A Peak at the Day-in-the-Life of a Graphic Designer

At the end of last year, I shared with you a fun ‘lil infographic on the habits of a graphic designer. Averagely speaking of course, but trust me, it’s pretty much the same for all of us. LOL! So, today I thought it would be fun to share with you what my day as a graphic designer looks like. 

Well, here it goes …

7:30 am:
I surprisingly jump out of bed before my alarm starts buzzing. I check my personal email, my work email (but not yet responding to), my social media accounts then hop into the shower. Even thought I work from home I just can’t seem to sit in my office in my pyjama’s … yet. LOL!

8:00 am:
I make myself a healthy breakfast, feed my kitties and send my other half off to work.

8:30 am:
I am already prepared for what lies ahead in my day, so I go down to my office thinking about what needs to be taken care of on my to-do list for the day, the week and my personal business goals for the month. As a graphic designer, I feel I could never truly describe a typical day in my life as each and every single say is different from the next. But honestly, that’s what I love about what I do!

8:30 am:
I log into my email and open all my design apps then answer all my client’s emails. On average I have anywhere from 7 to 15 to start with and mostly from the clients in which I supply my “untangling” services to who are all inquiring about new designs, pending proofs and/or graphic corrections, proofreading requests, website designs/improvements or new platforms to further assist their business and for their on-the-go projects.

9:00 am:
Usually by this time, I’ve been able to answer all of my emails and it is FINALLY time to dig into the good stuff … some creative work. I take at least an hour each day to make sure all my client’s social media graphics are up-to-date to match their calendars, check on their posts, pre-schedule what’s new and answer any post comments as needed. I then take a few moments to update and check on my own.

10:00 am:
I will spend a solid 50 minutes working on the pending project list(s) for my regular full-time clients by reviewing each of their to-do lists and organizing their tasks by level of priority. Once this is up-to-date for each one I send out updates and progress reports as well as any necessary invoices and receipts then take a few brief moments to update my own business financials.

10:50 am:
In most cases, pending projects would have had their files emailed (if not this morning then the day or night before) to the clients for review so by this time, I usually like to take a small break to walk around, stretch, have a small snack and ponder about what’s coming up next in my day. Or if I’m trying to sort out a platform problem or find that “perfect” wording for a special project for any one of my clients. Pacing the house helps with my though process. My kitties probably think I am crazy. LOL! Well … I am now rejuvenated, geared up and ready to participate in my weekly Monday morning meeting …

11:00 am:
Every Monday I have a special “update” meeting with one of my favourite full-time clients and another team member. We go through what is next on the agenda, what we have each tackled the week prior then go through what we each have on our plates for the coming week. We also indulge in some chatter about ideas for certain projects and what has been on our minds to help each one flow smoothly in the direction they are needing to be.

12:30 pm:
I quickly make myself some lunch then bring it down to the office to spend no less than 2 to 3 hours working on my pending project list(s) for my clients. I am currently working off of 2 social media calendars which include daily posting (not including my own), a handful of website changes with new page builds, additions and a membership area for 2 of my clients as well as helping one specific “newbie” client get organized right from the bottom up … from organizing her passwords and email contacts to her an audit of her current website to building her a specialized database for all her patients. From there I will be moving onto the rebrand of her company as well as a rebrand of a government project she has been working on and almost ready to launch. I always make sure to provide each of clients with more than one option when it comes to design and even organization (no matter what the specs or circumstance may be) as I do not want them to feel overwhelmed or tied up. I want their minds to be at ease in knowing I’m taking care of their to-do list for them so they can work on their business.

2:30 pm:
I take another walk/stretch break to clear and sort my mind for the tasks coming up for the remainder of the afternoon. I refresh my beverage of choice (which is always green tea iced-tea in the afternoon) then head back down to my office (for those of you who don’t know, I gratefully work from home).

2:45 pm:
I still have a handful of projects to do so dig back into working on them each. My creative brain is heightened and back in a groove …! In between each project transition I take a few moments to check and responding to any new or pending emails. If proofs have been approved then I take them to their next phase or if there are any changes to any of them then I accommodate those quickly and efficiently and send them off for another final review.

3:30 pm:
Honestly, after wrapping up all those projects from this morning I feel fulfilled and very much at ease. My last project for today involves developing some custom branded social media graphics for a furniture store client of mine, so I put my head space in those of who’d be buying from them and come up with some fun yet modern wording and graphics to go with. I place all those proofs into our shared Dropbox then email the client to let her know they’re ready for review when she has time.

5:00 pm:
I take a final glimpse at my emails before closing up shop for the day and answer any that are of immediate importance.

5:45 pm:
Dinner has been made, enjoyed and I am now lucky enough to put my feet for just up a little while and watch a good show or catch up on any personal/hoe projects I may have been working on. I also take some time to browse some new platform packages that I’ve been interested in testing out as well as design and personal development books from my favourite book store Indigo. For the love of the internet!

7:45 pm:
I video chat or SMS with my bestie (who is also a very talented and creative entrepreneur like myself) about new ideas, personal business goals, extra courses to indulge in as well as what the both of us have planned for the week. We usually try to have creative work “dates” twice a month to encourage one another with new ideas and bounce things off … instead of always using the wall. Sometimes having that other perspective when running a home business builds up and you just need someone to run things by before diving right in.

8:30 pm:
Time to review my business journal with a cup of tea and see what I have on my VU goals list for the month. I make sure to “allow” myself ample time to also achieve my own goals. Even if this includes working late in my office daily and coming up for air in between projects or weekend afternoons when my brain has had time to refresh itself.

9:15 pm:
Now is when my FitBit reminds me it’s time to put work away and wind down on my comfy cozy bed. My other half is usually gaming so it gives me plenty of time to tune into one of my many favourite TV shows (yes, I’m a tv-a-holic when life allows time to do so). Lately I am all about watching the final series episodes of “Scandal” as well as a newer show addiction … “Cardinal”. This is about the time when I really hope I don’t fall asleep before the episode comes to an end.

10:45 pm:
My creative brain has died down and I’ve enjoyed some solid well-deserved downtime.
I check my emails for the day just once more then curl up and go to sleep so I can be bright eyed and bushy tailed for yet another creativity filled day tomorrow!

Interested in sharing a day in your entrepreneurial life?

Feel free to post your day into the comments or share your timeline on my Facebook page.

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Picture of Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal Kordalchuk

Crystal is an artist, a writer, an organizer, a dreamer, a doer, and down-right proud of it NERD!.

Struck with a love for #AllThings creative at a very young age, Crystal dreamed of a life fueled by her passion for creating and bringing the stories and images in her mind into reality.

As she worked toward her dreams, she earned a diploma as a Computer Applications Specialist then another in Graphic Design and from there began to develop her extensive background in multimedia and the arts. She began her worked in the magazine industry as a layout designer and had a succession of design jobs thereafter. It was her role as a graphic/web designer that gave her the first real glimpse of her future. Soon she began a side job as a freelance designer while keeping one foot in the corporate world. A spark was lit! She turned her freelance gig into a full-time business combining design work with her other passion: creating organization from virtual chaos.

Crystal is one of the most organized individuals on the planet. She is by all means a Zen master of her crafts. She excels at helping others become “untangled” and provides her clients with tools to run their businesses smoothly while she takes care of the details behind the scenes. Thus Virtually Untangled was born. A successful business where her work as a top notch creative in graphic and web — with a twist of virtual assistant — married into one amazing place where clients can come with their virtual messes and become magically untangled. Crystal can always make sense of even the most unorganized chaos and offers a virtual detox of order and peace, so her clients can get busy doing the work that they love the most.

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