Time management

I’m having trouble keeping up with my schedule. I outline things that needs to be done, but I could never follow through completely. What can I do to complete the tasks on deadline? Any suggestions would help. Thx in advance.

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First make sure that you keep track of what you do and how long it takes you to. Once you have enough of those under your belt, then you can make a realistic estimation of how long it’ll take for you to do something.
Sometimes people make the mistake of estimating their time at how fast they would like to get things done instead of estimating the real time it actually takes. Observe yourself for a few months, then you’ll be good at predicting.

I wonder if people that have an hour commute to work realize that they’re spending 1 full work week (40hrs) just on the road? I would love to be able to take a 40hr weeklong vacation every month with that time. Sorry for the rant.

Observe what you REALLY do, how much you spend on EVERYTHING…then you’ll know where to cut the fat. Good luck.

I heard that you can expect to take about 3 times what you would normally predict in order to actually complete a task. For example, if its a 5 hour job, then you will spend roughly 15 hours on it. If its a week long project, you should estimate 3. Anyway, I’m sure the ration changes from person to person, but eventually you begin to understand how long it actually takes to do something.

i think the suggestion of tracking yourself for awhile is a good one.

get a calender an use it. get some organizational software and use it… i hate organizing myself but i try to make it the first thing i do every morning before i get sucked into other projects.

if you are quoting on a job i would always try to be generous with your time. it is rarely a problem if you get the work done ahead of schedule… it is almost always a problem if you finish it behind schedule… give yourself a buffer.

clients will schedule marketing and launch dates based on your timeline and it is it difficult to move that organizational machinery around once it is locked in.

cheers

I agree keeping a record is a good idea. Although someone once told me that before, I’ve never actually tried it. My planning usually starts off really good, then along half way everything starts to get out of place. That happens when the projects isn’t going the way as I planned. If I can’t get good ideas or concepts going, I fiddle on it until I do end up with favorable one. And so I modify the original schedule. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing I don’t think, but still hard to reach a conclusion or end up with very little time before the deadline. In cases like that, I rush rest of the project and end up looking like shit.

Make sure you give yourself a design freeze time, when no more changes are to be made and you have to say furck it, and go with what you have. You can always keep redesigning forever trying to make it perfect, burn through your time, then have to rush for everything else to make a deadline. Use your design freeze, and let your clients know about design freezes too. It seems like it’s a phrase that’s gotten lost recently…clients calling in asking you to change 2 weeks worth of work the day before it’s due, crazy.
Be strict with it, it’s good biz practice and will keep you on schedule. You have to be able to work within limitations…resources, money, and time, and it makes the job easier if you know those limits up front. Imaging being in a race and just being told to “run” without knowing how far. Then after you’ve sprinted 100yds they tell you it’s a 5 mile run, or vice versa.