A Day in the Life of a Graphic Designer | Graphic Design

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So a day in the life of a designer or even an art director or even a creative director; what does that look like? Whether you’re a freelancer that’s traveling from different agencies or whether you’re an independent contractor that’s at home and you set your own schedule, or whether you are being managed by a multitude of people and you’re a production designer, every day looks different, no matter what job you do.

You may be working on one project for three days in a row or maybe even a month in row, or you may be working on nothing for a week if you’re an independent contractor, and you’re wondering “Where’s my next dollar going to come from?” The feast of famine. The way that my day works is very… It goes all over the place. Because I have a lot of clients on the West Coast, I don’t get up until 11:00, so I usually get up and then I check my to-do list for the day, that I usually set the day before.

Then I’ll check base camp to see if there’s any pressing to-do list items for me. I’ll check email and try to do an inbox zero. I only try to check my email twice a day. I think that’s important for anybody, whether you’re in the office or out, to cut down on the amount of distractions that you can. Because those that are in the creative field are more prone to have problems with attention, so you have to make sure that you set these systems in place to have a day that’s a little structured.

Days of designers are not really structured at all and it can be very taxing, but also very exciting if you don’t like mundane, and then also, if you’re an independent contractor you have to find your own clients. You have to figure out what type of campaign am I going to do today or what networking event am I going to do today? Who am I going to meet? What am I going to say? What work am I going to work on? So it’s really up in the air as to how each part of your day will go, but it’s always an exciting one and at the end of it, you still feel like you haven’t done enough.

The part that I really hone in on the most, is project and time management. Because our brains are wired in a couple different ways. One, you can’t do two things at once, you can’t multitask. No matter how many times we can convince ourselves that we can, we can’t. Then the second thing is that even though you may like to do something different every day, your brain craves structure. So it’s one of those things where “Okay, I have to decide what days do I want to do this? What days am I going to look for clients? What days am I going to actually do work?”

One of the things that I had to figure out was how much money do I need to make in a month and how many hours does it take for me to do that? Once I came up with that magic number – let’s say it’s four hours a day, four days a week, so that leaves a lot of time to do a whole lot of other stuff that could get me clients. That I could use to get myself more organized. I could become more healthy. I could become more social.

So I use a lot of different tools to make sure that I’m spending the right amount of time on certain things. I use Harvest as a time tracking tool, which also allows me to bill my clients straight from the platform. I use AnyDO, which is on Android and iPhone and a Google Chrome extension, that allows you to make a to-do list for today, tomorrow, this week and later. So it allows you to put it in four different areas, so as to not fill up a whole year of things that you need to do, because you can easily become overwhelmed.

Another good thing to know about the brain, that’s taken from the GTD method on getting things done, is that your brain needs to empty itself out often. So even if you’re not going to do it today, let’s say “Oh, no I really want to make a T-shirt that says ‘Smart Guy’ on it, so I’m going to write that down. So that my brain isn’t thinking about what that T-shirt’s going to look like.” So there’s different tools and methods and again everything works differently on everyone.

But once you find that sweet spot; and it’s not going to be overnight and it probably won’t even be a year; you’re going to be continually changing, but you just have to be patient with yourself and then also appreciate, like the project management process and time management process of others that are like you in your community.

Comments

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Pearl the rebel says:

I might major in this but I'm not sure

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Bursadesain.com says:

nice content, Thanks!

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Blushiebo says:

I was drawing since i was little and i learned my drawings skills i still do and like yr ago i even startes working with photoshop and stuff and i still draw even thou i took a break a lot and also i do so many stuff hobbies makeup drawing photography photo editing so I am also scared for future because rn im in beauty therapist school even if i dont go on college i can work as beauty therapist but id really like to be artist also i wanna start drawing on youtube and I am still not sure where will future put me what school what job etc

Color Custodian says:

from somebody who has worked in most of those fields–this is some right on stuff!

K Kzm says:

u could explained a summary for almost 2min in your place work what your computer apps how to manage and give it to customer A REAL SUMMARY JOB what is this just talk bla … DISLIKE

aeonjoey says:

the inbox twice a day thing, soooo good advice, but sometimes is just not possible. so many others don't want to get used to glip/slack/basecamp and insist on emailing, and expect a reply asap as in within a few minutes. 
Multi-tasking – I can do 3 tasks that require processing/opening/saving/rendering/uploading/zipping, etc. while waiting for one and doing another with up to about 5 tasks sometimes when i'm doing production tasks. design work? nope. I need alone time, if i'm at the office it's headphones and lowering my chair beneath my monitors eye level (lol) if i'm at home I need to hole up in my office.

Amtul Waseem says:

I am 14 years old my aim is to become a graphic designer…..my big sis want me to become a graphic designer..guys please support me

Linus Caesar says:

The 'el toro' lady is off putting! nice content though..

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LilC2000 says:

A white women in the thumb nail and theres a black women talking wow..

Jaanya Gardner says:

I need a mentor have any suggestions

Lukas Kazlauskas - Miliunas says:

Saw cool thumbnail, entered the video, didn't spot thumbnail in the video, left.

im a nacho says:

I want to do decoparge on furniture ..

noor yazbeck says:

You r hair like kaka

Frida Engblom says:

inspiriririrngng

TheLyricsGuy says:

Sorry, but this wasn't really helpful at all. Even though time management is a big part of being a designer, there are so many other things that should have been mentioned in this video.

ImperialLegion says:

"and at the end of it, you still feel like you haven't done enough" TELL ME ABOUT IT! I'm a Game Design student and every time I head to sleep I'm like "I totally could've gotten this and that done"

4th Estate Media says:

We love living the graphic designer/ creative life!
we at 4E are dedicated to curating and creating content for creatives!

soapwad says:

when u realized the thumbnail was a stock photo

Neena says:

How you gonna put a white woman in the thumbnail but the woman informing us is actually black.

madaan studio says:

i need job graphic designer .

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