Here’s some valuable advice to help make you a more productive graphic or web designer. Stop wasting time on time management.
I’ve been in the graphic design space for over 30 years. I’ve been running my own home-based design business since 2005. And I’ve been publishing the Resourceful Designer podcast since 2015. In all that time, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many designers. Be it graphic designers, web designers, UI and UX Designers. I’ve spoken with generalists and specialists, such as those focusing on specific niches. I’ve talked to design strategists, consultants, directors, and even design influencers.
Two answers come out on top whenever asked what their biggest struggle is. Finding new clients. And Time Management. It’s that latter one I want to talk to you about today.
According to dictionary.com, time management is the analysis of how working hours are spent and the prioritization of tasks to maximize personal efficiency in the workplace.
Sounds simple enough. You analyze how you spend your time and then prioritize what you need to do to maximize efficiency.
But if time management is that simple, why do so many people struggle with it? I mean, if time management were so easy, there wouldn’t be thousands of different “solutions” addressing it.
A search on Amazon returns over 70,000 books covering the subject. YouTube has over half a million videos on Time Management. And Google has over 80 million search results.
Time Management is such a popular topic because EVERYONE has problems with it.
Let me share a revelation with you today. Time is impossible to manage. Contrary to confusing movies such as Tenet. Time moves in one direction at a steady pace. So you’re not trying to manage time. You’re trying to manage how you go about your day while time continues at its own pace, totally ignorant of your plight.
If you’re looking at your fellow designers and thinking, “They seem so organized. I don’t know how they do it.” I’ll let you in on a little secret. They’re thinking the same thing about you.
Everybody wants tips, tricks and techniques to be able to get more things done. To do things faster, to be more productive, more efficient and to work better. But the truth is that stressing over these things makes you slower, less productive, and less efficient and impedes your work.
In my opinion, the only people who succeed with Time Management, and I don’t mean succeed AT time management, but WITH time management, are those with something to gain from it, which means the authors of all those books on Amazon. The creators of those YouTube videos. And the writers of all the articles found through Google.
It’s what they say. If you want to make money, find a solution to a widespread problem. That’s what these people are doing—offering a solution in order to make money. But are they addressing the problem? I doubt it. Because if they did, then time management wouldn’t be such a prevalent issue.
And you know what? I guarantee you that the people who created these time management assets still struggle with time management. It’s inevitable. Why is that? It’s because of this little thing called LIFE. I’m sure you’ve experienced it.
It’s like the military saying, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” Similarly, no time management plan can survive contact with life.
You can have the best laid-out plan. You have everything organized and scheduled down to the millisecond. And it all goes out the window when “life” happens.
Life has a way of interfering with your best plans. So you just have to learn to live with it.
So far, I’ve been pretty bleak. I haven’t been very helpful if you started reading this because you’re struggling with time management and were hoping for a solution. So let me talk a little bit about your options.
First, there is no one solution to getting the most out of your time. Again, if there were, then time management wouldn’t be an issue for most people.
Every individual is different. And that includes you. You learn differently. You process information differently. You go about co
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