Production speed is just as important as design quality. You must be able to achieve both. In design school, your professor may give you an entire semester to do a project that you would be given one day to do in the “real design world.” Every designer must learn to maximize their time and produce quality work in as short a period as possible.

The five seconds here and there that are wasted in each of our days really add up over time. If you save five seconds per minute, then you’ll save 300 seconds (or 5 minutes) per hour. That’s 200 minutes (or 3.33 hours) per 40-hour workweek, or 173.16 hours (or 7.215 days) per 52-week year, or basically a week-long vacation to the destination of your choice! (Or better yet, if everyone on a twelve-person design team saves those precious seconds and we multiply those seconds by a billable rate of $100 per hour, we just found an extra $207,792 of annual revenue!)

One of my former colleagues at my workplace is ambidextrous. He uses a Wacom Tablet with his left hand, a mouse with his right hand, and places a keyboard in the middle. And boy can he can crank out fast work! Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of being ambidextrous, but there are several places where we all can save five seconds (or more) per minute.

Here are a few ideas

Keyboard Shortcuts

The more you know and use, the better.

Put On Headphones

Whether you are listening to music or not, if you have headphones on, people are less likely to interrupt you.

Related Tasks

Organize your day to clump related tasks together.

Take Periodic Breaks

Take periodic breaks to clear your head. It fosters creativity and productivity.

Reduce Clutter

Keep both your physical desktop AND digital desktop clear of mess and confusion.

Tell Your Co-workers You’re Slammed

When people know you are "occupied" they are less likely "steal" your time.

"It doesn't matter if you are the best designer in the world, if you can't work quickly you will struggle to succeed in your career"
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