How to Balance a Full-Time Job with a Graphic Design Career

If you’re holding down a full-time job or raising a family, the thought of making time for graphic design can feel like a luxury or an overwhelming addition to your schedule. You’ll have to genuinely embrace the fact that your life might feel full for a while and that carving out time to design will require some discipline.

With bills to pay and graphic design gadgets to buy, your full-time job has an important role in pushing your creative career forward. You don’t need eight hours a day to be a graphic artist, but you do need the energy, focus, and drive to create in the time you have.

Here’s how you can maximize the time you do have:

 

1. Enroll for Graphic Design Classes

Enrolling in classes will force you into design-making mode and onto a schedule. Going to a class can also lead to new creations, not to mention finessing your techniques or even adding a new one to your repertoire.

 

2. Don’t Be Too Tired to Give time to Your Creative Work

it’s much easier to get started.

Once you get started, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your fatigue fades and your creativity sets in, giving you the energy to keep going. Accomplishing a small task out of your bigger creative goal will kick-start your creative flow and oftentimes you will slip into a flow zone, ending up working on your project for much longer than you expected.

3. Schedule Time

We are all trapped in the “too busy” mindset. But, when you break it down, there is always room for the things in your life that you make a priority.

Block out chunks of time in your calendar to design, even if it’s only two hours a week at first. Doing a little bit each week might not seem like a lot, but over time, it adds up. Slow and steady – piece by piece – wins the race.

 

4. Reduce Screen Time

Use the time you normally spend surfing the Internet or watching television to design something instead.

 

5. Kick Perfectionism to the Curb

Another common problem when tackling creativity on a drained brain is perfectionism. You may be thinking, “I’ll wait until I have the energy or inspiration to get started.”

At the core of perfectionism is fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of not measuring up to other people’s expectations.

You’re always wanting more before you start—more space, more time, more energy, more fully-formed ideas, more design software. By waiting to start until everything is just right, you feel like you have a better chance to succeed. This sounds harmless enough until you realize deep down it’s just an excuse. You are scared to get started because you are scared of the possibility of failing.

You will most likely find that once you start, however, the process isn’t as scary as deciding to start.

If you catch yourself feeling hesitant to get started, push yourself to begin anyways.

 

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