How do you fill your time between projects?

The work in my company is like fire/flood and feast/famine. That is, either there is so much work we are backlogged, or there is nothing and we twiddle our thumbs. Never a happy medium.

So when you are in the dry spell between projects, what do you do? Do you stretch to learn something new (and if so, what) or do you kick back and watch YouTube videos until the work catches up?

Thankfully, I have been in an extended period of feast. So no down town for a pretty long time. If I did have free time here’s a list of things I’d do (some may not be applicable if you work for a company):

– Learn something new / improve your skills. There is always something more you can learn to make yourself more valuable. Photoshop is such a deep program, you can watch tutorials on different techniques and learn something.

– Creative exercises / creative inspiration / field trips. Go to the art museum, take a camera and go to the botanical garden, take a sketch pad to your favorite cafe with a patio.

– Exercise. I mean physical exercise. Work out. Get outside. Hit the gym.

– Catch up on blogs. There are a ton of good design blogs out there.

– Get your portfolio up to date. I work on projects, archive them, and never update my portfolio. I could easily spend a couple of days going through past work and prepping it for a physical or digital portfolio.

– Update your website / build a website.

– Clean / organize your office.

– Prospect for new clients.

Bottom line . . . I really don’t think a designer has an excuse for doing nothing or being bored.

There are typically slow weeks in July and between Thanksgiving and New Years.
I use that time to catch up on my trade mags that stack into a pile on the end of the desk. Mostly I just flip through to look at the ads and research any new processes or materials I might find serving the print industry I’m in. (most of the articles are junk, been doing this too long to get excited reading about something we did back in the dark ages that is being “rediscovered” now.)

I also use the time to talk to my sales reps, visit plants and say thanks to the production folks, go to a trade show or two - basically just find out what’s new out there.

This can work its way up to the list of the 100 inspirational & motivational quotes

No TV for a month for me.

1 Like

Honored, thanks.

I usually lurk here in the odd 20 mins in between jobs. Other than that I have a stack of back burner projects like an interesting logo to recreate (just for the hell of it - sharpening skills) or a font to identify.
On the odd times when I’m on my own, and I have some downtime, I’ll fire up Ryzom and spend some time on Atys.

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