10 factors affecting the efficiency and productivity of laborLong time engaged in a fairly uniform and similar design operations, I have deduced for myself some conditions under which the quality of work increases significantly. In principle, there is nothing difficult, you just have to listen to your feelings and note those things that bring you the most benefit. Moreover, there is no universal advice, and some things are strictly individual, such as a preferred time of day to work or the presence of a deadline. But some steps can certainly help you organize your work more effectively, such as making a plan or having the workpieces. But first things first.

1. Time of day to work

It is very important for me to get all the important stuff done in the first half of the day. In the morning, I prefer to do simple things, to warm up, so to speak. And the time closer to lunch time I devote to solving more responsible and complex tasks that require concentration. And in the afternoons I do very simple things, turning smoothly into a rest. I find that knowing and following my own biorhythms helps me to manage my time as effectively as possible. 

2. Having a work plan

In general, I almost always make a plan for the day. It both disciplines and mobilizes. And it is not even a plan, but a list of urgent affairs of varying degrees of importance. As I do it, I’m happy to cross off each point I’ve made. And I have long been not upset when not all of the planned for the day turns out to be implemented. Then those tasks flow over to the next day. 

3. Occasional rest

For a long time I noticed one peculiarity: if you do the same kind of work for a long time, for example, in Photoshop, then at some point the speed and quality drops dramatically. That’s why it’s very important for me to take small breaks to rest after I’ve finished a certain logical stage of work. The main thing for a few minutes to switch my attention to something else, and then it all starts working again. 

4. Presence of blanks

By blanks I mean the presence of various ready-made design elements, individual blocks, basic structures. During the designer accumulates a certain arsenal of work, some parts of which can be painlessly copied and altered, depending on the specific design. This saves considerable time. 

5. Designer’s collection

Surely every designer has his own collection of all sorts of cliparts, brushes, fonts, textures, mockups, icons. It is also very important that this collection does not grow to unimaginable size when it becomes difficult to find anything. So periodically you should make an effort to put things in order, and mercilessly remove obsolete items. 

6. Sites for inspiration

It also always helps me to have a few links to sites where you can see samples of the best designs, as well as get inspired. So before I start a new job, I often go to sites and look at what techniques and design elements to try to implement. There is bound to be a spark and some creative ideas emerge, and this is always a very good stimulus for work. 

7. State of Health

Years of experience as a designer tells me that if you do not feel good, tired or want to sleep, then do not even try to do something sensible, still nothing good will come out. So it is better not to torture yourself, and effectively spend time on eliminating the painful symptoms or fatigue. And then, with a clear head, you can quickly catch up. 

8. Lack of deadlines

I think for many people this point will be controversial. Myself I remember how in college the most effectively memorized the material is the night before exams, when there is no place to retreat. But now, working as a designer, for me this method is no longer suitable. Because made in this way the design will be formal, ill-conceived and actually made in haste. The percentage of creativity in such work will be minimal, and this is not good. 

9. The use of technology

It’s very important to understand the sequence of your actions when creating the next order. So, first I will make a rough sketch, then I will consistently bring it to mind, then I’ll deal with details, then I’ll make a layout, and then I’ll test it. The more hands-on skills, the less time and effort will be spent on each stage. And in the end the whole process will be like a fine-tuned mechanism that works without fail. 

10. Payment after the job is delivered

With many repeat customers I deliberately use the payment after submission scheme. Personally I get prepayment relaxes me and puts me to sleep. But the incentive in the form of payment after the fact keeps me energized and mobilized. Although, at the expense of this point I’m not going to argue, then everyone chooses how he feels more comfortable. Moreover, the prepayment also has a certain insurance function.