This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to work for people who procrastinate

As a graphic designer, most of my clients are procrastinators. Everything they do is last-minute, they are always "really slammed busy this week", and always are. They are also some of the nicest people that I know.

There are some challenges to dealing with procrastinators, and here are a few I've learned:

• If you need to contact them, you have to be persistent. Procrastinators are not methodical. They usually have multiple email accounts, some of which they may have forgotten to check, or forgotten the password. And since they get lots of email and lots of phone calls, it's easy for the message to get lost in the shuffle. Call them again and again, and don't leave a voice mail. When you catch them, don't waste time saying, "wow, you are difficult to get ahold of", get right to the point.

• Remain calm. Procrastinators are always terribly frazzled. If they can hear a calm voice telling them that it's under control, and the deadline can be met, you will be a hero. Don't even joke about being disorganized, tell them "yes, I have that file right here, which I can update and deliver to you immediately".

• Follow up. Procrastinators live in "real time". If you sent something an hour ago, it may be invisible to them. Call and say, "here it is!"

• Let them show appreciation. Procrastinators are so used to everything going wrong, that when something does go right, they are very appreciative. I love hearing how I helped them rescue a project that they didn't have time to do because they were "really slammed busy this week". And the appreciation can go beyond words, it can be financial.

I've talked to a lot of people who wanted to get into the world of graphic design and found that the pace was too much for them. Everyone waited until the last minute! Everyone was in a hurry! They are, and that's the industry. To me, I've always compared it to racing. I have a very powerful machine here and I am excellent driver. I like to go fast!