Posts

a quick one about the designers’ struggle with clients

Yesterday I had a conversation with a designer who made a career change to become a real-estate sales person.

 

yep – you heard well.

 

From panda-hat pencil-in-hand graphic artist and logo designer, he turned started to sell cinderblocks lots…

 

What happened? well, unsurprisingly – he got sick of clients – he got tired of not getting paid – and he got tired of having the very people who hired him for a job starting to tell him how he should do his job.

 

He got lost.

 

Like many others.

 

Like probably whole of us at any point in our career – when dealing with clients and learning how to provide a service to somebody else – it is not always easy – and it is not happening in your photoshop.

 

This is when I realised – how many people have not yet read or heard Mike Monteiro

 

This guy is the business coach that creatives didn’t have while learning their craft.

 

And most importantly – he will bring back your motivation to do good while giving you the tools to deliver.

 

If you haven’t, you should watch:

 

 

Any issue with getting paid? Watch this one:

 

(Actually – even if this one feels good – it is not always very helpful. I guess it works fine in the US – but from my experience in other places in the world – lawyers aren’t always the best to handle this kind of task… I have other resources I’ll put together for you some other time – still worth watching the talk though because it will help you realise how common these situations can be and how you should not bow your head and agree but you should fight to get that money.)

 

 

Anyway that’s it for today!

Don’t let the daily grind get the best out of you, and remember that your work matter! Just sell it.

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Time Management – Hustle Hack 101

Yes, procrastination sucks, but it is part of life, stop complaining about it and do something about it.


Here are some tips I am using myself or have used at some point and have helped me along the way.

Start somewhere with a schedule for your days with objectives

Achieving your goals assumes you have defined some, and if your day is not going as you want, probably worth thinking what was that you wanted on the first place, what were you goals for the day, and what did you plan to achieve that you didn’t do. Because if you don’t make goals, that’s the best way to fail at meeting them.

 

Claim back your time by cutting your meetings in half

Yes meetings are important – but if you try to cut the chase in the meeting and get to a conclusion in half the time, you’d be surprised how much blabla and useless talk can go into a meeting and you’d be able to achieve more.

 

Gain clarity by defining clear deliverables

It is what you create not what you do that matter.

Focus on the outcomes, not on the activities.

People do not care what you did all day, if there are no results.

What is the result of your work?

Can it have a tangible form?

These are questions you may need to ask yourself from time to time.

These outcomes can be :

  • an email produced
  • an presentation
  • an article
  • or report.
  • etc.

It is also okay to explore, especially when you do not know what you need to do or produce, especially true when you deal with some innovative and creative process, when you are not sure, you need to think, so you spend a lot of time researching.

But even this can be structured in a deliverable:

  • it can be a list of materials you gathered
  • it can be made into a blog post
  • it can be a zip file, with a bunch of PDF for reuse.

Anyway, when you feel your time is going away with no result, it can be useful to clarify the deliverables.

Get your focus back with the pomodoro technic

Just check Wikipedia:

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro\_Technique

TL;DR
Set up a 25 min timer – work focused during this time.

Then set up a 5 min break to reward yourself and then do it again.

Can’t get the Pomodoro thing to work?

Try any of these any other focus-driven method:

The 1-3-5 method
http://jasono.co/2013/08/25/why-the-pomodoro-technique-doesnt-work-for-me/

The 2-min rule
http://jamesclear.com/how-to-stop-procrastinating

The 50-10 rule
https://theproductivephilosopher.wordpress.com/tag/the-5010-rule/

The 10-min rule
http://www.naomiliddell.com/10-minute-rule-do-the-work/

 

Time is a question of importance

In the end time management is a question of importance

In the end, it is all question of importance. You lose time because you don’t care enough about your time to take your day seriously and make every minute count.

 

Finally watch this :

David Allen has broken down the science of productivity into a method he called GTD – for getting things done. It is based on real scientific data, originally from some work done by the the NASA on stress. I am a big fan of his work personally and would strongly recommend you get his book.

Meanwhile you can watch a talk he gave at Google a while ago but which is to me still one of the best out there:

Getting things done – David Allen at Google:

 

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Do the work. What for?

Do the work.

You know it is true. You know it is right but you do not get to do it.

Too busy? Too lazy?

Maybe you are just unclear with your goals.

Humans are goal-driven animals. We just cannot move our little finger if we do not have a reason for it. It may be a primal instinct that drive you toward action, and skip the rationalisation altogether, or it may be a cold rationalised series of strategic moves, or a mix of both. Whatever it is, the clearer it will be for you, the better off you will be.

Too often, lack of productivity and the feeling of being in the busy hamster wheel is the result of a lack of clarity.

By lack of clarity, I mean that your head tells you one thing, but your guts tell you an other one, and you get confused.

When you get confused your brain is activating its internal brakes and you won’t get far.

Like, you know you should be finishing this report, but hell, that TED talk on the future of education is soooo interesting… hey! look a video on hamster… 2 hours later… no new lines on this report, or not much progress on this design thing, or whatever you were supposed to get done is yet to get done.

Why?

Because you don’t know why you were supposed to do this report on the first place… Like, yeah, you know it’s tied to your project/job/commitment to someone, but why was that someone important? What do you do this project? How is this linked to your long terms goal? etc.

 

In short, you need to get your guts and your brain to reconnect.

 

How?

Get a piece of paper, your daily journal, an old envelop, whatever you can, and a pen. Write down:

“I want to do this report because X”

“I want to do X because Y”

“Y because Z”

etc.

Go as far as possible in your chain of causality until your life purpose and this report reconnect. Until this report make sense in your life again.

Unless it doesn’t, and then figure out how to get out of here, because your life won’t get much better if you keep doing shit you hate because it is not what you want to do anyway.