Most church designers fight the daily battle of design priority. With so many ministries needing design work to help accomplish their objectives, it can be a never-ending battle for the church designer. A typical day might include finalizing a project for one ministry, working on a concept for another, and checking the print status of yet another design?piece.
With so many things happening in the daily life of a designer, learning how to prioritize that work can be a challenge for any church creative.
Using your time wisely and choosing to work on the right projects is a vital part of your?success. In this article we?ll look at a few steps to take when you’re struggling with what you should work on next.[quote]Using your time wisely and choosing to work on the right projects is a vital part of your?success.[/quote]
1. Assign a level Of Importance
If you’re anything like me, you know it can be difficult to let go of certain things. The problems begin?when we refuse to give away projects or use other resources that are already available. A few years back, I tried to design everything. From logos, sermon graphics, videos, and just about anything my church used. I have since learned the incredible value of using other resources. When I sat down to evaluate what was really important for me to work on, I realized how much time and energy I was wasting.
I used to create all the motion backgrounds for our worship songs. I thought I was the only one who could make what I wanted. When I started looking around at the resources out there, I was blown away by the quality I could get from a third party. Because I was putting too high a value on every single design project,?the rest of my designs were suffering. Be honest with yourself when you evaluate what really matters. Pick three to five things that only you can do. Once you begin this process, you will feel less stressed and the quality of your work will dramatically increase.
2. Determine The Deadline
No matter where you work or volunteer, deadlines are something that we all have to deal with. They are a huge factor in determining the urgency of a particular project. Obviously, the closer the deadline, the more urgent completing the process becomes. Not all deadlines are equal. So if you can’t get everything done, try to evaluate the consequences of being late on a particular project.
3. Set Milestones
For those larger projects, it is an absolute must to break down the design into a few smaller deadlines. If you only focus on the large projects, you will miss out on a few smaller deadlines that might be equally as important. Once you begin to break it down, you will have a better understanding of the steps you need to take in order to stay on track.
If you work with a team, this means you must nail your team communication. One team member might work better when you only give them a few days. Someone else might work better simply knowing when the project is due. Whatever your situation, if you want to complete the larger projects on time, you must be setting small milestones to reach your big goals.[quote]You must be setting small milestones to reach your big goals.[/quote]
4. Have Some Self Discipline
Like it or not, designers have developed a reputation for being self indulgent and flaky. Whether or not there is any truth in those rumors is irrelevant. As a creative in the church environment, one of our top priorities should be to produce top quality stuff?on time. It doesn?t matter whether your position allows you to be more entrepreneurial or your supervisor is constantly breathing down your neck, without self-discipline you won’t be able to finish anything. All of the other tips we have talked about are worthless if you can’t motivate yourself to finish a project. Establishing a mindset of finishing the goal before you get to work everyday will go along way to help you prioritize your designs.
I’ve done design in church for nearly ten years. Some designs have been good. Others have been terrible. What’s kept me going throughout my career in ministry has been understanding the why. When I get a request to make a flyer for the kids ministry to send home with parents, it’s easy to throw that onto the “not so important” pile so that I can focus on things more people will see (or get me more praise). That mindset will lead you down a few trails you most likely don’t want to go.
For me it’s a daily battle. Reminding myself that I am not simply designing to make money or to get high fives from other artists. I am designing for the Kingdom. I am designing to make a real difference. I am designing so that people far from God can experience Him in ways they never thought possible. Every design I complete can change someone’s life. Not because I’m the best designer or that flyer is?the coolest thing they have ever seen, but because God can use the talents He gave me to touch someone’s life anytime He wants.[quote]I am not simply designing to make money or to get high fives from other artists.[/quote]
Placing that high level of value on what you are doing will not only make you happier and more driven, it will also help you weed out the not so important things in your day. Starting with that mindset and these easy tips can set you on the path of creating design awesomeness.