Artists, including graphic designers and web designers, can sometimes fit into the stereotype of being so involved in their creative process that they don’t pay attention to the clock or the calendar.
It’s true that time flies when you’re working hard and engrossed in your project. It’s also true that time flies when you’re avoiding work, too. Procrastination is an easy path to take, but it’s the path to failure.
Designers need to leave the stereotype of absent-mindedness behind and take up the responsibility of meeting all their deadlines. Three reasons why designers should prioritize making their deadlines are that:
- It builds trust and establishes a positive relationship with clients
- It helps the designer work with more clarity and precision
- It ultimately leads to success for both the designer and clients
Meeting Deadlines Builds Trust
When a client decides to work with a designer, a relationship begins that has the potential to grow and generate more business in the future.
At the beginning of the project, the client should provide their timeline, including the final date by which they need the design. It’s a smart idea for the designer to set their own final deadline several days before the client’s deadline. This allows the designer to build in an extra cushion, which provides some extra time in case complications arise.
No matter what, it’s a best practice for the designer to begin to work on the project as soon as they have the details. That way, you, the designer, can send it off to the client in advance and give the client time to request revisions. If you begin working on the project right away, then you’ll have time to implement those revisions and turn in a fixed, perfected final design by the client’s deadline.
Meeting Deadlines Builds Focus
After you receive the creative brief for a design project, it might be tempting to sit back, relax, and give yourself some time off before you start actually working. You have the assignment and the deadline seems far off in the distance, many days away.
Instead of pressure to perform, you feel like you have plenty of time because you know the deadline’s in the distance. That’s when the project gets away from you.
This means that, when you finally do get around to working on the project, you might take a relaxed approach. You could work on it one piece at a time, losing sight of the big picture and the client’s overall vision for the project.
When you don’t keep the big picture in mind, it’s likely that you’ll deliver final projects that don’t reflect the client’s vision. Because it’s been several days since you’ve worked on the project and you’ve forgotten the details, you might be inconsistent and forget to apply the same elements across the board.
On the other hand, you might wait until the very last minute to start work on the project and then rush through the process so that you meet the deadline. This will almost always lead to mistakes that reflect poorly upon you and make the client distrust you. Rushing through a project is a sure way to disaster.
Sticking to a deadline helps designers stay focused and eliminates problems in the long run. When you have a deadline for every project, and even better, for the steps that make up each part of the project, you know how to organize your time so that you can make progress and deliver your projects on time.
Meeting Deadlines Drives Success
When you meet a deadline, you have delivered on a promise to the client and helped grow the relationship. When you follow an outlined and set time frame for a project, you guarantee that you give the project the attention it needs at every stage of the design process. This leads to fewer errors and to the client trusting the designer more.
In addition to benefiting the client-designer relationship, meeting deadlines also provides a boost to the designer’s confidence. Successfully delivering on a project shows the designer that they can work to professional standards and that they deserve the client’s trust. This makes the designer feel more confident.
While meeting deadlines provides a confidence boost, it also has the benefit of increasing efficiency. When you finish one project on time, it gives you the motivation to repeat the process for the next project. It also prevents you from having to rush through a project and then spend time recovering from all the rushing and stress.
In the end, following an established schedule and delivering projects on time leads to success because it establishes better client-designer relationships, gives the designer more confidence, and makes the designer more efficient.
Designers must be able to meet deadlines so that they can build strong relationships with clients, be focused in the creative process, and be successful in their careers. When designers put the pressure on themselves to deliver on time, they can enjoy their own success and, of course, make their clients happy, which is the ultimate goal.