Do you feel stressed out at work? Do you have a hard time with staying consistent day-by-day? Maybe you have goals set but cannot seem to reach them within your self-imposed timeline. Trust me, I feel your pain! Routines are hard to master, but they can also be a life-saver. For me as a graphic designer working at a digital marketing agency here in Raleigh, NC, I had to find a happy medium between my workflow and keeping my sanity. It does not come easy, I can attest. However, once you have done so you will never go back.What I do on a daily basis may not work for everyone, I hope by sharing my routine it may lend a bit of insight to anyone in any field who is looking for a way to stay on track with their tasks.
It sounds too easy, I know, but writing things down is one major key I use to stay on top of everything going on around me. Personally, I keep one for work and one for at-home. Dividing your tasks down into categories within your list can determine what takes more precedence. Every day I come to work, I know that I will have to make a post for social media. This task usually takes me about an hour to do, so it falls towards the bottom of my list. Compared to something like, let’s say – developing brand guidelines for a client, which is definitely more important. Subcategories within your larger items on your list can break down confusion and frustration even more. Using the example above, if I were working on brand guidelines, I would then have each section listed below the main header like this:Brand Guidelines for Red Shark
And so on, until I have every page of my final document listed out by headers essentially. The best part about written lists, in my opinion, is being able to CROSS THINGS OUT! There is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with marking through that one annoying task on your list when you finally finish it up.
It is easier said than done, but avoiding burnouts can be the single most important thing you do in your day-to-day routine. For me, burnouts come around when I find myself working on one particular project for a long amount of time. For others, they may appear while you're trying to cram too much work in too short of a time frame (that is where making a prioritized list helps out a ton). There are several things we do around the office to help avoid that feeling of overwhelming stress, and maybe they can help you out as well. One tactic I use when I feel myself starting to burn out is to just stand up and walk around for a bit. There is nothing wrong with taking breaks throughout the day, just don’t let a 10 minute break turn into an hour of gossiping or Instagram feed scrolling. Aside from breaks once in a while, I will stop working on the important stuff and pick a “fun” item from my list to knock out real quick. Creating graphics for our agency Instagram account is a lot less daunting than structure-based work for clients. Sometimes it’s just what I need to take my mind off of overthinking the previous project. And most importantly, it gives me a chance to experiment with different styles of design. When I make my way back to the task that seemed impossible, I often question why I was so frustrated to begin with. Giving my eyes and mind a break has proved to be extremely beneficial.