We all have an extra ten minutes throughout the day: waiting on the train, during our morning commute, surfing the web, taking a walk through the park, waiting for your friends to get ready.
You’d be surprised at how productive you can be in just a 10-minute timeframe. Here are 10 things you can do as a freelance web developer or designer with your 10 minutes:
Take a little time to look into current market and design trends. Look at your competition, and see what they do good and what you can do better. Read an article or blogpost about what’s new in the world and take notes when you can.
Think about your own personal vision and how you can incorporate market and design trends into what you do without losing your personal flair. Might we suggest some fun reading material to get you thinking?
2. To-Do Lists
Write up a to-do list by hand. Crossing off an item is one of the most refreshing feelings in the world. Rank it by priority, project size, due date, whatever. Better yet, write out a todo list and accompany it with a set of goals you have, for the week, month, several months, years. Figure out what you hope to gain or do in the future, and make sure what you’re doing reflects that.
If you want to be the best designer this side of the Mississippi, and you notice everything on your todo list is blog-writing, then something’s up and you need to reevaluate.
Bring a sketchbook or journal with you wherever you go. When you get a bout of inspiration, take a few minutes to jot it down in your journal. Brainstorm ideas for projects or things you might want to do.
You’ll never know what ideas come to you in the moment, and it’s important to capture those feelings and thoughts so you don’t forget them. Pay attention to the small details around you.
Use the time you have to take pictures of the things around you, either for Instagram, your own memories, moodboards, or for inspiration.
If you see a shirt with an awesome design, then snap a pic for the memory book and later inspiration. If you see a logo on a car while shopping, then make it last.
5. Rebranding (Others)
It can be a strong exercise to look up companies you love with websites you hate, and start drawing up ideas for how you’d redesign it. You can work on it little by little every day.
It may not make you money right away, but you can add it to your portfolio or, hey, you could even submit it to the website and see if they’d be interested in a redesign!
6. Update Your CV/Resume/Portfolio
Make sure your CV/resume is up-to-date with all of the projects you’ve been working on and the skills that you’ve gained. Add in what you can from recent freelancing contracts – and make sure you have the appropriate links to showcase your work.
Update your website by adding anything from your portfolio that’s not on there yet – and go through what you do have and remove anything that pales in comparison to your newest work. Delete, delete, delete. Some things simply aren’t worth showcasing on your website anymore.
7. Social Media
Maintain your brand and update your social media accounts. Post that you’re looking for work and link to your portfolio so that your friends and family remember you next time they’re itching to make an app or need a website for their start-up or a design for their new t-shirt line.
Hey, you could even work on cleaning up your social media to make sure it accurately reflects who you are now – not who you were in high school.
Do some jumping jacks, or some crunches, or some lunges, or even get a jump rope! Stretch or do some yoga or breathing exercises. It’s important to look away from the screen and utilize methods to help you find your center and feel relaxed for what you have to work on next.
Not every free 10 minutes you have needs to be productive.
Continuing from the above, your extra 10 minutes can also be a crucial time to reflect on how your day has been, your week, your workload, and the things you’ve been doing. Have you had trouble with clients? Too much on your plate? Worried about money? You have to recognize something is an issue before you can figure out how to fix it.
Take a break from the bustle of your hustle and have a few minutes to just think about what’s making you feel good and what’s leaving you feeling empty or dissatisfied, and then figure out how to fix it. Hey, you could even take this time to figure out if a mentor might help you develop your skills and find how to get the most out of what you’re doing.
No, I know what you’re thinking, but we’re being absolutely serious. A clean workstation or home can bring peace of mind like no other. It’s not procrastination if it’ll help get you into a better headspace later on to work better and stop thinking about how much cleaning you have to do.