When working for a project, you don’t just finish it anytime you want. There is always a deadline for every project since clients will need it for their own transactions. Hence, it is not enough that a graphic designer and freelancer will merely focus on the quality if their designs. It is also important that you are time conscious. See to it that while you working, you could manage your time well. This is part of being a good graphic designer.
Since we are talking about hitting deadlines here, we have provided some tips for you on how you can reach your deadline. There are times that clients and designers have misunderstandings due to this matter. That is why, it is important that both parties are helping each other to complete projects. If there are instances that you are really unable to reach a due date, you can speak with your client if he can consider it. But it would always be good if you finish on time all the time. So, to help you do that, here are some tips for you.
1. Have self discipline.
This is very much important. Without self-discipline, you will not be able to finish anything before the deadline. Self discipline will make you follow your schedule of tasks, do your work according to what you have planned and of course finish them on time. All the other things will be worthless if you do not know how to discipline yourself. Establish a mindset to reach your goal of finishing the project even before the deadline
2. Know the design process clearly.
It would be crazy to think that you do not know what you are actually doing. So, even before you speak to a client or apply for design jobs, you have to know what certain processes you need to take to complete a project. Don’t be taking jobs when you are totally unaware of what to do. Every designer has their own design processes but these are actually similar to each other. You can try to look at our Guide in Making Your Own Design Process so you can have an idea.
3. Have a clear talk with client.
It is important that you have discussed with your client clearly on what he needs for the project. Doing this will set you on the right direction for the project. This can help you reach the deadline since there will be lesser revisions. Also, clarify that to your client that there will be limited revisions for the project. Hence, the client has to do his part in feeding you with the right information and data that you need for the project to do away with many revisions and corrections which can cause delays.
4. Have a list of projects and their deadlines.
This would be very important especially if there are lots of projects. Create a list of your own or you have a calendar on your work area where you can mark the deadlines. Doing this can help you look at the dates every now and then, reminding you of what certain projects you need to do and when to finish them. Create a separate list of tasks aside from you lists of projects and due dates. This can help you finish on the deadline.
5. Be aware of deadlines.
Make it a habit to be aware of deadlines. No matter what you do if you do not give attention to your due dates, it would still be worthless. Be sure that you know the exact date of these due dates. Some designers forget about it especially if they have so much work to do. Post your due dates so that you will not forget it or you can even write a date earlier than the due date. Some people do that in order to finish projects even before the deadline.
6. Set priorities.
Since you will have a list of the tasks to do, you have to see to it that you will prioritize certain tasks. This means that you have to finish a task first before you proceed to the next one. This way, you will be able to do one task efficiently. First things first. If you skip tasks, then there is a possibility that something wrong will be seen in the output because you did not religiously follow the design process.
7. Schedule each step.
After determining the steps you need to do, create a schedule on valuable steps to undertake. Like how many minutes or hours you will allocate for a certain task. This way, you will be able to finish it on time since you have already computed how long you can work on the project. This would be very helpful for you. But of course, you have to see to it that you will follow your schedule.
8. Do not over commit.
When you have a client, be sure to be honest on how long you can finish the project. Over committing will cause trouble since you will be giving the client a certain date but you cannot actually finish it on time. So, see to it that you will also give yourself an allowance for the day of submitting the complete project. The deadline has to be realistic which means that it is achievable for the kind of task you have
9. Work overtime.
If the project needs to be urgently finished, you have to work over time. See to it that you will still be effective even if you stay up late. If you think that your output will no longer look good if you work over time, then you can just sleep early and wake up earlier than usual to do the work. Determine where you are most effective when it comes to working time. Don’t worry; you wouldn't be doing this all the time.
10. Try multi-tasking.
If you are good at multi-tasking, then do it. Not all people are good at it but there are some who have perfected their multi-tasking skills. It can actually give them benefits by being productive. But if you think you cannot work well by multi-tasking, then do not do it because it might just result to having many mistakes with your work. You might end-up having many corrections and revisions which can only consume a lot of time for the project to finish.
It's Your Turn Now
The quality of one’s design would be futile if it cannot be finished on time. Clients need their designs for important transactions and they also have their own schedules. Do not be the stumbling block for your clients, ruining their schedules due to your late designs. You should be helping your clients instead of being the cause of their failure. So, make sure that you will submit completed projects on or before the due date. As a designer, what do you do to hit deadlines? Are there other tips that you can add to the list above?