What I would like you to do is to choose no more than 4 goals that you are going to focus on for this 90 days. How to Stop Procrastinating in 10 minutes with One Simple Question Sep 21, 15 08:24 PMI have a confession to make about procrastinating.
A Procrastination Definition Sep 21, 15 03:01 AMWhat is an adequate procrastination definition?
Published by Elise Stevens on Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 7:30 amFiled under Academic Success. With the fall semester getting started, now is a great time to revisit your time management techniques. Take a look at your semester long calendar and find the spots in your day that are not already blocked off. We’ve created a PDF of a blank weekly calendar, as well as an example of a filled-out calendar, which you can download from the World Campus website. About Elise StevensWorking with World Campus student communications as a graduate assistant, I contribute to the Corner of College and Allen blog, social media, emails, and additional communication materials for students. A template to create your own weekly time management plan for key tasks – Planning With Kids Weekly Schedule.
Gift cupboard – buy in advance and when on special to save time and money – Birthday Gift Ideas For Kids. Staring blankly at a half completed design concept for a batch of new business cards is a freelance designer struggling with a major case of creativity block.
As designers, we spend many hours of our week in similar situations to the above freelancer struggling to come up with designs that we’re happy with. You’re probably thinking that managing your time is something that CEO’s and other bean counting schmucks need to be worrying about, however you couldn’t be more wrong. Each of us would have a set number of tasks that we have to complete each week to ensure our business runs smoothly.
By fixing the amount of time we spend on a given set of tasks, we can focus on doing the things that matter, give us motivation to start, prevent overruns and use our “null” times effectively.
Once you’ve worked out all of the different types of tasks you need to complete each week, map out a chart that contains all of the hours in the day down the vertical axis and all of the days of the week along the horizontal axis. As freelancers, we’re all very visual people thus it is important that we relay this into our new time plan. So, after spending truckloads of time getting your weekly calendar in order, it’d be a shame to see it all go to waste because you never actually tracked your time. The easiest way to start tracking your time is to create a timesheet template which you can fill out each day. Implementing a well thought out time plan to your week is the perfect solution when you’re feeling a little lost in your business. Jon Bergan is a passionate web designer and developer from the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. I especially love your use of the idea of rhythm in time management, as well as the visuals! Thank you, I will using these tips to work on my time management arrangements in time for the kids returning to school. As an employee of a state company your article describes time management in a pretty easy to understand way. Each step you present is great and I fully agree, but the same reason the GTD system didn’t work for me will likely be the downfall of your advice as well.
I know I’m late to jump in but I really wanted to say this is a fantastic article Jon! This is pretty much the method I use, and in reference to Zac’s comments, I use this method BECAUSE I’m very abstract and have absolutely no perception of time! I’m still struggling to get my head around being a freelancer and not in a bigger company. Time tracking is one of the toughest things for me to do, but a 2010 resolution for my business.
These websites play a very important role in the learning and recognizing of the subject and how to deliver the best managerial performances.
As interface designers, we’re often required to demonstrate the look and feel (and interactions) of the interfaces we design.
It is a road map of how to get there!Whether you are setting personal or work goals, a worksheet makes it more likely that you will achieve what you are aiming for.
Why four?Typically there is an inverse relationship between the number of goals set and achieving them - the more you set the less likely that you are going to achieve them.I don't want you to spread yourself too thin! Write down your goal and follow them up with a plan of 5 actions.Don't just use it for personal goals - also look to use it for work goals. A group of World Campus advisers led by Todd Lawton created the following planning strategies to help you! Use a highlighter on your calendar to mark regular and not-so-regular activities, and then incorporate the best times for studying.

This will allow you to prioritize what you need to get done and help you plan the following day.
Being a student myself at Penn State, I love being able to learn about the University and share it with other students.
Uses  the pomodoro technique which is a time management method created by Francesco Cirillo. Lost for ideas, the designer taps at the mouse, trying this colour and that font without any luck. However, by introducing a well structured time management plan into our routine, we could take control of our days virtually overnight.
The success of any service provision type business is all about managing time as closely as possible to ensure that hours quoted are hours actually spent. Our brains love working in patterns, so if we can start implementing some tasks that recur at regular intervals during our week, our brains will quickly snap into the right mode for the right task at the right time. If you get some ideas to market your business, write them down and keep them for your marketing time.
Time boxing is all about working on a specific task for a set duration – no more and no less. In contrast, if we worked on things until completion in one sitting, we’re less likely to start on complex tasks, more likely to overrun on open ended tasks and ultimately it leaves us with less time and motivation to work on the next set of tasks.
Having something that we can see in front of us reminding us of when we should be working on what is important to gaining structure and focus. It should include personal tasks and other goal related items to give us focus in both our work and personal lives.
Now proceed to fill in all of the blanks in between with the various tasks you need to complete each week. The best way to do this is to associate colours to specific tasks from our weekly calendar and then follow through by colouring folders, files and other objects that relate to those tasks in similar colours. Once you’re done, colour each of the documents, files, folders and other objects that relate to those tasks in the same colour. Time tracking is probably the most important part to this exercise as it provides us with a firm understanding of where our time is actually being spent.
In the template, include fields for the project name, the client name, the date, the time you started on the work and the time you finished. They provide structure, focus and motivation and really allow you to get a grasp on your priorities. When we have no control over our time, our days begin to blur and we end up having no real idea where any of that time actually went. I was talking with my better-half last night about needing to divide up my day, so this post is very timely. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on time management when it comes managing the daily business and client work. Been a long time user there myself and have been looking for a more accurate way to track projects that are not billed hourly.
Gives you structure and focus and as busy freelancers, these are two things we desperately need to have!
Holidays are always a bit topsy turvey but I do need to get organised once they’re over.
I’m 5 days away from being free of the cube-farm corperate IT world and have roughly 4-6 months to make what I can of my time. It is really important to have all possible reminders in your face, at least when you are starting and really need to put some boundaries on your personal time in order to get somewhere.
I would often agree to do client jobs, usually at the expense of my family time, in order to not disappoint a client.
I have all these tasks on a daily list in my desktop planner, but so many of them get pushed to the next day or are so time-consuming that I’m not even getting started on them until I have a huge block of time available, which rarely happens. With all of our creative juices flying this way and that, it is important to have some level of structure behind everything we do.
Lisa here is living proof that such a system can work for you regardless of how crazy your life is. Perhaps one of the most scintillating advancements has taken place in the field of web services for mobile phones. Maybe you want to be in better shape, be more productive in your work, have better relationships. Planning your time makes it much easier to set aside time to study and complete your schoolwork.
Minutes drift by that soon spur into hours and in what seemed like a blink of an eye, the day draws to a close.
Without tracking or managing your time, your days will quickly begin to blur and projects you quoted on will start costing you rather than your client. By defining these key tasks and working out when we will do these tasks each week, we instantly gain focus on what needs to be done and when.

If you think about an account that needs to be balanced, save that for your Accounting time. For example, instead of spending an entire day finishing off that single website, split the portion of your day allocated to clients into 1-2 hour blocks. This is especially important early on as we’re still trying to reprogram our minds into following such a strict timetable. Associating colours to key tasks acts in a similar fashion and can play a vital role in increasing our efficiency and motivation while also setting a positive mood for the work we have to complete that day. This way, next time you need to start focusing on a given task, you’ll instantly know what you’ll need to grab to get started! It also ensures that we’re sticking to our time plan and providing accurate quotes to our clients.
At the end of the week, review your timesheets for each day and compare it to the work you completed and the quotes you provided to your clients.
No longer will you feel like you’re simply working in your business struggling to meet the constant demands of your clients. I think several of these carry over into the the world of all designers :) Thanks for sharing. I already had one but it really wasn’t working well for me and I got a lot of great tips from your examples that I think really improved my schedule. Just starting out I find it hard to focus, and still take breaks for lunch, and dinner, before I know it im squinting and realize its 9pm and I never had dinner. Outside of that it tends to fall off a bit (wasting time is a habit), especially when it comes to personal projects that are for the most part business related.
If you track your time, you can compare what you planned on doing to what you actually did.
Still, I know for sure that half of us don’t track our time as much as we should, however if we all have some kind of schedule mentioned in my post, we’d still be better off! Really great for accessing your schedule virtually anywhere or updating it as you’re out and about. Put simply, I have a very random, chaotic method to all things creative and where many seem to work in linear progression from phase to phase it often feels like I seem to work in spiral (if that makes any sense ). I also know my own nature well enough to know that baby steps towards a lot of what you suggest will be necessary for there to be any chance of it sticking. I’ve been able to set and generally stick to fairly regular work hours, and if one of my kids has a sports carnival I can block out that time and make it up over a night or two beforehand. The rebel in me wanted to fight against the constraints of a schedule (part of the initial appeal of having my own business) but realistically, and this is just my opinion, to make it in business long term there HAS to be some tiny thread of structure for you to start from otherwise your creative chaos will become overwhelming. Try throwing some structure together in a weekly calendar and hopefully your days will start running smoothly. Just starting out I find it hard to focus, and still take breaks for lunch, and dinner, before I know it im squinting and realize its 9pm. Earlier it was considered as a luxury to own mobile phones and now even the young adolescents boasts off their iPhone and Android handhelds and what not. While a lack of creativity may appear to be the cause of such an unproductive day, it is in fact not. For example, if you decide that on Tuesday mornings, you will focus on marketing, each Tuesday morning, you’ll wake up and your brain will instantly click into marketing mode! Doing this will actually motivate you more and will allow you to think about those ideas a little further before rushing into them.
You’ll quickly start realising what took longer, what quotes you under quoted on and where all those hours really went. I think getting a bit more organized when it comes to overall scheduling and time management might be just what I need to focus on. The only possible way to accomplishing near as much as I want is to come up with a schedule of some kind – but let me pose this to you. It almost feels like it would be impossible to try and structure it or set those boundaries, however they are important.
A lot of research has gone into how patterns effect our minds and our brain and studies have shown that if we work to patterns, we are generally more motivated and focused.
There is a HUGE difference when jumping from a full-time job in a large design firm to a freelancer.
Two hours is the perfect amount of time to get started, get focused and get motivated on those complex tasks. I use billings software which has an integrated time tracker and I also time my iTunes playlist for my less fave administrative and accounts jobs. Even if you only apply it to one or two things such as your marketing and your business development.

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