Today we’re going to take a look at project management techniques and see how they can benefit your UX projects. We will look at some simple time management techniques and how they can help your creative team stay on track.
Time Management and Creatives
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In general, there’s a distinct issue with time management and creative people. Some people put this down to working with the right side of your brain – which doesn’t handle time particularly well. Others put it down to a tendency to get wrapped up in creating and falling into a kind of tunnel-vision that doesn’t let time get in the way. We don’t know exactly why it is that many of us struggle with time management – what we do know is that it’s fairly easy to improve time management with some tried and tested techniques.
Create a Daily Plan
Author/Copyright holder: intenteffect. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
We like to do this every day. It only takes a few minutes but it lets you work out where you will spend your efforts and how much time you’re going to use on each task. Our inner perfectionist may want a week to get a design just right before putting it in front of others but the Pareto principle suggests that a ton of that time would be wasted. Aim for enough time to deliver “good enough” and then stick to your time limits. It may be challenging at first but it gets easier as you go ahead. And whatever we deliver – there’s bound to be changes needed anyway- it’s better to get something in front of people, get feedback and then perfect things the second time around.
Use an Automated Calendar to Keep You on Track
Author/Copyright holder: Joe Lanman. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY 2.0
When you have that plan – put it into Outlook (or whatever calendar) your company uses. This serves two purposes – the first is to keep you on track, you can automate reminders to let you know when the time is running out for a task. The second, is to help others respect your time. If you share your plan with the team – they’re less likely to assume you aren’t busy and come and interrupt you. Over time, you’ll learn to build in some flexibility to deal with things that just pop up over the course of the day but a robust schedule can be a great way to protect your time from time thieves.
Always Diarize Deadlines Early
Author/Copyright holder: Cinty Ionescu. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0
Want to be on time for delivery? Then be early. If you set your own deadlines a day or two ahead of project deadlines – you’re much more likely to have things done when they need to be. A reputation for on time delivery will make you more popular with the rest of the team and your immediate manager. Just because something has to be handed in on Thursday it doesn’t mean it can’t be sent on Wednesday instead.
Header Image: Author/Copyright holder: uditha wickramanayaka. Copyright terms and licence: CC BY-NC 2.0
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