A designer’s life nowadays is very hectic. We have to keep up with our clients, our finances, our personal life, our professional life, and generally anything on the internet. Our minds are constantly racing while we try to multi-task everything at once.
However, keeping track of all of that will get in the way of the most important part of being a designer, designing. If you’re checking Facebook and your emails all the time, where can you fit in design? If you have a big design project coming up, how can you fit all of that in a schedule? Unfortunately, you can’t. If you want to successfully design for that big project, use this tips below to minimize distractions and get more done.
Close Out of Unnecessary Programs
When you’re designing, only what is vital to your design process should be open on your computer. The design program and your client’s information should be the only things open. A good rule of thumb is to close any of the following:
- Desktop email clients – When designing, you don’t need to keep track of your email. Taking the time to close your email client will prevent an email from distracting you and disrupting your process.
- Internet browsers – During the design process, you shouldn’t be surfing the internet unless you are using it to look up something for the design. Otherwise, the temptation to surf your favorite websites will lurk in the back of your mind and become another distraction.
- Instant messengers – Nothing is a bigger distraction than receiving instant messages from people while you’re working. The constant notification of somebody talking to you can disrupt your work and give you a reason to procrastinate. Prevent this from happening and turn off all instant messengers.
No Social Media
Social media is very important for designers to have. We use it to market our services, keep updated on our industry, and to see what our friends are dong. However, the constant need to do all of that will disrupt your work.
- Don’t check any of them – Generally when designers check their social media accounts, they check all of them in one browser. With all the different social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. they can become a hassle. Close out of the browser you have them in and don’t check them while designing.
- Shut off social media applications – Some designers also have desktop applications to manage their social media pages without using a browser. While these tools are immensely helpful, they are not while you’re designing. Turn off their notifications and shut them off to minimize disruptions from your work.
Avoid Your Phone
Having a designated cell phone or landline for your clients is great for your business. It gives a client an easy option to contact you whenever they need you. Nonetheless, this will pose a problem when you are working. Clients constantly calling you while you’re working on that big project will be a major distraction.
- Leave it at home – If you can, the best way to avoid your phone is to leave the house and leave it there. Bring your work to a quiet place and don’t bring along your phone. Being disconnected from your phone will leave you less prone to distractions.
- Set hours where nobody can call you – Email your current clients and tell them you are not available between certain set hours of the day. As an alternative, you can just not pick up the phone between those set hours. If you allow yourself at least three hours of unavailable calling time, that’s three hours of work you can get done undistracted.
- Keep it on silent – If you absolutely must keep your phone nearby, consider putting it on silent mode. If you put your phone on silent, you will still receive notifications, but they will be less distracting. However, it may still give you the urge to constantly check what you missed, so putting it away from you can counteract this effect.
- Avoid mobile applications – Smart phones are immensely popular for everybody including designers. The variety of mobile applications can be a huge distraction though. If you need your phone on for certain reasons, but find yourself addicted to Angry Birds, turn off notifications for those applications and remove them from the desktop.
How do you avoid distractions?
What tips do you use to minimize your distractions? Do you use any of these tips? Have you seen better results when you have fewer distractions? Discuss in the comment section and share your tips with fellow designers.
-photo by rishibando