Guest post by Jessica Gust
How to get more out of your workdays.
One of the biggest perks to being a web designer is the ability to work from home on your own schedule. But it can also be an obstacle in that your productivity may go down without traditional boundaries to keep you on track. But there are steps you can take to turn your productivity up a notch. In doing so, you may even find time to get more tasks done, spend more time with your family, or take on more clients. Here are a few changes you can make today:
1. Start with your space
No matter what industry you’re in, whether you work from home or an office, a space that is conducive to productivity is a must. Even small changes can make all the difference. Begin with improving the lighting, drawing in more natural light or alternatives to harsh fluorescent overheads. Then adjust your ergonomics. Invest in a chair that benefits your posture, and make sure that your computer screen is at the right height and distance. Tackle any clutter that has accumulated in your space to avoid getting drawn into other projects.
2. Embrace offline mode
For designers working in programs that don’t rely on an Internet connection, consider unplugging for a while. You will eliminate all those distractions from social media to push notifications to email. If you anticipate needing certain webpages to help you do your work, open and load them first, then either leave your browser open or save the pages to your computer for later reference.
3. Master keyboard shortcuts
It may not seem like you’ll be saving much time, but trust me, you will. Each time you switch to using your mouse with superfluous clicking adds up. Luckily many design programs understand the value of keyboard shortcuts, so you can quickly get basic functions out of the way. And many of them you may already know, as they borrow from more generalized shortcuts. So they’re easy to learn and can help you work much faster.
4. Get your team on the same page
For web designers working with a full team, organization and communication are an integral part of any job. This is where a number of tools come in handy. The first is a central file storage platform. This will allow your team to work with one version of a given file at any time, preventing work from being done multiple times for no reason. It will also help to organize the files. On the communication side of things, consider taking some elements out of email. Use a messenger service or social media for items that don’t belong in full-scale meetings or emails. Just be sure to integrate information into your notes as needed.
5. Schedule a buffer
When it comes to web design, your clients and their schedules aren’t always predictable. For this reason, it can be a bit of a risk to pack your schedule, leaving little room to accommodate design emergencies or fast-approaching deadlines. Instead of getting caught in such a scenario, schedule ‘free time’ each day to stay on top of your workload while being able to remain responsive to clients’ needs.
Missing from this list, though slightly more obvious and less difficult, is to just get it done. It can really be as simple as that. Considering that you’ve already thought about the task, developed a plan to see it through, and know it’s a priority, there’s no reason not to do it now. With a little extra will power, you can get through that ‘to do’ list.
Jessica Gust is a Marketing Assistant at Localpeek.co.uk – a new post code finder. She is passionate about new marketing strategies, she is always eager to share her ideas through blogging.