No matter if you are still in university or you already stated working in the industry of design this article is for you. When thinking about design, users, deadlines and tests to not even mention marketing related issues and project management is easy to end up being a zombie and with none of the tasks completely done in line with the requirements. That’s why at some point you may ask yourself what is it which you could do to get more work done in shorter time span or how to assembly your work year. That’s exactly what we will discuss today, some of the tips which I will share with you will be more easy to follow and implement and some more complex, at the end of the day is still up to you if you will take advantage of the tips from this article.
Just work more, if you want more work done.
That’s right in the first place you simply can’t get more work done without working over program, during the night or in any environment possible. At some level if your project have emotional meaning to you and you really want that it will be a success, the chances are that you will end up working over schedule. But for the ones less motivated among us or the ones with some “Client from hell” is important to just keep your focus up and if the project is important to you well then just work more for it, if is not productive for you under any form then I advise you to just step down and seek somewhere else.
Is important in such cases to ask yourself the following:
• Is this project worth my time?
• Is this project teaching me something new?
• Is this project wining me some money?
• Is this project vital for my career?
• Is this project my only source of income?
Only after you answered to this questions you will be free to go and seek any other project. Think before acting, take a minute think about yourself and what you want from your job and if you don’t find yourself in this project that you are doing that means that most probably is not for you.
Stop making excuses that you don’t manage to get work done, just accept that you are behind and start working hard to catch up and deliver.
To get more work done you must know yourself better, you must study your habits, you must figure out in which part of the day you are the most productive and take advantage of this. Maybe you are spending a lot of time on Facebook instead of working, is really up to you to study yourself. After you will find out when you are really productive, adapt you schedule to yourself and work, just close your browser and just work, after two hours you can just take 2-3 minutes break and then do another 2 hours sprint. I guarantee that if you are organized and you stick to this is simply impossible that you will not manage to make progress.
Another easy trick is if you have a dedicated machine for work then you can configure your browser to not let you access some websites on that machine, that way you will be prevented to fall into “sins” again.
Turn your personal phone on silent or even better close it as long as you are working. Let your coworkers know what you are going to do next, so you will not be disturbed. Turn off your e-mail so you will not get notifications on laptop and end up reading some stupid article about “How to assembly some Ikea table”. All this things summed up together will help you focus better on your tasks. Is not enough to just do this in one day, but to repeat the process until your brain creates this pattern and it adapts his power to your schedule. If this process becomes your habit you will really manage to leverage your mental power in your advantage and become productive. When you will reach the end point of this process you will simply have so much focus that you will have the power to manage so many tasks in the same time that will simply impress your colleagues and your boss of your transformation.
Build your own to-do list.
You don’t know with what to start? Chances are that you have a lot of things to do but you do know exactly what. The to-do list helps you do exactly that, figure out your priorities list them, schedule them, and bam suddenly everything is more clear and calm. You remember some task that you had to do and you forgot to put it on the list then just go ahead add it now, if you forgot of it in the first places what will stop you to forget it again. I recommend Wunderlist, since is supporting all the platforms and is basically the best at what it does.
Be prompt with the tasks, make them short and understandable, it will help you become your own boss and manage your own work, and believe me it is something to be called “Task Crusher” by your colleagues. A good task management helps you to be in time for your deadlines, it provides you credibility in your work and it proves that you are a reliable and professional person. A good friend of mine always kept to say “Don’t be stuck in delays, be ahead of them!” In general I do my to-do list in the afternoon for the next day, that way next day I know already what I have to do. Sometimes is even better to plan ahead 2-3 days your tasks but these are just my methods, for you these may or may not work but is important to think also that it takes time and focus to write them, so keep that in mind. If you are a more experienced tasks maniac then you can build the whole work year plan if you feel like you can take on this challenge.
One of the most important rules is to ask for help if is needed.
Never be a “one man team”, if you can’t manage to get ahead of your tasks it may very well be because they are too many. If you identify that this is the case then don’t hesitate to talk with your teammates and split some work or get some help for some tasks. This will save time and also improve your team player skills. It offers you sometimes a shortcut for your work but keep in mind to not take advantage of this because of some random reasons. You can’t simply ask some random colleague for help, you have to think which one of them is more likely to help and if they have any particular skill in that specific task, if you do that and choose wisely then it will always be a win-win situation.
Get away from the computer to dominate this work year.
That’s right as long as you finished your work schedule, get away from your computer, deal with your life, take care of your kids, talk with your parents, go on a date all of them whatever works for you but just live a little. This improves your mood and helps you recharge your batteries. This should be your everyday objective, work hard, take care of your life, be proud of what you are doing and improve your skills.