Time Management for Graphic Designers

It’s time for you to take control of your time. Time management for Graphic Designers is one of the most important aspects of running a successful business. If you’re not managing your time, then how are others supposed to work around you efficiently? They won’t be able- because you can’t effectively run a business until you can manage your time. The first step in being profitable is tracking cash flow. The same thing applies to managing time- if you don’t know where it’s going, how will you use it optimally? Today Adrian goes over his weekly schedule so that we have an example of sustainable time management.

Graphic Designers Time Management Guide

Now that I’ve had a few weeks to reflect, most of the time, it’s at least 75% planned before I begin doing anything. However, this isn’t always the case; there are days when this isn’t possible. So what steps can you take to make sure you’re not wasting your time? It’s important not to waste time because we only have one earth on which money can be made and destroyed. Being conscious of how much work is involved in what you want helps us find out if we’re making any sense or not but also allows us to determine whether we’ll be able to accomplish those things without causing more wounds than victories.

As graphic designers, we could get sucked into la-la land by checking Instagram and Facebook. Instead, we waste a significant amount of time surfing around on the timeline, on portfolio sites, and doing nothing. The fact is that even if we don’t get the most out of our day because we don’t have our schedule or day planned out, this is a substantial change he’s made. In a couple of years, he’ll give you some pointers. He’ll discuss it today.

Monday

On Mondays, Adrian produces YouTube videos like the one above, whether you see it on a Wednesday or a Friday. He batches all of his films on Mondays, so his Mondays are consumed for media day. It’s one of Adrian’s favorite days of the week because it’s the day he gets to pour into you guys and share his ideas and thoughts with you in order to help raise up our community. As they say, rising tides lift all ships, so he wants to help our industry and people like you like that.

So, let’s just say from about 8 a.m. when he starts his working day until around 11 a.m., he’s working on his ideas and in ordering his video plans so that Adrian can perform that, he’s taking this time to consume information while watching YouTube videos, tutorials, courses, and readings. He prefers to read or listen to an audiobook in the morning before beginning his day; he’ll spend up to three hours each day studying.

Monday through Friday, from 11 to 12, he’s at lunch, so he’s eating some delicious food and going out to eat. He is somewhat guilty about packing his own lunch, and then from noon until 4 p.m., he’s in recording mode, so he’s getting into recording mode and creating content.

Because he generally closes his day at around 6 p.m., he’s frequently making follow-up calls so that he has some phone conversations to complete. In addition, he’s checking emails to make sure he doesn’t overlook anybody on Mondays. Of course, he must do so, and then occasionally, on Sundays, before his workday begins, he’ll just skim emails to check for anything urgent. Mondays are thoroughly planned, including a critical Monday morning meeting from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Tuesday

Now we move on to Tuesdays. This is another important day since it is Adrian’s consulting day and sales day for his company. It’s critical to establish a schedule and maintain a consistent routine if you want to operate a team; however, he doesn’t hold any meetings with his staff on Tuesdays. Instead, he spends his mornings in a variety of ways. For example, he might be reading emails, following up, or going over LinkedIn messages. LinkedIn is where he gets the bulk of his business.

Then he goes to lunch with his wife from about 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. Instead, he’ll either use that time to go to lunch with his wife or take care of a client; however, it’s the same either way since he can fill in the gap. Then from about 1:00 until 3:00 p.m., he generally spends time consulting, which is where he books his appointments, and then there’s usually a four o’clock as well. But one of the essential things that he wants you guys to remember is that you give yourself enough breathing room between these meetings.

One of his mentors advised Adrian that he needed to leave a half-hour gap before and after every meeting to prepare for it, wrap up the meeting, and send an email wrapping up the meeting when he does meetings with individuals. After each session, how many times do you get someone who sends you a follow-up email?

It’s virtually impossible not to stand out from the crowd if you do that. You’ll appear to have your act together, and you will have your stuff together. After your meeting, just take a little bit of time to summarize everything you discussed and send it over to demonstrate that you’re wrapping up and acknowledge everything was beneficial in developing your strength and rapport with the customer.

Keeping your meetings to one hour is a good thing because it shows you’re capable of juggling many clients on your own. So leave some room between your sessions and give yourself half an hour before the meeting and half an hour after, so make sure that if you have a one-hour meeting, it isn’t two hours long. Always plan ahead and use your time wisely.

Wednesday Time Management

Wednesdays are big days for Adrian, so Tuesdays are when he calls his customer and follows up with him once he has sent out a proposal. He’ll follow up and say, “Hey, let’s go over the proposal.” That’s how he prefers to give proposals; not sending one then waiting to hear back.

He’ll do coaching sessions with the team and then go over their feedback with them so he can schedule some meetings, as well as consults. So between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., he conducts consultations with clients. Wednesdays are his preferred days for doing this because it allows him to get those consultations out of the way early in the morning before he starts working on other projects or tasks throughout the day. Of course, the branding plans, marketing approach meetings, and other such things are all part of it.

Then he has to wrap up the meeting, which is usually around 11 or 12 p.m., so he’ll have something going on, for example, at the foundry where he’s teaching kids or working on more content ideas for his academy. So far, Instagraphics has been developing this academy for a long time; now, he’s taking Wednesdays from noon until four for content surrounding his courses. He’s creating courses and training as well as all that other stuff, so he uses that time between 12 and 4 p.m. to develop course material.

Then again, from 4 to 6 p.m., he is wrapping up the day. Now, one thing that he didn’t really go into detail about: Wednesdays are when he spends the majority of his time prospecting; after he’s completed pitching all those proposals and conducting his real consultations, he spends the rest of his day prospecting for new clients.

You have to make time on your calendar at least once a week, but ideally, you’re doing it three or four times a week for prospecting. This will ensure that your pipeline stays full, that the discussions continue flowing in, and that you don’t just collect all of this information but instead use it to create something. So that’s what his Wednesdays look like. 

Thursday

Then, Thursdays are his busiest day of the week, typically because he’s getting close to the end of the week. He’s doing more consultations, so he usually spends his first nine am to about noon just doing consultations with clients. After that, he spends an hour to two hours with a client doing talks, so you can see where he spent a lot of his time in meetings. On Wednesdays, he also has another reoccurring meeting with his team. Then he does the same thing on Fridays.

He has a meeting from 9:00 to 10 am, so you can see here that he has meetings with his team on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. So this is a time to connect and keep on top of things; he makes sure he’s not losing momentum or forgetting about anybody. Then the rest of his time he’s spending doing prospecting. So he has to prospect here; he has meetings in here, so his day five days a week is thoroughly planned out almost every moment of the day.

He’ll know when he’s writing his course material, when he’s creating his youtube content, and when he’s providing consultations. He will have a Calendly link that leads to this all, which is what he wanted to start with: he has a Calendly link that he uses for his 15-minute discovery calls, for half-hour sessions, as well as his branding blueprint, marketing sessions, and consultation. As you can see by his Calendly calendar, he has four to five different kinds of meetings on different days of the week.

It’s critical that if your company is an essential thing in your life, as it is for many entrepreneurs, you don’t let it consume you. You can’t be happy when you’re running yourself ragged and striving to keep up with demands from both staff and customers.

In terms of time management, there are some things that appear to make a big difference. First, you have to design your future and plan what your future looks like with your calendars in order to be able to take your Wednesdays off with your wife and go out for lunch on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, depending on her availability. He likes to schedule that time every week during the week in the middle of his day to go out for lunch and just spend some quality time with her, and then he makes sure his Mondays are totally saved up.

Friday

On Fridays, Adrian’s schedule looks a bit different. He calls those “Freedom Fridays.” You allow yourself a little bit of flexibility and relieve some of that burden. He frequently speaks on Friday, so he schedules speaking engagements around it. He likes just to spend the day learning; he’s got many more lessons to go through.

On Fridays, though, you can be a little more freeform. But because he may be somewhat flexible and not have everything so organized, he’ll come in here and leave a couple of slots open for meetings if he has to plug in a meeting. It also allows Adrian extra time on his schedule to do whatever he wants.

If you’re someone who goes out and skates, meets clients, prospects, or just wants to watch more YouTube videos or read articles like this, you can do that. Also, it’s critical that you plan at least part of your day so that you leave time between meetings in order to make sure you have enough room to follow up with your proposals and to write the proposals in order to prepare for those Monday meetings since you want to be well-prepared when you show up.

Final Thoughts on Time Management for Graphic Designers

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. So Adrian wanted to share this with you because he believes it was highly beneficial to him when he learned this stuff, and that’s why he wanted to share it with you. And, as always, he says to keep looking up!

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