5 Terrible Time-wasters All Designers Fall Prey To

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If there’s anything you probably don’t have enough of as a designer, it’s time. There’s always something to tweak, something to create from scratch, clients to call, tutorials to learn, blogs to read or personal projects to explore.

But there are always time-wasters that all designers fall prey to. Have you ever gotten sucked into one of these?

Reading design blogs

I know what you’re thinking. “Are you crazy? You’re telling us not to read your blog?”

Well, not exactly.

I’m simply suggesting that reading blogs online can be a time-waster. For every hour you spend reading or “getting inspired” ask yourself if it’s a good investment of time. Will reading this blog post offer a good return on my time investment?

As long as the answer remains “yes”, keep on reading.

Communicating with people online

Often misconstrued as “networking”, spending large blocks of your time communicating with others online is a dangerous practice and can be a huge time-waster.

As with reading design blogs, always ask yourself if chatting with people is a good investment of your time. If it will help you build your network, online presence, or design business, then it’s definitely a good idea.

If you find little advantage after hours of talking with people, responding to comments, or tweeting back and forth, you may have fallen prey to a common time-waster.

Playing games

Yes, you have to take a break for a few minutes every once and a while. But you don’t necessarily need to take up your entire work day just to beat as many levels of Angry Birds as you can.

Playing games can quickly turn from a fun thing to do into a huge time-waster that should definitely be avoided. And since designers are on their computer during a good portion of the day, it’s easy to get sucked in.

Don’t do it!

Blogging

I know what you’re going to say: What are you talking about!? You are always telling us to start a design blog or how to use a blog as a tool to promote our design business. Now you’re telling us blogging is a waste of time?

Yeah. Kinda.

If you’re blogging in order to become super popular, I personally think it could be a waste of time. If you’re blogging to drive traffic to your site, build your brand, or find potential customers, I would definitely say it’s worth your time.

Blogging to a non-existent (furthermore non-paying) audience can be a huge time-waster. Avoid it at all costs.

Fighting with clients

Just stop arguing with your clients about silly things. For that matter, stop wasting your time complaining about how dumb your clients are.

They are paying customers and deserve a little credit.

Misery loves company. And it can be easy to fall into the rut of making fun of your clients, arguing with them, writing snarky email responses, and the like.

Just don’t do it.

What’s your favorite time-waster?

That’s right. What time-waster do you just have the hardest time giving up? Where does all your time get sucked away? Think of all the things you could do with that time. Share your thoughts on all this by leaving a comment.

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About Preston D Lee

Preston is a web designer, entrepreneur, and the founder of this blog. @prestondlee

Comments

  1. The part about blogging is a lie!
    I am blogging since 2006 about elearning and interaction design and this is the most common source for my future customers.

    BTW Dear Preston, why are you writing this pseudo-business post,
    too much time?
    not enough customers?

    Why are you including links to your site, if blogging is wasting of time…

    you make me LOL

    • Dear @Piotr,
      I am always happy to receive constructive criticism here at the blog and I appreciate you taking time to leave a comment. It appears, however, that perhaps you should have taken a little more time to read the post itself – especially the portion you’re attacking.

      Let me make it a little easier for you. Here are my exact words:

      “If you’re blogging to drive traffic to your site, build your brand, or find potential customers, I would definitely say it’s worth your time.”

      If blogging works for you, keep doing it.

      Also, GDB is a blog all about running a successful business. I would suggest looking into the blog a little bit before attacking the writer or blog itself.

      Lastly, profanity isn’t tolerated here. You’ll notice I edited your distasteful comment appropriately.

      Best Regards,
      Preston

    • @Piotr,

      BE NICE

  2. My fave time-waster would be posting comments in the forum. Also games and chatting with my love one’s. I must say I have stopped my personal work cause of that.

  3. shane Drummond says:

    Its so true my biggest waster is video games man uhh
    Sd_designZ

  4. Kind of a weak list without “Being on Reddit” there. ;)

  5. Nice post and i don’t think that i have wasted my time in reading your post. Well, many of points are right but some of them are not. Actually wasting of time is totally depend on the individual, how they take it.

  6. Yep! Just starting a new advanced programming book to accompany my new major website project… nothing like a bit of learning / procrastination before starting a new job – even though I know I can do it all already!

  7. “Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted time”

  8. I remember the day when I played my first game that was with other people online.

    I was hooked! I totally agree that we can get sucked into getting easily distracted…

    I would add another point – We can seriously waste time if we do finished concepts too early. I’ve done it so many times and then I get to a point when I realise it isn’t going to work and bang! there went a couple of hours!

  9. Late to the party but I just stumbled upon this post. I would say my favorite time waster would be is trying out tutorials that you find on design/development-related blogs. Granted, it’s a great way to build your skill set but if it’s a distraction to what you’re currently working on, then it’s a time-waster for me.

  10. aaarrrggg this is soo me :D

  11. My biggest time waster so far is probably to keep tweaking things… my background is mechanical engineering, and what can I say, engineers just love to tweak things. The best advice on that one might be “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, but I have a very hard time following it!
    On a positive note, doing it makes me learn a lot of new things. Is it worth my time? Probably in most cases it is not.

  12. Surfing the web. That’s by far my biggest personal time waster. I’d include social media in there as well, but I actually have landed a few cool clients from interacting on social media. I just need to designate set “social media times” and stick to it.

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