OK, on the face of it time management isn’t the most inspiring topic – but my experience of working with clients suggests that it’s becoming more and more important for creative professionals. With the explosion of communications technology and the pressures of modern work, it’s becoming very difficult to manage all the demands coming our way, let alone to find time for focused creative work.
This became obvious to me a couple of years ago, when I realised I was finding it hard to keep up with all my commitments, and was feeling stressed by trying to keep track of it all, let alone get it all done. What was most frustrating was feeling my concentration being shredded by interruptions, demands and distractions from so many different sources – online and offline – and realising this was having a serious impact on my creativity.
So I started investigating different systems of time management and trying to relate them to what I knew about the creative process. This series for BoDo is a distillation of what I’ve learned through experimenting with my own working routine. I’ve also been working with clients on the same issues, and incorporated their feedback into the material for the series.
The tagline for the series – Manage the mundane, create the extraordinary – encapsulates what I believe is the main benefit of time management for creative people: the ability to deal with day-to-day ‘stuff’ efficiently and get it off your mind, so that you can focus on the seriously interesting business of creative work.
Thanks to Cat and Neil of BoDo for inviting me to write the series – over the past few months they have built their site into a rich and authoritative source of information on all aspects of the business of working as a designer. Although it focuses on designers, most of the material is relevant to any form of creative profession, so I would encourage you to have a good look through the archives.
The series will appear every Friday for the next 7 weeks on BoDo. I hope you find it useful (and even inspiring!) – please share your responses and experiences in the comments.
EDIT: If you prefer watching video to reading, here’s a time management training interview in which I explain some of the key concepts from this series.
Would you like your team to be more creative and productive?
If your team could do with some help getting creative work done in the midst of the demands and distractions of the 21st-century workplace, ask me about running my popular time management training workshop Time Management for Creative People for your organisation.
Table of contents for Time Management for Creative People
- Time Management for Creative People – Manage the Mundane, Create the Extraordinary
- Time Management for Creative People 2 – Prioritise Work That Is ‘Important But Not Urgent’
- Time Management for Creative People 3 – Ring-Fence Your Most Creative Time