Having covered how to get yourself out there and conquer networking, and realising the benefits of attending creative talks and events, we now turn our attention to getting going with the work in question. After all, starting at something, no matter how small, is better than talking about it and wondering ‘what if.’ It’s the culmination of a lot of dreaming, wondering and planning - here are a few tips on how to get started and stay productive.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the morning
It’s worth getting ahead of everyone else. Productivity starts early, and most people are at their most productive and alert in the morning. You may have spent years as a night owl, burning the candles to finish your projects well into the early hours, but part of being productive is knowing what you've got to achieve in a given day, and making it happen.
Use those contacts you’ve made, and drop them a line
The reality is, unless you’re badgering them with hundreds of emails a day, it’s nice to hear from your peers every once in a while and nobody is going to mind if you reach out to say hello. Being productive is also about making sure you’re taking the time to talk to the right people. If you’ve made a connection that might stand the test of time and aid you in a project, start the day by sending a few emails and say hello. You never know where it might lead.
Learn how to use a diary and calendar properly
Organisation and effective timekeeping doesn’t always come naturally, but it’s important to put time into learning how to use your diary and calendar properly. It will come as a lifesaver in those moments you feel like you’re juggling a thousand and one things. Go by the mantra of ‘if it isn’t in the diary, it isn’t happening,’ and get into the habit of scheduling absolutely everything to make sure no stone is left unturned. Have a system and make it your own, it is vital that it is your own and that you understand how it works. Whether it be colour coding or list making, by learning your system and sticking to it you won’t lose valuable time by wondering what you should be doing next.
Understand the importance of time and how you can use it to your advantage
This more or less follows on from the previous point about learning how to keep an accurate and up to date diary, but expands on this more philosophically and concerns understanding the importance of time and what you can do with it. Schedule things for certain chunks in your day when you feel most productive, don't forget to take breaks, eat well and use a certain amount of time to get outdoors, exercise or otherwise switch off from your routine.
Use your network to outsource
If you have a job that needs to be completed, part of being productive is knowing how you can use your skills, and where someone else’s skills are best employed to carry out the work for you. It may sound obvious, but knowing how to outsource properly is a difficult skill to learn and means you have to be happy giving up some element of control. Sometimes, in this case, doing less means you can focus more on freeing up your time to grow your business.
Embrace new ways of doing things
There is countless tech out there claiming to aid you in productivity, but when you’re getting started, it doesn’t hurt to spend a bit of time trying new ways of doing things and different tools that will help keep you on track. This will become a life-saver when you get a number of different people on the same project, and you have already found your preferred method of keeping the channels of communication open and maintaining an idea of where people are along the process.
Remember to find inspiration
We constantly need motivation and the ability to find inspiration in things - even if it isn't necessarily anything to do with our work - to keep us focussed on goals and reasons to be productive.
We find that talking to people at creative talks about what inspires you and keeps you motivated is a great way to promote productivity. When starting out on your own, and going your own way in business, it's really important to keep productive, motivated and find ways to share your enthusiasm and passion.
Our thread Bristol creative talks will deal with these issues in a casual environment, where people are free to chat over a drink and listen to speakers share their knowledge on a certain theme. For more information on future events, sign up to the mailing list or visit Fiacso Design.