The designer’s brain. A scary place it can be. If you come across a designer in the middle of designing, engage slowly, especially before we’ve had our morning coffee, and never forget to bring snacks – just in case 😉
I’m completely kidding, although the pictograph above isn’t too far out of whack from what goes through my head on any given moment. Even as I am writing this, I am thinking about proofs that need to be sent, proofs that are approved and need to be printed, who is coming in when to meet with me, and yes – I am even thinking about lunch. Even more so, as I am writing this, I am thinking about the busy printer behind me, and how it has three, two, one …. printer is done, time for the next project!
See!? It gets hectic up there sometimes.
That’s not to say we don’t love what we do. I absolutely love my job. However; multi tasking is not an easy skill to learn, and all designers must learn the art of “multi-coordinating” throughout the years. This is where we tell you how to become the master at designer multi-tasking, but to tell you the truth we aren’t masters at all, but we have learned a couple tips and tricks along the way:
1. Always write everything down. Whether you need it for a minute or a second. Phone calls, meetings, whatever it may be, write it down. We promise it is a lot less stressful not to have to remember more than the other millions of things going through your head.
2. Reach out to other acquaintances in your field or career. Sometimes you might need a little bit of help, and trust us, sometimes it’s just nice to vent to others who can relate to your setbacks. Such as the printer malfunctioning ten times on a Friday, or as simple as you got a paper cut. Either way, it’s great to talk to your peers or other coworkers to let some of the steam blow off.
3. Keep a calendar and/or work log. Keeping one or both of these is very crucial. Plus it’s an organizational skill that helps clear out unnecessary clutter in the brain. It could just be a scratch pad “to-do” list, even so, make sure to write down your project, the due date, and any quotes, or proofs sent out. This will help organize your “brain list”.
4. Organize your desktop. No one likes a cluttered desktop. It can be the most hindering use of your time if you are constantly searching for files and/or folders. Make sure to use a system that works best for you. For example, on my desktop, folders are grouped by a “proofing section” “quote section” and “print section” so I know which project is where. And I NEVER have random files floating around on my desktop, they always go into a folder.
Time is valuable. Your time, the clients time, and the company’s time is all valuable. Don’t let the “designer brain” catch up with you. Hopefully these steps help out, whether you are a beginning designer, or an advance designer, we can all use a refresh button. Plus if all else fails, the best and final advice we give is, sometimes, it happens. Take a deep breath and regroup.
-Iesley and Angie