Creativity Under Pressure: Micro-Budget Your Time
Don’t get stuck on inconsequentials! Follow this trick for better time management.
It’s easy for creative professionals to get lost in the minutia of their projects, tweaking and reworking to perfection. Unfortunately though, time is money. This perfectionist mindset may work for passion projects, but when there’s a paying client involved you need to keep a wider focus. A broad view of a project’s needs encourages forward momentum – allowing you to get your job done well and on-time. Follow this trick to keep you moving forward:
Micro-Budget Your Time
In most cases you aren’t blowing your time on one detail. It’s just that when combined, all of those little time drains result in a significant loss. Are you spending too much time on the little things? Work with self-imposed time constraints to be more efficient.
Say, you’re a photographer. You’ve got a shot that really needs some color work. Give yourself a time budget to do it, “I’ve got 5 minutes to tweak this shot.” Watch the clock. By the end of 5 minutes you would likely have made positive changes to the image. Now, it’s time to move on.
Diminishing Returns Over Time
Without imposing time constraints, 5 minutes can turn into 10, 20, or much longer. The more time you spend tackling a detail, the less and less of an impact it has on the final result. Apply these micro time budgets anytime you start something that you feel has the potential to drag on.
Over time you’ll develop a better feel for for how long you should be budgeting for certain tasks based on how long they take you to complete and how important they are to the overall project.
This method is applicable for any creative position – video editors, photographers, writers, graphic designers. Allow yourself to come back to make minor adjustments at the end of the project…IF time allows.
Time Management = Key To Profitability
You don’t want to get to the end of budgeted hours and still have significant progress to make. Either the client will have to pay for additional time (which they certainly do not want to do) or you have to accept any additional work put in as a profit loss. Sharpen your time management skills. It’s imperative for increasing your success and profitability.
Got time management and productivity tips for success?
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