Month: March 2016

Designer Tips – Going to Freelance from Full-Time

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Have you been one of those designers who still can’t decide if you should invest your time  using your skills to help different businesses of all sorts? Here I will talk about the pros and cons of working as a freelancer coming from an in-house position.

Work on your own terms

Pro: One of the biggest reasons why people turn to freelancing is the fact that they can work on their own terms. People can decide when to work, where to work, how they should carry out the project and when to take their days off. Not needing to report to a boss and commuting will also allow you as designer more free time throughout the day.
Con: Because there isn’t a boss wanting you to report, working on your own terms can be more difficult than it sounds. Wanting to get out of bed early in the winter morning seems unlikely. A designer must have established self discipline to effectively be able to work alone.

Pay

Pro: Money will be traveling into less channels which means you will reap more of it. Unlike working full time in a company, your pay will not be capped based on what someone else thinks your worth but will receive more pay based on how much value you bring to other companies. You will decide your salary.
Con: Money you will earn will be based solely how much work you get. How many clients will help decide what your absolute income is and depending on how you manage your freelancing career, it can be unreliable at times.

Daily Tasks

Pro: As a freelancer, you will be working with many businesses in possibly different industries. No two projects will be the same. Because you are running your project. You will be wearing many hats.
Con: Depending on the type of person you are this may or may not be a big deal but a lot of designers going into freelancing don’t realize this until things get hard. You are running a business. That means you are going to want to learn how to do things that designers don’t enjoy learning, such as marketing, accounting, etc.

Advancement

Pro: Being exposed to a variety of businesses and in control of your career, you will be gaining a lot more knowledge than you will in a 9-5 position. This means you will have the skills to do more than you normally would.
Con: Depending on where you would search, if you decide to work in-house again, it may be a bit difficult. Employers who have seen that you have done freelancing for however long  probably won’t care as much than if you were working in-house. Employers like to see that you’ve worked for someone and held a job. Again, that all depends on where you’ve searched and your role while freelancing.

Scheduling

Pro: You are working on your own terms. You can decide when to take vacations and days off without the fear of someone rejecting your request.
Con: Prepare to work long days unexpectedly at times. Even though you can decide your hours, often times clients will assume you are working on weird hours (like 2 am). That being said, this is your personal brand on the line. If you have dedicated a certain amount of hours on a project, make sure you are working those hours at the very least.
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Designer Tips – Improving Your Productivity

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Are you finding yourself constantly low on time with a lot of work that you need to do? Here are some tips to help you produce results throughout your day.

1. Map out your agenda the day before.

It’s always a good idea to plan out your work day the day before. It will allow you to effectively  figure out what needs to be done and when with out stressing out and working on the fly, When you have your day planned out before you go to bed, you will be able to think and sleep  about your upcoming work day which will help you carry out that day more efficiently and smoothly.

2. Start your day by doing the hardest task first.

Starting your day by doing the hardest thing first will help you accomplish other things that are on your to-do list. Starting the hardest task first means that you have more time to get it done. People tend to push the hardest things at the end of their list. It doesn’t really feel nice when you knock things off your list and at the end of the day be greeted with the one thing you dreaded the most when you don’t have as much energy to take on that task.

3. Don’t move on until task is 100% completed.

Partially completing tasks when starting another will kill your productivity that day. Switching tasks without fully completing the one before will force your brain to shift gears and therefore slowing it down constantly. This will cripple your productivity, not to mention that whatever is left over on said task will eventually get in the way of another one just as or more important.

If it can wait, then it can wait.

4. If it can wait, then it can wait.

Simple as that. You should work on your own terms, and work according to your own plan. It is very likely that anything that pops up to interrupt that plan is something that can wait, whether it is a phone call from a potential client or an email (although if its an emergency, please excuse yourself for that).

 

5. Automate if possible.

It pays to have someone else take care of some of your basic work to free up some time, even if you’re paying someone else to do it. Anything that you have to do that can be done by anyone else, farm it out. Focus on the things that can be done by you that needs to be done and your basic work will follow. You can’t get anymore productive than that.