Keeping a deadline is not only easier said than done, it takes preparation. This isn’t due to lack of effort, or anything. Largely, it just has to do with the fact that we spend so much time perfecting our designs and too little time remembering to stick to the deadline. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t change: In fact, if you’re in a similar boat and want some pointers, you’ve absolutely come to the right place. We’ve got our best tips on how to better manage your time lined up and ready to roll below.

  1. Give Your Clients Frequent Updates: When dealing with deadlines, there’s a level of accountability that needs to be kept. The best way for you to do this—outside of a firm work environment—is to keep your clients updated with the status of the project itself. Send them regular emails detailing how the process is coming along, including as many photographs as you possibly can. If you don’t feel like the design is good enough yet to send along for review, then that means you should work harder and faster to get to that point. In this way, by using the client, you can easily keep yourself on track and apply that much needed pressure to your work ethic.
  2. Work on the Clock: We tend to be paid for our work in lump sum before and after the project is completed. This means that we have a set deadline for when the work should be completed, but we don’t have the added pressure of needing to work quickly while on the clock. Where possible, try to keep a stopwatch on hand to measure your progress. This is a quick and easy way for you to keep a solid tab on how much time you’ve spent working. If you end up spending more time on a project than you’ve been paid for, then you know that you’re not working efficiently enough.
  3. Use Breaks: Another great way to stay on task is to use breaks. Tell yourself that you’ll finish this part, and then you’ll take a food break. That’s a good rewards based system that will ensure you’re staying task oriented, and are actively striving to quickly finish a design project. And really, that speed is what it’s all about!