The job of a designer – particularly a freelance one – can be extremely challenging in relation to multitasking. With (hopefully) many clients constantly contacting her at any given time, it can be very easy for the designer to lose her focus and be drawn into the minutia of emails, phone calls, and more demanding short-term tasks. The result of this can be an effort to broadly place the designer’s focus on a variety of projects in a brief amount of time, and yet make little progress in any of them.

Therefore, it is important for a designer to focus on one task at a time. Very few projects require the immediacy that a client may convey, and the idea of constantly tending to instant demands by clients would likely result in disarray in the face of multiple loud voices. A designer must give each and every project its rightful time for her absolute focus and care. Eliminating a task from the metaphorical – or literal – list will allow the designer to gradually organize her work and her thoughts. Clients will be better served and most projects will be completed at a faster rate than had things been done in a different fashion.

Naturally, there are legitimate circumstances to occasionally move a project to the front of the line. Everyone has a valid need to rush something from time to time. But a successful and responsible designer will learn to determine if her client is truly in need of immediate work, or if that client realistically can (and should) wait his turn.

Maintain focus. Maintain inner peace. And never be afraid to say no.