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How effective are you when you work?

I don’t know if it’s because it’s springtime or if there’s some national or international initiative going on, but a lot of podcasts and blogs have been talking about productivity lately. Covering things such as ways to get things done more proficiently. Ways to make your job easier. Ways to not only do more but do more in less time.

These articles and podcasts also talk about the wide variety of apps, journals and other tools to help increase your productivity. These resources are a great help because after all, being productive means getting a great deal of work done in a relatively short period, and by using as little resources as you can.

Many of those podcasts and blog articles had such great advice on being more productive that I wrote quite a few down so that I could talk about them in future episodes of the podcast.

But one of the things I noticed while reading or listening to what they had to say is that a lot of energy and effort is going into teaching you how to be more productive. But unless that information is pointing you in the right direction, it can be downright ineffective.

You see, being productive is only a good thing if you are also effective during the process.

How to be effective while being productive.

Have you ever worked hard on a project, maybe a logo design or a website, only to discover that you’ve wasted your time because your client doesn’t like what you did?

Have you ever told a client that you would provide 3, or 5 or maybe even ten different design ideas from which they can choose?

How effective do you think that is?

You may feel like you poured your heart and soul into your creativity and felt like you delivered great design ideas to your client, only to be bewildered as to why your client is indecisive or outright rejects your designs.

Chances are, you were very productive during the design process, but you were not effective.

Being effective doesn’t mean getting a great deal of work done in a short period. It means getting the right work done in the time you spend doing it.

To be effective, you need to do a thorough job beforehand researching and ascertaining the actual goals and objectives of each project. Because without laying down that initial groundwork, without starting your creative process on a solid foundation. It doesn’t matter how productive you are because that productivity probably won’t be effective.

Your job as a designer is not to create great designs for your clients. It's to create the right designs for your clients.

Thinking back upon all the productivity tips I’ve been hearing and reading lately; I’ve concluded that merely being productive without the proper alignment of goals, without a purpose behind what you’re doing, without a focused vision of what your client wants, is an easy way to be ineffective.

You need to do your absolute best to tune yourself into the vision behind the goals set out for you by your clients. Not just once, but on every project, you take on. Only that way can you indeed be effective in your use of all the productivity tools, strategies and advice that are at our disposal to make our lives easier.

The next time you are whipping along in a design frenzy, feeling very productive, I want you to take a quick break to stop and ask yourself. I'm very productive, but just how effective am I right now?

How do you balance being effective vs being productive?

Let me know by leaving a comment for this episode.

Questions of the Week

Submit your question to be featured in a future episode of the podcast by visiting the feedback page.

This week’s question comes from Phill

What are some strong points of advice for an early 20s individual who wants to move from an industrial manufacturing work place to the world of web design/development?

To find out what I told Phill you’ll have to listen to the podcast.

Resource of the week WordPress 5.0 Gutenburg

WordPress 5.0 Gutenburg will be released in a few weeks and from what I've seen the newly revised editor will make our jobs as web designers easier. But don't take my word on it, have a look at what web242.com has to say.

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Running a graphic design or web design business all by yourself isn't easy. If there are any struggles you face running your design business, please reach out to me. I'll do my best to help you by addressing your issues in a future blog post or podcast episode here at Resourceful Designer. You can reach me at feedback@resourcefuldesigner.com

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