Everyone is allotted the same 24 hours each day. This translates to 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. But when you work as a freelance UX designer, you can’t afford to waste any second. You’ve got to make the most of every minute.
In this post, we share tips on how to create a more efficient workflow so that you get the most out of your day. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
1. Sleep Well
It’s kind of weird to start off a productivity post by talking about sleep, but the two go hand in hand. If you don’t get an adequate amount of sleep on a consistent basis, your productivity will suffer. Constantly running on fumes will deplete you of your creativity.
You’re a creative which means that you need to give your brain a chance to renew itself. So, make it a priority to recharge every day, whether that’s with five hours of sleep or 10.
2. Make a Plan for Success the Night Before
But before you get some shut eye, make a plan for your day ahead. Write your to-do so that you don’t waste precious time in the morning plotting out your day.
Jot down between one to three must-accomplish goals for the next day. These are goals that you absolutely must accomplish or else the zombies come and eat you alive.
Also plan what you’ll eat. You may be surprised at how much time you spend just trying to figure out what to eat. If you have a plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ahead of time, you’ll shave off at least 10 minutes of debating and googling meal ideas.
3. Use a Time Tracking Tool
You’re busy all day but, by the end of the day, you have no idea what you’ve done. And you haven’t even accomplished your must-dos.
You’d benefit from using a time tracking tool. A tool like Clockify will show you what you actually do with your time. This can help you identify and destroy time wasters and boost your productivity.
4. Reduce Distractions as a Freelance UX Designer
When it’s time to work, get rid of anything that distracts you. This means:
- Turn off your phone so that you don’t see texts
- Turn off notifications on your computer
- Designate a time to check emails and social media, and don’t check until those times
- Have snacks at regular intervals (hunger is a huge distraction)
Improve your focus by eliminating the things that aren’t relevant to the task at hand.
5. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
Resist the impulse to take on too many clients. Because you work as a freelancer, it’s hard to say “no” to more money, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Eventually, you’ll burnout like a supernova and turn into a black hole of apathy and substandard work.
Instead of taking on more clients, raise your rates and save your sanity. This will also free up more time in your day.
6. Schedule a Time for Your Daily Tasks
Set up a time to do all of your business tasks. This includes a set time to check emails and social media, work on passion projects, and apply to new jobs.
Be strict with yourself and create a schedule that empowers you to do everything that you need to do. By the way, you should also include your daily must-dos on your schedule. Assign a specific time to set yourself up for success. Here’s a quick example:
9am – Breakfast, check and respond to emails
10am – Job hunt, marketing tasks
11am – Work on project
12pm – Lunch
1pm – Meet with team, check and respond to emails
2pm – Work on project
Choose a schedule that makes sense for your workload and goals, but stick with it. Consistency and knowing what you should be doing at every hour of the day are the keys to your success.
7. Take Breaks
In your schedule, make room for breaks. Not only do you need to include a proper lunch, you should also have mini-breaks throughout the day. This avoids getting hit by a creative blowout in the afternoon.
Taking breaks may not seem like they save you time, but they do improve your mental acuity and productivity. This translates to work efficiency, i.e. doing more in less time.
8. Do the Pomodoro Technique
Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a popular time management method goes like this: Work fiercely for 25 minutes on, and then take a 5 minute break. This is known as a pomodoro. Rinse and repeat three times. Then, after your fourth pomodoro, take a longer break of 30 minutes or more.
The Pomodoro Technique helps you focus your energy for short bursts of time. You’re rewarded at each interval with a short brain break. This is an efficient way to break up your day and boost your productivity.
9. Limit Revisions
When working with your clients, you’ll find that some of them are never happy. They’ll ask for revision after revision. To save your time, implement a limit of three revisions.
10. Give Yourself Deadlines
It’s easy to lose time when you’re in design mode. Don’t keep tweaking your design, in a desperate attempt to find perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist when it comes to design because you’ll always find something that you could improve. So, instead of looking for perfect, look for “good” (i.e. valuable, actionable, enjoyable, and easy).
The same can be said about a/b testing.
Assign a deadline to every process so that you don’t get lost.
11. Stop Multitasking
Multitasking is a time-suck. You may think that you’re saving time by doing multiple things at the same time, but you’re actually losing time. It’s impossible to concentrate on two things at once. Instead, what you’re doing is quickly moving from one task to the next. In the process of switching, you lose five minutes on average as your brain refocuses. Those five minutes can add up over the course of a day. Without realizing it, you could be losing hours of workable time each day.
Instead of multi-tasking, implement a block schedule where you do similar tasks at the same time. This is a more efficient way to break up your day.
Time management is a struggle for all of us, but when you’re working as a freelance UX designer, you’re the boss. Your success directly depends on your ability to get work done.
Use the above tips to manage your time and improve your efficiency.
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