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Six Sure Fire Ways to Remain Focused as a Designer

August 13, 2010 • By

Sometimes, we all begin to deviate from a project we are working on due to finding something that we may find interesting or the cause of distractions from devices or services. However, such deviation or procrastination may cause delays and possibly lead to lies and angry clientele.

Furthermore, deviation or procrastination is a general symptom among designers and freelancers alike that hits us on occasion. Moreover, we discuss six methods or tips that can help you stay focused as a designer to avoid deviation and or procrastination.

Working on an Aspect You Don’t Care For

This happens to everyone, we are “pumped up” when we first begin working on a design and as we complete the parts we enjoy and transition to the aspects we sometimes hate to do, our productivity level begins to decrease and procrastination takes place. In most designs we work on, we can usually begin on any aspect we desire.

With that said, in order to prevent possible deviation and or procrastination, I myself tend to do a bit of the parts I love and hate, which means I will be working on a mixture of both throughout, decreasing my chances of deviation or procrastination. Do note however, this method may sometimes not apply to some situations and you may have to finish one to get to the other.

In such a case, try to do the aspect you dislike more first before getting to the enjoyable part of the job or project. As humans, we usually tend to look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel rather than the opposite; the same feeling can apply here by leaving what you enjoy for the end.

Nap Time

No, we are not trying to bring you back to your childhood or preschool days, but we are getting to our point. Taking breaks away from your computer is a great way to increase productivity. We all tend to slow down every now and then and do a stare down at our screen for several minutes trying to analyze a situation or attempt to release frustration.

A better method is to schedule several breaks in between your working hours even if they are quick breaks. This not only clears your mind, it also refreshes your thinking process allowing you to get back to work in a more productive manner and being able to tackle what you were inevitably stuck on.

Say No to Interruptions

A major problem we have during our work hours is we accept a plethora of interruptions such as phone calls or from instant messages. If you are not expecting important phone calls, do not answer them and rather get back to them during a break or after work hours when the time is appropriate, this also applies to text messaging, try silencing your phone while working to avoid such distractions.

A cluttered environment also hinders your performance; thus, assure your workspace is clear from many distractions that can eat up on your time such as paperwork or electronic devices. Additionally, make sure your computer is clear of distractions, keep your Twitter, Facebook , and Skype clients off as well as your instant messenger clients unless need-be.

By turning off these distractions, you can remain focused on the work that needs to be accomplished rather on things that are supposed to be used during leisure time. If during working hours you must leave an IM client open, make sure whomever is on your contact list are people that you may need to talk to during working hours and vice versa. In other words, do not have your friends or family on this contact list, and save chatting with them after hours.

Break Your Project into Sections

As humans, we generally love to see continuous progress, but with a large project, progress seems to go by quite slowly. In order to keep yourself motivated with larger projects, try breaking down the project into small sections or parts. That way when you complete a part, you feel that you have accomplished more than you would without breaking the project down, thus, you keep your productivity rate high, while remaining motivated.

Don’t Over Do it

Accepting too many clients than what you can actually handle is common mistake made not only among designers but also among other self-employed freelancers. When you accept too many clients, you begin to dislike what you do and therefore become unmotivated toward any project you get your hands on with the additional stress for overworking yourself.

While accepting many clients may not be a choice but rather a must to keep bills paid, try to accept larger projects and fewer clients to balance out the change. This increases the enjoyment of what you do as a profession, while keeping you motivated and focused.

Client Search

Sometimes we spend far too much time searching for future clientele rather than actually working on what we currently have going on. Not only is this a distraction, but it additionally causes delays for your ongoing projects which may cause stress when you begin to run out of time. Furthermore, instead of searching for clientele on workdays that should be spent on priority projects, try setting a day out of your week specifically for finding clientele.

This not only helps you stay focused on your projects but it also helps you stay focused on searching for clientele, making it a win-win situation. Remember, time organization is a key aspect to staying focused and being on time. Without time management or organization, procrastination comes to play which causes your schedule to fall apart.

Overall, remaining focused, as a designer is quite a challenge especially if you do not work with others such as a team to keep each other motivated. While these six methods may or may not work for you, they do help by providing you ideas to create your own methods that work for you and your environment to remain focused, which is key to remaining productive.

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