Written by:
Payman Taei

5 principles of productivity to follow when doing design work


Design is all around us, it is becoming more and more a part of our everyday communication and can hep you to improve the way you communicate.

Design is about creativity and it too like any other task involves careful preparation and organization.  However most of us end to often take it as pure inspiration, leaving out key issues that can allow us to be more organized and productive.

Given Visme is all about helping our users save time and improve productivity, we wanted to share with you five principles that can serve as the basis for planning your day to day tasks and make it a rewarding experience and design more efficiently.

1. Get organized


Similar to how a home builder does not skip passed the architectural drawings and a doctor does not diagnose a patient without first learning of his or her symptoms, one should also have a plan in place for the basic organization and requirements of a design project.

It is true that design is a creative process and involves artistic expression, but designing for a purpose whether it is a flyer, a presentation or an infographic you are visualizing can benefit from the organization process.

Before designing, first create a plan of attack.  Establish the purpose, the audience it should appeal to and then create a to-do task list.

Refer to your task list as a guideline and create a relative schedule around it. An estimated start and an end time will help you to stick to a schedule and move forward.

 Many people tend to forget to set a timeframe for creative work,  but this will only bring frustration when you see a pile of overdue tasks at the end of the day.

Decide when to begin and when to end up your day's design tasks and stick to those hours. It will be difficult at the beginning, but soon your mind will get used to this routine, allowing you to use your time better.

2. Do Some Research

Whether you are creating a presentation, infographic, a rich social media image, a little research can go a long way.  The reason is that your mind will have many more resources to apply when you begin designing.  Think of it as a brainstorming session.


Remember the importance of preparation.  For example if you are creating an infographic, have all the statistical data that you are going to include at hand. If you're doing creative design, view work from other designers to get ideas and inspiration which you can put to work in your own project.

3. Get some Rest

A tired mind is a non-productive mind. This is true for any task that you take on. There's no use on spending ten complete hours in front of the computer if your brain will be exhausted and will impair your creativity.

Taking little breaks in between or even switching to another task will help you to clean up your thought process and approach it from another angle.  This can be quite beneficial when you hit sticking points.


Resting does not mean taking a nap for hours in the middle of your workday. Taking 15 minutes every couple hours, and doing something you like that is not related to work, will recharge your brain and prepare it to take on new challenges.

4. Simplify

Ask any professional designer and majority of them will tell you that the simplest of approaches allow for a more professional design.

Look at some of the most successful products and software applications;  Think Apple's iOS interface,  Google's search interface or Twitter's news fee.

The same applies to the actual approach you follow.  Improve productivity relates to look for processes that let you do more, faster.



For example, Visme allows you do infographics much faster than other design programs; therefore using our tool will shorten the time you would spend designing them which will equal to increased productivity.

Search shortcuts that allow you to maintain your standard of quality to doing tasks better and more efficiently if there are tools at your disposal to achieve that.

5. Focus

It happens to the best of us. You are hammering away at your design and somehow somewhere along the way you took a turn to an alley and minutes (if not hours) later you awaken to realize you lost focus.  It can be quite frustrating because now you have to find your way.

If you decided that during the next two hours you will be working on a presentation, try to minimize distractions.  Turn off your email notifications, and put your phone on silent or vibrate.

Distracting - even with things related to work - will make your mind to lose focus, increasing the difficulty to concentrate on the task you were doing.


Eliminate or at least reduce distractions - related or not to work - and work all the way through the hours you decided to invest without procrastinating.

We know in the real world this is not possible, but it can be managed.  Additionally listening to music or white noise can help to reduce some of the other sensory distractions.  In fact music (one that you like to listen to) can trigger your creativity.

We hope these tips will help improve your productivity at least when it comes to design.   If you have your own ideas to share, we'd love to hear them.



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About the Author

Payman Taei is the founder of Visme (he doesn’t like using the word ”CEO”—it’s way too formal), a DIY platform that allows everyone to create and manage presentations, infographics, reports and other visual content.

He’s also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning web design and web development company.

4 responses to “5 principles of productivity to follow when doing design work”

  1. Very well written article, full of common sense and what we should already know and do – but well worth reminding! 😀

  2. Julian Conde says:

    Nice article! I think alot of designers forget to “reset” themselves before taking on a number of projects.

  3. For me sleep is the hardest part. I know first hand that not getting enough impairs just about everything but can never seen to make myself sleep early enough.

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