Monday, December 28, 2009

Text Messaages, Twitter, Facebook...Oh My!

Distractions: How To Deal With Them When Slammed With Client Work

Life's good. You have multiple clients, new prospects, and projects piled on your desk ready for your magic touch. You power on your computer, and suddenly receive five instant messages from your needy room mate. Your new Beyonce ring tone starts to fill your once zen-like quiet office, and your email alert chimes along. Five hours later, your must-do list is nowhere near completion. OMG! Where did the time go!?

Distractions can be a huge problem when your work for yourself; even with deadlines and commitments there is no one there breathing down your neck to check on your progress ever so often. It is so easy to lose track of time when you have no restrictions on your daily work routine. Lack of better time management skills, is a common casualty of most freelancers. In this diary entry, I will provide you with the top five ways to deal with distractions on a day to day basis.

Tip # 1 - Internet Restriction

If possible, cut yourself off from the internet for a specified period of time. Ask yourself, Do I really need to be online ALL the time? If there is no critical need to be online, go completely offline until your specified tasks are finished. This means no instant messenger, yahoo, browsers etc. I personally use this tactic to keep myself from distracting activity online.

Tip # 2 - Put Down That Phone!!!

Let your friends and family know when they can call you. During intensive projects set your phone to silent, and put it away from your sight. I always use this tactic, because it is so tempting to return text messages, and talk to that old friend you have not spoke to in a while, but a few minutes can turn into hours, and this can be detrimental to your task completion for that specified deadline.

Tip # 3 - Do Not Disturb!

Communicate to your friends, families and co-workers that you should not be disturbed when working at certain times of the day. You have to set basic rules, and reinforce them so they can get the picture. Whether it is your significant other, children, or even your design manager; they need to respect the fact that you value your time.

Tip # 4 - Rate Your Space!

Sometimes your work enviornment can be a distraction in itself. Try to keep your work area clean and clear of clutter. I can be a pack rat at times, so I work on keeping this up everyday. If you work at home try to find a space that has the least amount of noise. Some people work better in a quiet enviornment, and some like to listen to few good tunes as they work, its totally up to you.

Tip # 5 - Control Your Time

It is almost too easy to break from a project for a few minutes, and wind up realizing hours later how little you have accomplished for that day. Try keeping a log or time sheet to track where most of your time is being spent. If your dealing with certain clients, you may already use time sheets, but If you don't I suggest you create one or find one free at this site ==>

There you have it! My five essential tips for breaking away from distractions. Of course there are much more we can cover on this topic, and we will in another diary entry. Be sure to check back for my time saving tutorial on creating female style symbols in Adobe Illustrator for quick fashion flats! If you have any extra tips for dealing with distractions let us know!

Fashionably Yours,

Since the tender age of twelve, Schaumin Chanel Alexander has been creating fashion illustrations, and designing womenswear apparel. Shortly after graduating college with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design & Marketing, she began freelancing her talents. Schaumin is the designer and chief operator of Creative Conceptz Ltd., a company dedicated to freelance fashion design.


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