7 productivity tips for rookie graphic designers

December 13, 2017
3 min read
3 min read

Working as a graphic designer is a pretty awesome job, but it is a job that requires a lot of self-motivation and productivity.

Most graphic designers work freelance, which means trying to please several clients and meet various deadlines at the same time. It can be difficult to focus and achieve the high productivity necessary to thrive in the job, but there are little steps you can take to improve and develop good habits.

1. Avoid distractions and social media

Everyone’s work suffers due to various distractions, but for graphic designers on strict deadlines, this is one of the biggest downfalls and can really mess up a job. Social media and mobile phones are amongst the biggest culprits, so we advise always switching off Wi-Fi on your laptop while working, and switching off your phone during a big deadline.

2. Plan your day

When you have a crazy work schedule, the best thing to do is really plan your day so that you know exactly what you need to do and in what order. This will stop you going off track, and a schedule will help you use and control your time better.

Write up a task list on your laptop the night before a busy day, and check things off as you go along. Write the to do list in order of importance and priority, and focus on one thing at a time in order to achieve better quality work and results. We aren’t all good multitaskers, and trying to do everyone at once can be overwhelming and have the opposite effects.

3. Take a break

This may sound counter-productive, but it is quite the contrary. Taking a break is the best way to refresh your mind and recharge your batteries, and taking a few quick breaks a day will help you work more quickly and more efficiently. You simply can’t sit in front of a screen all day. This is not only terrible for your health, but it is bad for productivity and creativity. Take a 15 minutes to get up, make a drink, get some fresh air and give your eyes and mind a break. You won’t regret it.

4. Tidy your desk

Maybe this seems trivial, but keeping your working space clean and tidy is super important when it comes to productivity. A tidy working area means a tidy mind. If you have stuff all over the place, you are going to get overwhelmed and you will likely struggle to concentrate. Keeping it organized and knowing where everything is helps you organize your work and thoughts better, and stops you wasting time searching for things.

5. Just doodle…on paper

Doodling is not just great practice and a good way to get your creative juices running and come up with new ideas, it is also a good way to disconnect a little and get away from the screen. Going back to the old-fashioned, good old pen and paper can be refreshing, too, and is a nice way to get back to basics. This way of disconnecting a little from the screen is great because you are doing something you enjoy and that could lead to new discoveries, and it keeps the brain active and concentrated, too.

6. Snack smart

Harvard recently published a detailed report on how eating affects your productivity, and when you are working all day in front of a computer, this is super important. While it is tempting to eat junk and easy to make food all day, this is terrible for your concentration, not to mention health. Bad foods and snacks can make you more tired and the mind fuzzy, making it different to focus properly. Make smart snack choices, and always have a healthy snack – a piece of fruit, some nuts or a natural yogurt – to hand to stop you giving in to other temptations. Check out healthy snack ideas that will keep hunger at bay and increase your productivity levels big time.

7. Use time-tracking

If you are a big procrastinator, a time-tracking app could be just what you need to get back on track and develop better habits. This is great way to become more self-aware and realize how long you are taking on each task and how you are using your day.

unsplash-logoGarrhet Sampson

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.


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