If you work in an industry that involves creativity, you are probably used to working at some pretty strange hours. That sort of just seems to come with the territory. But, this can end up backfiring on you when you find yourself working at all hours of the day and night, and you are not getting anything else done, or even getting enough sleep. Before this happens to you, it is a good idea to start finding ways to better manage your time. Here are some tips that can help.
Do you have any idea how many hours you spend each week checking and reading emails? This is taking up a lot of your time, unnecessarily, but you can easily do something about it. First, use the filters and folders available to help you manage your incoming messages. Then, change settings so you don’t get notifications each time you receive a message. You won’t be switching to your email every few minutes when you aren’t being notified all the time. Finally, try to set a specific time period each day to check emails, and don’t look at them at any other time unless it is extremely important.
Get a Timer
Get yourself a timer, and start timing each thing that you do in the run of a day. Give yourself specific time periods for certain jobs, such as 15 minutes or a half an hour, followed by a reward, such as a short break. Do not let anything interrupt you during this time period. Because it is a short time, it is going to be easier to concentrate on what you are doing, and over time, you will be able to do this for longer periods of time. Be sure to schedule a number of mini-breaks throughout the day so you can refresh your mind and body between tasks.
Your technology could be holding you back and slowing things down. For instance, if you are a graphic designer, you need a system that is up-to-date, with the latest design software. You can sell used laptop and use the cash to upgrade to one that has everything that you need for your work. When you are using an older system, you will spend half of your time waiting for things, and this is just a huge waste of time. An upgraded system will let you get your work done a lot faster.
Break things Down
If you have a large project and it seems like you are never going to be able to finish, break it down into smaller, mini-projects. By doing this, you will be able to accomplish tasks, which is going to make you feel better about what you are doing and you will be encouraged to move on to the next mini-project. Before you know it, the project will be completed, and you will be ready to move on to the next one. If you are working with a team, let them take on some of the mini-projects so you can be even more productive.
Figure Out Creative Shortcuts
No matter what you are working on, there are always shortcuts you can take that will save time without causing your work to suffer. For example, one thing you can do is change defaults on your software to make your work go faster. Or, you can create customized templates for daily use. The graphics stay the same, but you can change the content quickly and easily. Remember, taking shortcuts doesn’t mean you have to cut corners, and your work is not going to suffer.