Proper Planning And Timing For Your Graphic Design Projects
This post is an expansion of tip #38 in our post 101 Graphic Design Tips for Business Success.
Time Is The Essence
Are you one of those people who claim to work well under pressure? If you are, more than likely the reason you’re working under pressure is not because you enjoy it, but because you have put yourself in a time crunch with your projects. Whether designing for profit or competition, time is of the essence. You can lose by not delivering on time, or by losing time to utilize adequate creativity.
The cornerstone for proper timing on a project is scheduling. Obviously you need a calendar to create your schedule. Your calendar can be electronic or paper (or both). Use your calendar to mark not only completion dates, but also milestones you need to reach on your way to completion. Don’t undershoot the completion date. Give yourself a couple days of wiggle room so you can deliver on time, or better yet, early.
A To-Do List In Your Calendar
A “to-do” list is an important planning tool. But, if your to-do lists are written down on cocktail napkins or sticky notes they’re likely to end up in the trash, and you will be left racking your brain over what it is you are supposed to be getting done. Instead of listing your tasks in no particular order, try scheduling them on your calendar in order of priority. Prioritizing tasks creates a clear understanding of what you need to accomplish. If you’re using an electronic calendar system, utilize the auto-reminder features. Plan properly and your timing will be impressive.
Sometimes, last second projects can be detrimental to you and your design business, so be careful about accepting those, even if you need the money. If you choose to take on last second projects, be sure to prioritize them accordingly. Burdening yourself with too many deadlines is a sure way to add to stress, and detract from creativity.
Proper planning and timing are fundamental in the design profession; leave the all-night cram sessions to the college kids.