For freelancer graphic designers working from home or with your own schedule, staying productive can sometimes be a challenge. We’ve all fallen into the procrastination trap a time or two, heard the call of the couch and the tv, or even gotten sidetracked with a household chore. But, for  a work-at-home freelance designer, you have to be able to stay productive to be successful. These 5 tips for freelancers will help you to stay productive, get your jobs done on time, and still have time for yourself!

1.      Don’t let yourself get burned out! Feeling overwhelmed, uncreative, or just burned out in general will destroy your productivity. Schedule some time for yourself, whether it’s weekends off, or an extended lunch break during the week, taking personal time on a regular basis will make your working time more effective.

2.      Eliminate distractions! If you’re anything like me, that familiar “ding” of a new email in your inbox puts an immediate halt to what you’re doing to go check it out. Try setting your email inbox to check for new messages less frequently. If you’re deep in an important project and need to finish on a tight deadline, consider turning the phone’s ringer off, you can always check for missed calls later, when you’re not too busy.

3.      Stay organized! Whether you’re better organized digitally or with lists and notebooks, create a system for organizing your projects and your clients to streamline the entire process. If you’re just starting out, it’s easy to keep track, but the more clients to get and projects you start, the better an already-in-place system will improve productivity. Setup a filing cabinet with tabbed folders, create templates for invoices and quotes, determine how your system will work, and stick with it!

4.      Keep yourself inspired! As a designer, not only do you have to be productive, but you also have to be creative. If you find yourself creatively stuck, productivity will take a nose dive, too. A simple Google search for design inspiration can be just what you need to get back on track. Find out what inspires you and spend a few minutes each day refueling your creative tank.

5.      Stay healthy! Take care of your body and your health, as nothing halts productivity more than an illness or injury. Get plenty of rest, fresh air, water, and movement. Remember to stretch and flex your hands and wrists throughout the day to avoid carpal tunnel. Make sure your desk and office chair are ergonomic and comfortable to avoid common desk-sitters’ injuries. And, get plenty of rest so you don’t become susceptible to germs and viruses that can knock you off track.


Got any more ideas for graphic designers to stay productive? Tell us about them in the comments!