Have you ever gotten overwhelmed with a certain client or task that you need to get done ?
I know every now and then I do.
Here are some tips and tricks to keep your cool with projects -
Organise your space
Before starting with a new client I always do a quick tidy up of the space that I am working in. I find that if I do this I am completely focused on the client and everything that needs to be accomplished for them. This tidying up is only a few minutes, this isn't meant to side track you. File away all of the unnecessary documentation away. Acquire any stationary that you will be needing and any other items like a notebook, files etc..
When we start out we initially try and create a filing system. In todays day and age we do so much digitally, so why not file everything digitally. Set up a dedicated file on your computer and work out your sub files. I typically work with the following :
When I have acquired a client, I typically like to use checklists and procedures to ensure that I have all of the necessary information. As part of my checklist I like to use information
Interior Design Clientele
Clients Last name
Meeting with Clients
Purchase orders & Quotes
Current details of job
By having a dedicated file with specific sub files this will make filing all of the documentation that you produce for the client simple for you to find and use.
If you want a paper copy, you will need a binder file with binder separators. I use the same description that I have for the digital files, for ease of use.
I know this one is pretty self-explanatory but you do need to take regular breaks. Some people say that they need to take breaks every 45 minutes and other people can work for 3 hours without needing a break. You will need to figure out how regularly you will need to take a break and this will help you figure out how much time is required on the clients proposal. If you are feeling like you are getting no where with a job, stop what you are doing and take a deep breath. Then hop on Pintrest or Instagram and look for inspiration for 5 minutes or so to keep you working through the task that you have at hand.
Managing your time is probably one of the most daunting things that people not only in design but in the workplace and home life find difficult. I have a few tricks to help you get the most out of your day when you are working.
Make a list of the clients and the tasks that need to be completed for the client
Set yourself time allocation to complete the task, Allow an additional 15 minutes to each task to allow yourself additional time.
Check your emails after you have done a priority list, and allocate time to reply to emails, I normally suggest from 11.30am to 12.30pm and then again at 3.30pm to 4.30pm as these will be the time periods that most clients and suppliers receive the least amount of emails. If you cannot respond to the emails in those time periods I normally advise the sender that I have received the email and will respond accordingly.
If you are interrupted with something that needs to take priority before any other tasks, I would suggest rearranging your priority list with the task and what needs to be completed on it.
Once you have completed a task cross it off or reward your self with a snack or even a little break to keep you motivated.
Note Taking :
If you are in client meetings and you want to jot down notes and ideas with the client note taking is the go to method for anyone, it is a simple way to re-jog your memory in the future of what was discussed with the client. . I use 2 mediums. Note pads and One Note
Over time I have found that the note pads that you find in the shops are good for just general note taking and mainly because they are pretty too but it isn't specific to what I need them for, you end up buying multiple books that only get the first couple of pages used and then you find that you either misplace them or have found something else to jot your notes down on. So I create my own combination book.
I have created a practical notebook that I use for all of my clients, phone calls and meetings to keep a track of everything that I am doing for all of my different clients. By having one book for everything with different sections it allows me to have the freedom to use the sections of the book that I see fit. This book is great, I get it binded and then I can rip the pages out and put it in the jobs file. Not only is this easy to use but it is easy to take around with you. I am constantly adding sections that I need to this book , by having the document binded I am able to customise it quickly.
One Note :
Using one note is great for me, this is where you can have multiple digital notebooks, you can even put passwords on some of them.
I create a lot of templates of pages that I regularly use. The best thing is that you can have a separate notebook for every client that you are working on at the moment. You can create as many pages as you need and the even have a record button that allows you to record a conversation, meeting or thoughts that you have about the job and put that into the note book for future reference. The great thing about this is that you can have it on your phone, ipad and computer and they will all link in together. So you can take it virtually anywhere
I work with both of these products on a daily basis depending on what specific project I am doing.
I hope those tips and tricks on staying calm help you with the next daunting project that you work on .