed at 7am and having breakfast with my girlfriend, before she heads off to work. I’ll check my emails at about 7:45am, and that’ll be my working day started. Work involves identity projects, blogging, print design, accounting, and attracting new clients with online marketing efforts. My working day ends around 6, 7 or 8pm, depending on whether I’m heading out to play football, go to the cinema or gym.

David Legget

Designers daily routine
What does your typical day look like?

My day usually begins with a hole in the wall my alarm clock firmly slammed several inches into the outskirts of my room. After crawling to the Coffee (Black please.) I immediately check to make sure my sites are all in good order, followed by flipping through my favorite feeds. Once the caffeine starts to kick in, I force myself to start writing, or at least think about things to write. Blogging is something I really find enjoyable, but for me at least, it’s A LOT of hard work coming up with new ideas to write about on a day to day basis. It’s a task that I’ve spent several years training myself to do, and it’s likely something that won’t ever come easily to me. Throughout my work day, I’ll try to take a break or two, play tennis, Frisbee, Halo, go swim, read, cook, but by 11PM I’m back in the office, working up a storm until 2 or 3AM.

Fabio Sasso

Designers daily routine
As well as being a prominent blogger, you also offer design services through your company, Zee. How is your daily routine split between personal designs and client projects?

I have a great team behind Zee and now with Abduzeedo and that helps me a lot. We try to focus on what we’re the best at. That way we can come up with good works and be happy.

Of course, my routine is quite crazy. I wake up pretty early, 5:30-6am then I keep working unitl midnight. My mornings are always for abduzeedo work while the afternoons for other projects.

Jacob Gube

Designers daily routine
A typical day in the life of Jacob Gube, how is it like? What do you enjoy the most about your work?

A typical day is very busy. I wake up between 5:00 – 6:30AM every day, depending on how late I go to bed the previous night. The first thing I’ll do is get a pot of coffee brewing. I don’t do anything until I’ve injected my system with a sufficient quantity of caffeine as experience has shown me it’s never a good idea to do anything without coffee

In the mornings, I focus on creative and developmental tasks because this is where I’m most productive. Later in the day, say around 3:00PM, is when I do the administrative and mundane stuff like writing emails and proof-reading articles. The day ends (or at least tries to) at around 9:00PM, though many times I’ll go as late as 11:00PM. I’m very particular about relaxing and not burning out, so on some days, I’ll do absolutely no work. A couple of these a month can sustain such a busy lifestyle without burning out.

I enjoy every part of my work, or else I’d be looking for another profession. I mean, we build things that people use and rely on; they can be the person next door or in a country thousands of miles away, how cool is that?

Jon Phillips

Designers daily routine
Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the life of Jon Phillips?

Sure thing! Every day is different from the last but a typical day usually starts with making coffee, checking emails, traffic, stats and comments on my blog and then I’ll spend some time on Twitter and check my RSS reader and check my to-do list. Then, if I can get all the administrative stuff (invoicing, accounting and other boring tasks) done before noon, I’ll start working on more creative things, designs for clients, personal projects and blogging.

Then I’ll check my emails, stats and Twitter again, write a couple things on my to-do list, and call it a day.

Of course it happens I’ll work really long hours or even pull an all-nighter, but I’m trying this work/life balance thing that people keep talking and writing about. :)

Brian Hoff

Designers daily routine
I’ve been very interested lately in gaining some insight from other designers about how they manage their time. With all the projects that you do, how do you manage to find time for everything? Do you utilize any apps/software to help organize and prioritize your to-do list?

I for one do not manage my time well at all mainly because I work a lot, but at the end of the day I love what I do and love to work hard at it. For management and organizing I use Things for tasks and Subernova for project management.

Liam McKay

Designers daily routine
What does your typical day look like?

I get up around 8:30, breakfast and watch some TV. Then it’s up to my desk to whiz through any emails, usually followed by some random stumbling. Then I’ll check out my RSS feeds see if there’s anything new to read or look at. Once I’ve settled down and woken up I tend to get stuck into my to-do list, or make some changes to something which I thought was a good idea the night before, its amazing how different things look when you’re actually awake. I’ll get in a good few solid hours work and make sure that I get what I wanted to get done that day done, and then I’ll have a mix of relaxing and working. Just adding little tweaks, or fixing things here and there, then playing some games or watching TV, browsing the net or reading blogs and so on.

Steven Snell

Designers daily routine
A typical day in the life of Steven Snell, how is it like? What do you enjoy the most about your work?

My typical work day starts at 6:30am. For the first hour or two I am dealing with email, blog comments, quickly checking stats from the previous day for my sites, publishing content on my galleries and catching up with my feed reader.

After that, I have a to-do list of my priorities for the day. They’ll typically include working on a blog post or two, freelance writing, design work for clients, site maintenance or updates for clients, and things like that. At the end of the day I start over by setting my to-do list for the following day.

Another very useful time management articles, especially for freelance designers :

Time Management Tips for Freelance Designers

time management tips

10 Lifestyle Management Tips for Freelancers

time management tips

10 Most Effective Time Management Tips for Designers

time management tips

13 Principles of Effective Time Management for Freelancers

time management tips

Time management tips for designers

time management tips

Do you have another tips or advice on the subject of time management? Please share with us on the comment below.

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12 Responses so far.

  1. techwench says:

    really liked
    thanks!!!
    …..

  2. web says:

    Fantastic writeup, really liked it, worth reading!!..

  3. El says:

    Nice article to read it in the morning!!!

  4. Great collection of a typical day to day life in the life of designers

  5. Oggy says:

    Great post! Really enjoy these little insights into designer’s lives. Very useful for me at the moment as I’ve just started a new full-time job in web design and I’m trying to get into a good work-flow / time management system.

    I love your blog too. Very nicely designed! This is the first post I’ve seen here. One suggestion on this post though is the title should probably be ‘what is it like’ rather than ‘how is it like’. Just a grammar thing. Keep up the good work!

  6. Eko S says:

    @Oggy: Hi, thanks for your correction. We have to fix it.
    And we are glad you like our blog design, your site is nice too :)

  7. [...] A Typical Day in the Life of 10 Successful Designers, What is it Like? In this article you’ll find some very valuable advice from expert logo designer, to those who would like to try their hand at logo design and become a great logo designer. [...]

  8. [...] A Typical Day in the Life of 10 Successful Designers, What is it Like? Very valuable advice from expert logo designer, to those who would like to try their hand at logo design and become a great logo designer. [...]

  9. I like to hear about other designer’s days because I like to talk about mine! Its fun to hear what people are up to.

  10. nora says:

    im an active person but on my typical day i havent any good idea to do .but after read this sentences i have many idea to do . overal thanh for every thing iam one of your fans
    bye for now.

  11. Its nice to see what other web designers do while on a hectic schedule. Excellent article post. Inspiring!!

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