Becoming a graphic designer, one of the hardest things you learn is that time (believe it or not) really is money. When creating a design, there are no set objectives to meet between the initial construction and finalization of the product. In between, the amount of time you spend creating the design directly corresponds to the value of our work. In other words, if you aren’t working hard to stay efficient in your designing, you may find yourself working overtime for the rates you’ve set. With that in mind, there are steps you can take to improve the efficiency and overall quality of your work—without losing time. How does one do this?

1.    Leave Facebook Alone: The absolute best thing you can do for your design business (and, in our humble opinion, your personal life) is to delete your Facebook account. Just kidding..but seriously, where you can, limit the amount of time you spend on social networking sites like Facebook. These are time sinkholes, and if you aren’t careful to limit yourself, you’ll quickly find social media snapping up valuable design hours. If you must troll the Internet for a quick break, look at design sites instead, searching for inspiration.
2.    Time Clock Yourself: This is an extremely overlooked method, but if you’re at all concerned about the amount of time you spend designing, you should use a stopwatch to measure the time exactly. If you can, pretend like you’re clocking in. Start the watch when you start the design, and then go until you take a break or finish the project. Want to take a lunch? Clock out, and then start it again when you come back. In this way, you can get a first-hand look at how much time you’ve been working, as well as how much time the design actually cost you.
3.    Look it Up: Not sure how to create an element within Illustrator or Photoshop? We’ve been there. In this scenario, you could spend hours looking for the right tool on your own. But take our advice, and don’t do it. Google can save you a heck of a lot of time, especially if you use it as a first-responder.