I’ve always known time is of the essence, but recently I’ve come to realize it is truly invaluable. With the warmer weather, it means weekends are just as busy as the weekdays, yet there’s just 24 hours in each day. We need to make every second count. Below are tips and tricks to maximize your time in the office and allow yourself to take full advantage of fun-filled weekends.
Create a productive environment.
It’s hard to concentrate when you’re not comfortable therefore creating a pleasant workspace is fundamental. Keeping your workspace neat and tidy prevents unnecessary distractions. Not only is clutter on your desk sloppy, but you also lend the risk of causing accidents around expensive equipment and hours of thoughtful concept work (e.g. spilling liquids on your laptop). Aside from the physical surroundings, creating a progressive atmosphere is dependent on sound. Whether it’s the noisy construction outside or the pure silence, it disturbs the creative process. Listening to music helps masks the sounds (or lack there of). Put on whatever inspires you and watch those creative sparks fly, after all music impacts our mood tremendously.
To stay on track, create daily and weekly lists of items that need to be completed within that time frame. The key is to make sure you prioritize and not assign too much to your list less you defeat its purpose. Also developing a steady pace serves as a good time saver. Assigning yourself designated “checkpoints” to when you can check email or take a break prevents being sidetracked. Of course this does not apply on projects with quick turnarounds. Both these practices help me focus, especially being in a dynamic business like Blue Daring. We work on multiple projects on a daily basis, which requires a nice balance of multitasking and concentration.
Prepping files for designing takes up more time than it should. There are always steps throughout a certain project that remain the same and/or are very similar, so why not create templates for these instances? Lets take designing a website as an example. Window sizing is standard with an option of 12, 16 or 24 column grid. If you had a pre-made template, you can jump right into the creative process rather than fumbling with file preferences. This is also applicable to documents used to communicate with the client e.g., presentation files and Word documents. BONUS TIP: Don’t forget to save the file in template format. It sounds obvious but it prevents you from saving over the master template. Programs will automatically perform a “Save As” even when you use the shortcut Cmd+S.
Organization can determine whether you leave the office late or on time. Having a good organization system and knowing where all your files are located will save you time. This means properly naming folders and files rather than going from folder to folder searching for an untitled document. Now we all know rush projects lead you to create numerous versions of each file, so with organization, we also need to set aside time to clear out the outdated files. There’s a place for everything and everything has its place… So keep the archive in order!
With these tips you’ll have more time to relax (or party) and allow your brain to take a rest, all before beginning the week all over again.