December 13, 2010
How to make deadlines
Making deadlines requires speed, of course, but it also requires precision. The key is to get it right the first time. Here are some things that will prepare you for making deadlines.
• Learn to listen. Get your instructions right. Running around like crazy is useless. As a graphic designer, you work on assignment. Don't drive your client crazy with a lot of silly questions, but be sure to clarify. This is no time to be guessing about what they want you to do. Get it right.
• Take ownership of the project. Once I start on a critical-deadline project, everyone is working for me, including the client. I expect fast movement from everyone. I stay on top of it.
• Don't hit deadlines, kill them. If the job is due on Wednesday, aim for Tuesday. Turn it in a day early if you know that it is perfect, otherwise, use that extra day to make it perfect.
• Use the new technology. I've been doing graphic design for decades and there is always something new. Learn it, use it, practice it, be ready when the job comes in. In between jobs, always be honing your skills. Don't practice something new during a critical deadline job, practice it before. If you're not sure about it, don't use it. But then go make yourself sure about it.
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Posted by Brad Hall