As professionals in an ever-evolving industry, we always find ourselves searching for new techniques and ways that can help us improve our day-to-day lifestyle ranging from the way we find new clientele to the way we work.
This is why we’re going to cover several techniques that’ll help you improve your design lifestyle. Let’s get started!
It’s quite surprising to find how many web designers do not actually use tools at all to help them out with their day-to-day design life. In fact, many designers end up spending more time working on such things as searching for new clientele or getting paid that they end up spending less time actually getting design work done, which is no doubt, the best part of being a designer (I presume). Fresh Bread Creative is the leading online business name generator.
Having the key words “saving time” in your sights should lead to you conducing some research on great tools that can help eliminate huge tasks out of your day, or at least help reduce the time spent on them.
For example, most of us (especially if you’re starting out) spend a lot of time searching for new clientele manually by heading to our favorite job boards and entering custom searches. Instead of constantly performing this manual labor, you can help reduce the time spent on the task by using simple rss feeds that send you job listings according to what you may want.
A great example of this would be AuthenticJobs. Try entering some keywords in the search field and hitting ‘subscribe‘:
This not only helps narrow down the “hunt”, but it helps in contacting each job offer individually, and brings them directly to you without the hassle of starting your search all over again every time. Using tools of this caliber seem like common sense, however, it’s mostly overlooked.
Keep Consistent Icon Packs on File
This is somewhat of a given for many designers, but often times we might download an icon pack for individual projects, and in an attempt to save space we immediately trash them thinking they’ll “always” be there for the grab. Unfortunately, this isn’t always true and we end up losing a valuable resource. You wouldn’t trash graphic files that you’ve purchased, right? Why not keep the free ones you’ve downloaded, too?
This is why storing your favorite sets of icons or digital graphics can help improve productivity. Especially if you like to reuse icons/graphics for certain projects. You can set up an area on your computer where they will be organized and filed for future usage.
Set Fixed Working Hours
Many of us got out of the “corporate world” filled with work politics and endless rules to become freelance professionals that can alas enjoy the freedom you work so hard for. Therefore, asking of you to consider setting fixed work hours may be a bit too hard for you to endure, however, it can definitely improve your day-to-day life, increase the amount of work you get done, and you’ll be more disciplined and organized.
If you’ve never wanted to try, go ahead and give it a chance. Rather than being all over the place trying to get your ducks in a row, conjure up a hefty work schedule which you believe you can abide by, it’ll change your life. Im not insinuating for you to begin to work 9-5 on an everyday basis, but to only set a schedule of whatever hours whether you’re a morning person or not that will be the best fit for you.
Learn How to Code HTML and CSS
The design industry continues to expand at an uncontrollable rate. Which means, designers need to keep up with demand to keep up with the game. As we continue to expand, designers need to become more competitive and less dependent on HTML/CSS developers. You will not only design better, but you will know how your design will interact on the web.
This does not exclude developers at all. Why limit yourself with web development when you can increase your knowledge base by “ten fold” and learn design techniques? You will not only have the ability to work on diverse projects, but you will seldom need to hire a design guru to put a face with your code.
Keep Up with New Trending Styles and Techniques
Playing the game of catch-up can definitely put a toll on your career and lifestyle, especially if a major percentage of available jobs want design work according to current trends and techniques you may be unfamiliar with.
This is why being able to keep up with new trends and techniques is definitely a step you need to take in order to further your career. It’s not as hard as you may think, it can be as simple as subscribing to a design blog’s feed and reading tutorials.
Devise a Basic Structure
A good chunk of the projects you may receive might not always need advanced details or a completely customized design. Thus you can create a basic structure for such projects allowing you to cut back on the overall amount of time spent.
Your basic structure could even be an already construed HTML/PHP or CSS file that would require minimum tweaking for each project, sort of like a framework. This not only helps you cut back on a lot of time from recreating the basic structure every time you need it, but it also allows you to free-up valuable time which can be spent looking for new clientele.
Always Have a Backup Plan
At the highlight of your career, it may be hard to foresee a drought. However, I must encourage you to always have some type of backup plan that can be implemented in due case hard times begin to reign.
When things aren’t going well and bills start to pile up, we can become a bit desperate in order to gain new clientele. And the harder it becomes to find new clientele/work, the greater the toll this takes mentally and physically. So why not have a plan in place that will allow you to make it through the slow months?
A backup plan doesn’t have to be exact, it can be anything from creating design templates to be sold on various marketplaces, to offering a new variety of services within your arsenal. The most important thing thing to consider is how well will you be able to stay afloat when things might not turn out the way you’ve expected them to.
Your Turn To Talk
What have we missed? Please take a minute to chime in and leave a comment below! We’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.