5 ways to stay in creative control

Learn how to keep a clear head and balance a hectic workload with these top tips.

Even the most organised of designers and creative directors can get overwhelmed by a hectic workload every now and then. But what's the best way to deal with a deluge of deadlines? In the latest interview from our video series with SomeOne, project manager Locket Aebischer and account manager Rosie Brennan reveal how they juggle multiple clients.

01. Stay positive and don't panic

"Remain calm, although that’s easier said than done," admits Aebischer. "Communication is key. If you’re struggling, speak to someone – don't sit there in silence and panic, and wait for the client to wonder what's happened. Clients are often very understanding, and trust that we're doing a good job and not taking a long time on purpose. Everybody's in it together."

02. Work with the client, not against them

"Your client isn't your enemy," agrees Brennan. "You need to understand that the client is working with you, as are the directors and the designers. That's quite a big step to get past." Don't fall into the trap of thinking that all the pressure falls on your shoulders, she adds: "There's a full team behind you, everyone's in the same boat and everybody feels the same responsibility."

03. Own up to mistakes, and fix them

"It can be really easy to feel overwhelmed," confesses Brennan. "But the directors here won't blame you if something goes wrong – I mean, I don't think they would," she smiles. "Mistakes happen, and when they do you learn from them."


 

04. Write everything down

"Not a day goes by where I don’t write a list," reveals Aebischer. "That helps me to keep plates spinning." Brennan also swears by the analogue pen-and-paper approach: "I print out timelines for my projects, and tick off the day so I know exactly what i need to be doing."

05. Schedule regular catch-ups

"As soon as you have a catch-up meeting, put the next one in the diary," is Brennan's advice. "It forces you to think about it, and everybody's aware that they'll be catching up at that point."

This article was originally published in Computer Arts magazine issue 255. Buy it here.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nick Carson is editor of Computer Arts magazine.