8 Productivity Tips From The World's Top Designers

10:00:00 AM


Even when you have your dream job, staying productive can be difficult. As designers, time after time, we overcome the temptation to slack so they can brainstorm new ideas, find fresh solutions, and get things done—all while hitting deadlines and keeping things under budget. I researched what other designers have to say about staying productive; their best tips. Staying productive is a personal thing, but we guarantee at least one of these tips will work for you.

FOCUS ON DOING JUST ONE THING
You want to be productive? Focus. Do one amazing thing each day. It could be for the world, your life, your partner, or for a friend. But if you do one great thing a day, well, that’s a fucking productive day. —Golden Krishna, senior UX designer, Zappos

MAKE A LIST

For productivity, the No. 1 tool for me are old-fashioned lists. I make a lot of them. I make lists for the day, sub-lists for projects, and sub-sub-lists in rush-hours of work. Simply on paper or in Apple Reminders, the simplest and sturdy to-do list tool. —Florian Mewes, graphic designer

WORK TOWARD DELIVERABLES
Being clear on the definition of success (a specific deliverable type) with my team from the beginning allows me to be more productive. I can focus my energy on being creative and iterative as opposed to second-guessing and worrying I’m falling outside any bounds. —David Schwartz, Argo Design

STRATEGIZE
I use my alone time during the beginning and end of the day as a time to plan, reflect, and strategize. —Jannie Lai, head of UX, Light

TAKE A WALK
Many of my design ideas and strategies came from my showers or evening walks. —Jannie Lai, head of UX, Light

WRITE THINGS DOWN
I have my sketchbook with me at all times. Sketching helps me to externalize the craziness going on in my head, allowing me to see a clearer path of what to move forward with. —Leah Shea, product designer at ustwo

LISTEN TO MUSIC
I usually listen to new music as I find it inspiring. My coworkers and I contribute to a playlist that is always growing with new stuff. During the evenings when I ride back home, I listen to songs I know as I like to sing to them (terribly, by the way). That makes me forget about work and tune out. —Hector Ouilhet Olmos, product designer, Google

STAY POSITIVE
Embodying a positive mental attitude keeps me productive, and I see it increasing the productivity of the people around me when I project it in the right ways. Now, I am by no means the most bubbly-happy person, but having the right mind frame can be the difference between crushing a project or just barely getting by. Work can be stressful, but it's my choice as to how I want to deal with it. When I am thinking positively, I feel my creativity increasing my number one power. —Leah Shea, product designer at ustwo




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