Becoming More Productive and Positive as a Designer

I‘m generally subject to negativity from people around me, whether it be in the words that come out of their mouth or in the actions and activities they engage in. I find this especially to be true in a college environment. Being acquainted with people who are constantly complaining or participate in activities that are detrimental to your positive well being or your future should be kept at a distance. I find that drama overtakes the bigger picture when it comes to what is important, especially in a learning setting. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the whirlwind of problems that can result from it. It is mentally and physically exhausting and can affect your overall productivity.

In this post, I’m going to go over some tips that can help you develop not only as a designer, but as a more engaged, satisfied and fulfilled individual. All it takes is some renewed commitments and habits that will allow you to feel a greater sense of accomplishment by the end of each day.

Planning and Goal Setting

At the beginning of each day, ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish today? Planning out what you will accomplish each day makes you feel at ease. Even if this means starting your day early to rid yourself of unnecessary stress, do it. Make sure to finish your most important work first. Setting goals is a great habit to get into to feel more productive, motivated and challenged to finish certain tasks. Believe that today will be better than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better than today. At the end of the day, did you accomplish your goals? I recommend reading this great article on the importance of setting goals.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions can mean many different things – conflicts with people at work, constant e-mails and phone calls or feeling the urge to check Twitter every 20 seconds. Being on the computer only makes these distractions worse with social media websites. Resisting these temptations to be connected every minute of the day can greatly increase your work flow. Even though conflicts at work are usually unavoidable, show patience and understanding for these people. Although it can be extremely hard, don’t ever try to “win” an argument. It proves nothing and, ultimately, more co-workers will probably be upset with you. You can either be affected by this negativity, or chose to dislodge it with more positive action. Narrow in and focus on what your personal goals are for that day, week or month.

Take a Break

Perfectionists and over achievers are known for working hard and long hours to make their creations absolutely “perfect.” For designers, no website will ever be truly perfect. If you plan to strictly work between certain hours, you are less likely to work harder than you have too. Sometimes good is good enough – especially in an industry like this. Even if you really enjoy the work you do, like myself, taking a break and getting some fresh air is beneficial for the body and mind. This in turn will allow you to become more efficient and productive.

How Do You Talk to Yourself?

We all do it. Self talk is your internal dialogue, which tends to reflect the way you perceive the world around you. Self talk is also a reflection of your self-image. Your demeanour is a way people tend to judge you. The way we talk to ourselves can effect our experiences, emotions and the way we communicate with other people, possibly limiting our potential to develop and grow. Your subconscious mind tends to believe whatever it hears – whether positive or negative. Accepting our weaknesses makes it easier for us to overcome. Try to recognize negative phrases you say to yourself on a daily basis. For example, I tend to compare myself to others. “I can’t possibly create or design something like that.” Simply recognizing these detrimental words, such as “I can’t”, and replacing them with a more positive one can greatly affect your outlook. I know it sounds cheesy, but it works.

Surround Yourself with Positive People

People that tend to share the same passions and goals as you are more likely to motivate and inspire you to become better. Positive people expect a lot from you because they believe you have to power to achieve personal and professional success. Treasure these friendships and mentors – in the end, their motivation and encouragement will help you achieve your dreams. People don’t like to see others pursuing their dreams. These people will constantly try to place limitations on you so they can talk you out of achieving your goals, which brings them back into their comfort zone. Be self-confident – don’t let the nay sayers in your life alter your path to success.

Being productive at work doesn’t mean making more money – success is defined by personal circumstances. Surrounding yourself with positive people, constructive self-talk, having glowing self-confidence, eliminating distractions and setting goals will make you unstoppable. Don’t let others define you in your development personally and professionally, especially those people who will break you down just for personal enjoyment. Strive to spend your energy with people who will stimulate your passion and allow you to become more productive.

What techniques do you use to becoming a more productive person? What about staying positive in even the most negative of situations?

Written by: Avi Bisram

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