Time Management for Creatives

3 min read
in Blog, Design, Organization
blank sketch book with paints and brushes nearby

Most people want to be better at managing their time and staying focused in the process. In today’s world there are an endless number of distractions available to us at any moment. Staying away from those can be hard enough. But when working in a creative field not only do you have to stay focused, but you also have to constantly come up with unique and aesthetically pleasing solutions to your projects. So what are the best ways to stay on track when your creativity is at a lull?

Take a Break

Often the best solution to a creative slump is to simply give it some time. By taking a break, it allows for your mind to re-approach the same subject matter, but with a different perspective than the last time. Working in this fashion will definitely lead to a longer overall design period, but less time spent actually working on the project. Due to the extension in the design period, it is best to start each project earlier so these breaks can be figured into your scheduling. This approach ensures that no deadline is missed.

Work on Something Else

When time doesn’t allow for taking a break, simply working on something else is also a great solution. When one project is consuming all of your creative energy, switching to something fresh can change your way of thinking. This refreshed approach will result in new ideas that not only benefit the current project, but the one you took a break from as well. The alternative–finishing each project before starting another–will often lead to creative slumps that can drain productivity.


Self-care is crucial to everyone, but in the creative field it can be especially important. It takes a lot of brain power to produce unique and compelling concepts every day, and if your brain is busy focusing on other things, it’s extremely hard to produce the best quality work possible. Small steps, such as making a glass of tea or listening to calming music, can help create a more stimulating work environment. This helps alleviate stress and allows for better focus, resulting in a much more effective use of time.

Set Aside Time for Other Tasks

Being distracted by email is awful for productivity. It’s one thing to consciously shift focus from one project to another, but when focus is unexpectedly interrupted it becomes a huge challenge to get that focus back. A more effective strategy would be to set aside time during the day to respond to clients and email. Replying to each message as they come in not only hurts focus, but the time between tasks will add up more and more, resulting in poor time management.

Save the Best for Last

Not all projects offer the same level of excitement to work on as others. By saving the project that’s the most interesting for last, it helps ensure that the work day will be ended on a positive note. In turn, this will lead to a more positive mental state, and result in more creative ideas. While this tip isn’t always possible due to the variety of projects that person might have, it can be a very helpful tool to make each day feel productive.

While these tips are directed at people in the creative field, there are aspects of each that can be beneficial to everyone. Managing time can be extremely hard, but when making a conscious effort to improve, it becomes more attainable. Just remember to put yourself first, and the creative ideas will follow. Be sure to stay away from the distraction of social media as well!

Meet the Author

Pat has always been enthusiastic about portraying information visually, and aims to do so in unique and clever ways.

In his free time Pat enjoys playing and listening to music. He loves playing guitar and drums, but still hasn’t mastered playing both at once.

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