Have you ever started the day with every intention to GSD but somehow you looked up and it was already 3:45 pm and your to-do list was still miles long and your inbox full?

Time, is a major issue for many designers who want to make their creative passion a full-time career and even for those who already have.

If you've ever found yourself wishing for more hours in the day keep scrolling. These 8 tips are sure to drastically increase your productivity and help you get more done each day. 

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how to manage your time and be more productive


Make a list of all the things that need to be done that week and, all the things you want to do. Then, prioritize your list according to importance. Deadlines, difficult tasks and anything customer-related should always come first. Once you've created and prioritized your to-do list with the most important tasks high on the list, work your way down. Whatever you don't finish carry it over to the next day until everything has been completed. TIP: I like to make this list on Sundays that way when I get to the office on Monday, I already have my game plan. 


how to manage your time and be more productive


Just because an email came in or a notification for Twitter went off doesn't mean you have to check it right now. Turn your phone on airplane mode and get to work.


how to manage your time and be more productive


Multi-tasking sounds good, in theory, but in actuality, it does more harm than good. Every time you divert your attention to something else you have to refocus and remember where you were which wastes so much time. A lot of times what ends up happening is that you'll do a little bit of a few different projects and by the end of the day, you've barely finished anything. Personally, I’ve found that I work best and am the most productive when I work on one thing at a time. Not to mention, you don't feel like you're being pulled in a million different directions. 


how to manage your time and be more productive


Time blocking is a major key to productivity. Time blocking simply means dedicating a bulk of time (a few hours or so) to certain activities. Time blocking allows you to focus intensely on one project at a time and then move on to something else so that your mind stays fresh. This is different than multitasking because multitasking is doing multiple things at the same time. Time blocking is working on one thing until completion.  

For example, every Thursday I've started dedicating a bulk of time to writing future blog posts that way, when the day is done, I'll have 4-5 posts written and I'm ahead of the game. I do the same with social media. I'll spend a bulk of time curating content and writing captions and when I'm done, I'll have 3 weeks of content scheduled and ready to go. 


how to manage your time and be more productive


The more processes, routines and checklists you set in place for yourself, the easier it is to create a work-flow for your business and life that works. Creating systems will save you time by giving you a step-by-step guide to follow so you don't have to reinvent the wheel every single time. For example, I have a new client checklist that I follow with every new client that makes sure I have the proper paperwork and introductory information to begin working with them.

Try creating a system for how you tackle your Monday mornings, or how you handle your production process. Create a process for custom orders, shipping, etc. There's no right and wrong answer to creating systems. You can create a process for just about anything as long as it helps you streamline your days and maximize your time. 


how to manage your time and be more productive


Why spend your time manually doing something that can be automated and automatically done for you? Automate your business where you can. Just by automating your social media alone can save you a ridiculous amount of time. 


how to manage your time and be more productive


I used to really struggle trying to remember ever appointment, every idea... EVERYTHING until I finally had to ask myself why I was deliberately making things harder. There are so many apps and tools out there that are free or relatively inexpensive designed to make life easier. Download them and use them...consistently. They're meant to help you succeed. Some of the tools I started using are Google Calendar, Google Drive, Evernote, Dropbox, Harvest, Asana, Planoly.


how to manage your time and be more productive


Take it from me, taking time for yourself is vitally important to your productivity. If you aren't feeling your best you won't do your best work. If you aren't mentally there, you won't be as productive. Trust me. Whether it's taking a break to go to yoga or making a healthy lunch instead of grabbing fast food for a quick meal, make sure you make time to take care of you. 


How do you manage your time? Join the conversation and share with us in the comments below.

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