Getting the Most Out of Your Routine

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.

Helpful Tip Number 1: Make a List!

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

  • Logos
  • Typography
  • Color Palettes
  • Imagery

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.

Helpful Tip Number 2: Avoid Burnout!

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.