I’ve not written a blog in a while, and I think because of Youtube I felt as though I didn’t need to, but I’ve just rekindled my desire to write a weekly blog about my work to help anybody else that might be interested.
By rekindled I mean - I’m going to commit to a blog post per week, to talk about anything to do with my work that I wouldn’t have on my Youtube channel, so today I thought I would talk about something that all freelancers need to master to generate enough income: Productivity. If you’re reading this and you’re not a freelancer or a designer; don't’ worry this blog will be just as helpful to you as it would be to someone who works in the field of work!
What Is Productivity?
Productivity is your work rate, your efficiency when working, your yield. All these things determine a lot about your work and whether clients will work with you or become loyal to you as a freelancer. Productivity is important to your business or career because it’s about doing more with the time you have. When I first started my design career productivity never seemed to be much of an issue, I generally thought that when a client wants a logo designed, they are going to want just a good logo - no matter how long it takes. How wrong I was.
Productivity = Opportunties
Productivity isn’t just about doing the job in the most efficient way possible for the client’s sake. It’s about having an understanding of the clients own time that you’re taking. I’ve worked with clients who were amazed at the turnaround times of the work. What this means to the client is that you’re not wasting your time when working and you know what you’re doing so trust can be built.
The only issue I can for see for some early freelancers is they either spend too long on a project or too little. If you spend too long, the client will get frustrated and you as the designer will get bored and loose interest of the work you’re doing. If you spend too little time on a project, you’ll be having a client that will think you’re not spending enough time on the project and they won’t be satisfied with the end result, thinking they could’ve got more with the time that should have been spent on the project.
The more productive you are, the more valuable your time is.
In my line of work, time is an obvious huge factor. Being able to manage and organise your time is key to making sure the work that you’re doing is:
1. Finished by the deadline
2. Communicated to the client well
3. To do whatever you’re doing the best you can do
To get more productive in your work, you need to organise your time well and have a schedule. This is a personal challenge to me because I’ve never been the best in organising my time, but it has gotten easier since using my mobile phone to organise my time. If you don’t have a schedule or planner of what you’re going to be doing or how long you’re going to be working on a project for, then you’ll easily allow very important things in your life to slip through the cracks. When I started work, I didn’t have a formal planner or someone to organise my working days, so I just decided what I was going to do on that specific day. Whether it was client work or portfolio work or Youtube. This decreased my potential productivity because I wasn’t restricted to a deadline, I didn’t feel the pressure, and I did set a goal.
Short story long: If you want to be more productive, write down everything that you need to do in that working week, then go and organise each of the things you need to do (things that will demand your time) within that specific week. If you really wanted to take it to the next level, you could even give yourself time scales and deadlines. This process worked amazingly well with my working life. There is so many things that demand my time, in work and out of work So spending time on planning what I was going to do in the working week gave me clarity, and a vision of what I was going to achieve.
When making a weekly working plan, I realised that it was going to be hard to take on as many projects as I was taking on because of all the other commitments I have in my life. So my time became more valuable. I decided that I was going to raise my prices for client work, not so that potential clients wouldn’t work for me, but because my time was getting increasingly more valuable.
My conclusion to this: Organise, plan and schedule to get the most out of yourself when working. Add more value to your time through some of the principles that I laid out.
I hope this blog post has helped. I’m not the most amazing writer and I’m nervous to be showing this post for such a large audience. But I hope everything I have written can be understood with clarity!