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How to Create an Effective Workflow

Lesson 2 from: FAST CLASS: Workflow, Time Management and Productivity for Creatives

Lisa Congdon

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Lesson Info

2. How to Create an Effective Workflow

Lesson Info

How to Create an Effective Workflow

So let's write a dive into the first tool. Okay? So talk about organizing a workflow. What is a workflow there? You haven't even heard this term workflow before. Okay, lots of you. So workflow can mean lots of different things that literally can. Your workflow can mean, Um uh, literally like how you work through a project like an illustration or a piece of art. Like, what is your creative process? It can mean that it can mean, um, something way bigger, too. But when we're talking about workflow for this class, what it generally means is the intentional planning of your projects. From start to completion, workflow organizes the flow of you work as you begin work on and complete a project, so tracks the progress or plans the progress from start to finish. Okay, It also organizes all of your projects in one place, so you can see at a glance all of the things you're responsible for. So having a central place to organize your projects is really important. And that's part of what your workfl...

ow does as creatives. We worked mostly on projects that have a starting an end, which is great things like completing assignments from clients engaging in personal projects or daily challenges are working on a body of work for a gallery show. These are a few examples. Our projects come in various grain sizes. Some projects are short and quick right things you could do literally in an hour, and some are weeks long. They don't all fit in the same box, and they should be treated differently. Sometimes projects are long commitments that takes weeks or even months. Organizing and tracking them, despite their depth or breath, is really important. So just like with any job, staying organized amidst multiple projects is crucial. We're flow planning encourages that encourages us to think about everything were responsible for currently. Part of what it forces us to think about is how long each project or assignment might take. We don't ever really know. But taking an educated guess to start is really important. How we will organize our time to complete the project, the order in which things need to happen to complete the project efficiently, both within and between projects. So which projects need toe happen in what order and inside of projects that the the sort of smaller task is inside of a project and what other projects are happening simultaneously and how we can work all of them and still make progress. And that's one thing that the to do list in time blocking will really help with. When we think intentionally about these things. We are more likely to feel in control of our time, less stressed and finish projects on schedule. Okay, workflow systems help us to not forget anything. As I mentioned, half of our stress is worrying. We're forgetting to do something important because it's not captured somewhere. So workflow documents. I'm gonna show you an example shortly. They record projects, one off tasks, anything you need to complete or deliver. We call these deliver a bles. I'm gonna use that term a lot. Anything you need to deliver to another person or a client, or even to yourself. If you are somebody who does a lot of personal projects like IDEO and personal projects, I mean personal creative projects, Um, in order, you know, in order to stay on top of those, you need to include them in your system, because what's the first thing to go when we have a lot of projects? our own work, and sometimes that's the most important work we do every day. Is personal work personal projects, personal daily challenges. You can even have a section for your projects in your personal life. As I mentioned earlier, um, I keep I'm gonna talk about keeping a rolling to do list in a notebook, and I have a section in here for, like, random stuff outside of my work life. But my work life and my home life are so intertwined that I can't separate it. And so I don't have a spot in my workflow for personal projects. I just have a spot in my notebook, but that's what works for me. But some I know some people who keep a section in their workflow for big projects, home projects, life projects.

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Ratings and Reviews


While I'm not a designer, I'm a creative who is responsible for multiple projects, most of which take a week or months. Lisa's use of Google sheets then breaking things down is super helpful. I appreciate the bonus document! Thanks for the Fast Class version! So many of the Creative Live classes are far too long and need to be edited.

mary gabriola

I really enjoyed the class with Lisa. She's a clear and engaging speaker, and the examples she provided really bring the course material to life. She's talking mostly about creative projects, and since I have many writing projects on the go that works for me. I also am using her approach to set up other projects, though -- gardening and renovations and such -- and I think it's going to work really well. Thanks, Lisa!

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