It seems paradoxical to say that you can waste time productively. Productivity and procrastination are often conceived as two opposing forces that affect the lives of freelancers.
However, there is a slight glitch in this system. Given fair thought and immense amount of dedication, you can actually waste their time productively.
For web designers like you, there are some things you can do while you goof around your free time. You can:
- Create freebies that could boost your portfolio
- Look for more clients
- Read more blogs that could actually help you in the future
These three have a common bottom line: you add something to your arsenal. Creating freebies can boost your creativity. Looking for more projects can increase your experience and reading blogs can add to your inspiration.
When I wrote an article about acing your freelancing career, I noted in one of the sub-topics how important it is for a designer to start writing their own blogs.
Now, months after the article was first published, I recommend an extension to that tip. And that is, read other designers’ own blogs.
I have compiled a number of blogs that could help you waste your time productively. These blogs are chosen because of their content and how they could help you. So, let’s go and start now:
What Daniel writes about: Daniel usually writes about mobile app development, responsive websites, web design and freelancing.
My favorite article: How to Get the Work You Want. Daniel gives off tips to everyone about how to set a mindset about what you really want to do.
“If you’re in design or just starting out teaching yourself, there’s a pretty high chance that you’ve got some free time. Use that time to fill your portfolio with projects you’d love to be hired to do.”
I love this because, as a freelance designer, starting out can be very harsh, especially if you have no experience. But Daniel looked at the topic a different perspective. You have no experience and that is great because you have more time to gain them if you start now.
Stuff and Nonsense was founded by designers Andrew and Suzie Clark and Sue Davies. Currently based in Gwaenysgor, North Wales, these people have been making great designs and awarded so rightly. They were recognized as one of 2014’s Top Agencies at the Net Magazine Awards.
What Stuff and Nonsense writes about: They write about a lot of things: freelancing, web design, typography, client management and their daily musings.
My favorite article: How to Call Your Client an Idiot Without Getting Fired? What’s not to like about this article? It has an intriguing title that matches with a very interesting topic. Plus, the way Andrew spoke in this article will surely enlighten you on how to deal with that sort of client.
Whitney Hess is a business coach who specializes in coaching leaders in making a more compassionate design for their companies and themselves. She also writes at Pleasure and Pain and co-hosts podcasts.
What Whitney writes/speaks about? UX and her daily experiences
My favorite article: You’re Not a User Experience Designer if… This post is particularly focuses on the pitfalls of UX in general. By that, we speak not only of technicalities but on the philosophies of user experience itself.
Jacob Cass is a graphic designer. He focuses on print design, logo design, web design, branding, typography advertising and more. Jacob is currently self-employed and based in Sydney, Australia.
What Jacob writes about: logo design, print design, advertising, web design, branding and typography
My favorite article: What Makes a Good Logo? In this article, Jacob somehow provides a basic understanding for starting logo designers on how to create good logos. According to him, logos have to simple, memorable, timeless, versatile and appropriate.
Marc Grabanski is a UI development consultant and publisher at Frontend Masters. He had created open source projects like jQuery UI Datepickers. He is blogging to 100k+ visitors every month and speaking to 40k listeners.
He has attended workshops in Israel, ran conferences at Google HQ and more other conferences on UI development topics.
What Marc writes about: business, design, UI development, PHP and more
My favorite article: Why These Idiots Are More Successful Than You. In this article, Marc lists the reason why you are not performing great and others are. Here, he writes in blunt and yet straightforward fashion, leaving the message brewing in your bones. Best quote from the article:
The hardest thing in life is to be the change you want to see. It is what separates truly successful people from people with hollow and shallow form of success.
Chris Spooner’s blog is a design blog full of tutorials and freebies for designers. I particularly like this blog because it provides easy-to-follow tutorials that encompass all the design fields I know.
What Chris writes about: Graphic design, logo design, web design, typography, photography
My favorite article: 25 Free PSD Templates to Mockup Your Print Designs. This article is a freebie haven as it gives amazing templates to any print design imaginable. Business cards, poster leaflets, resume templates and more.
Reading these blogs is a sure shot way of wasting your time productively. The ideas, knowledge, tools and freebies these blogs give to you are beyond limits. Imagine if you could be better in designing even if you are taking a break from actual designing. Imagine how that would make you a better juggernaut in web design.
Just remember that these people are popular in their own right, and you should take what worked for them and improve it to serve you better! Good luck and happy reading.