January is that time of the year when everyone is filled with optimism and new energy, and it’s also the perfect opportunity to get organised! In 2017 I spent a lot of time refining my processes and studio workflow, and there’s a few things that really helped me to pace my clients and myself along the journey. If staying on schedule is your kryptonite (like the rest of us), then these are my top tips for getting stuff done in 2018, on time.
1. Contracts and boundaries
If you still don’t have a proper contract, then don’t delay any further! Dedicate a full day to thinking and researching every single thing that you would like to communicate to your clients before a project starts. Also think about how you would like to handle communication with your clients, to make sure that you keep your work and personal time separate. Set the rules that you need in order to run an organised business.
2. Set realistic deadlines and block out a certain amount of time per project
Pre-booking and scheduling projects ahead of time really changed my business. Many designers, especially those that are just starting out, feel like they need to work on 10 projects at the same time to keep everyone happy and pay the bills. This is simply NOT sustainable, and you WILL burn out and drop the ball at some point. Set your prices according to how much time you intend to spend on something, and stick to it. Work and charge like a professional, so people won’t take advantage of your time. Make it clear to yourself and your clients that a project has a specific end date, and that certain phases has to be completed by specific dates. This makes you look and feel like you’re in control, and will also motivate and excite your clients to play their part.
3. Routine and Rest
I found that introducing a new routine into my week really helped me to find structure and I could get a lot more done on a weekly basis. To rest is just as important as work, and I learned that the hard way. I find that my creativity fades and my mood darkens when I don’t take the time for self-nurture and rest. So, make rest a resolution in 2018, and prioritise the time you take to recharge and get inspired.
I’ve designed this nifty 2018 weekly planner to help you out!
This is exactly the tool that I use myself to get organised. I always start by blocking out time for myself first, like yoga and a proper lunch break. I then move on to slotting my daily admin or marketing responsibilities in, followed by client time.
Hope this helps, and let me know how you go!