Our world is filled with urgency. Many of us are often running late or feeling like we can’t catch up. Days are busy and to-do lists are long. Customers and clients usually want things yesterday. Everything at work is urgent and it’s easier than ever to feel rushed and overwhelmed, especially when it comes to design projects.
Working in a constant state of urgency leads to burnout, stress, and a lack of creativity. While pressure can sometimes create great work (ahem, diamonds), it more likely results in poor work quality and costly mistakes. To truly thrive in an urgent world, it’s essential to take a sustainable approach to design projects. A sustainable pace allows for enhanced creativity, improved well-being, and stronger working relationships. By taking the time to create, designers can produce work that creates a deeper connection with your audience and produces more impactful results.
4 strategies to thrive at a sustainable pace
- Time management and prioritization
Look ahead at your year so you have a high level understanding of where you might need design or marketing support, to make sure projects are rarely (dare we say, never?) last minute.
Set realistic deadlines to ensure all team members know when components are needed and everyone has ample time to complete their work.
If you feel stuck, we’ve got a blog for that.
- Intentionally schedule breaks and rest
Both throughout your regular work day and the year, breaks and rest should be a requirement. At Kitestring, we try to schedule vacation time in advance and block time in our calendars to take breaks each day.
Feeling overwhelmed? Look at your calendar and schedule in a break. If it’s full, remove something flexible and replace it with a break instead.
- Collaborate and delegate
Sharing your workload prevents overload! Take a look at what’s on your plate and assess where you might seek support to reduce your workload. Working with a design agency is a really great way to ensure your communication goals are met and workload is manageable! One of the ways we collaborate with clients is through our design agency retainer packages, which allow our clients to access our design services as they arise, without the overhead of a full-time designer. You can connect with us to learn more about ongoing design support.
Pro tip: Leverage your team strengths to increase the likelihood of your team working smarter not harder. Doing it all yourself is never the right answer.
- Continuous learning and skill development
Learning new things is a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment and feel like you’re moving forward (without rushing anything!).
Pursue learning opportunities without hesitation to ensure that while you’re working hard, you prevent getting stuck and feeling unfulfilled (which will surely lead to burnout).
how do I thrive in an urgent (design) world?
- I set expectations early so clients know how often and when to expect to hear from me.
- I share timelines at the beginning of a project and ensure they’re approved before we dive in. If something takes longer than expected, on either side of the project relationship, we communicate and adjust as needed to ensure everyone has the time they need to create great work.
- I work with a team of wonderful people who communicate clearly and kindly and we prioritize taking care of one another in our project planning.
- I schedule in time to create outside of work to ensure my brain is learning and exercising creativity in a variety of ways. I wrote a blog about how prioritizing personal development is professional development — check it out!
- I encourage vacations, sick days, breaks, snacks, and rest. Whether it’s me or a colleague, I see the direct correlation between caring for humans and creating compelling design work.
How do you thrive in an urgent world? Share your tips and tricks so we can all show up the best (and most authentic) versions of ourselves and improve our sense of urgency at work.