How the SECAR Method Can Double Your Productivity as a Freelance Graphic Designer

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(Image Source: Pixabay)

Whether you’re a Top Rated Seller graphic designer that’s working on bigger-paying projects, or you’re a days-old seller in the platform, you stand to gain from being able to churn out designs at record time.

After all, your bottomline is bound to increase the more designs you produce regardless of what level you’re in as a Fiverr seller.

The more designs you deliver, the more you get paid — it’s that simple.

That is why, if you want to double your income as a Fiverr graphic designer, you need to have systems or methodologies in place that can help improve your productivity.

And that’s what this article is all about.

In this guide, you can learn about the SECAR method — a five-step methodology often used in businesses and organizations to increase its efficiency — and see how freelance graphic designers can apply the framework to skyrocket their productivity.

The acronym stands for Simplify, Eliminate, Combine, Automate, and Relocate.

To get you started with the SECAR method, you first need to uncover what problems you’d like to solve.

For example, your problem could be, “Why can’t I finish (and submit) my designs early?”

Now that you know the problem that you want to address, you can apply the SECAR method.

Simplify

There are a couple of ways that you can simplify your tasks as a graphic designer. For example, instead of going on a chat-fest with your buyers about how they want their designs crafted, you can prepare a list of standard questions for your onboarding process instead.

Upon ordering your gig, you can immediately ask a list of onboarding questions like:

  • What emotions would you like your design to invoke?
  • What are your preferred colors (if any)?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the link to your website (or publication) where this design will be used?
  • Etc.

By asking these questions in advance, you simplify your process because you pretty much have all the information you need to create a design that you know will resonate with your buyers.

Eliminate

To increase the rate of which you are producing your designs, it’s only natural for you to get rid of the parts of your workflow that isn’t bringing much value — or those that are straight-up time-wasters.

For example, since you are working online, you might get distracted by going to YouTube, Facebook, 9gag, etc.

Every minute you spend on these sites could have gone to you finishing your design, but because you got distracted, you now find yourself spending 3 – 4 hours working on a design that you could have finished in 1 – 2 hours only.

To eliminate distraction, you can install productivity apps that block time-wasting sites. Like the StayFocusd Chrome extension, for example.

Once you have the extension installed, you can go to “The Nuclear Option” to set up how you want to block websites.

Once you’re done setting up, you can click the “NUKE ‘EM!” button so the extension can stop blocking sites.

If you visit a site that you already blocked, this will appear on your screen.

When the prompt appears, you’ll be reminded to continue working on your design, keeping you from getting distracted.

Combine

Whether you’re designing graphics for a landing page, a Facebook ad design, or an infographic, it pays to have a template that you can work on as a base.

Templates are great because you can complete your designs without having to do ‘em from scratch.

The problem is, creating these templates can be very time-consuming — let alone you aren’t paid for creating them.

This is why combining your tasks is important.

When you think about it, creating templates doesn’t have to be a standalone task. If you combine your template production with your order fulfillment, you’ll realize that you won’t have to create the templates as a standalone task — you just need to store the designs that you created for your clients and use them as the actual templates for your future orders.

Instead of having two tasks, you only end up with one — which is producing the beautifully-crafted designs for your buyers. From there, you just need to store the designs somewhere so you can use them as your templates.

Automate

Because designing graphics is a creative task, there isn’t much you can automate when doing your actual designs.

Also, because Fiverr is a robust platform, you won’t have to use automation tools to send follow-up emails when billing your clients, or asking them for reviews/feedback when you’ve submitted your work (among other things) — Fiverr pretty much has you covered on those.

Something you can automate, however, is learning about new design strategies, concepts, or news about the industry you’re in. This bit is crucial since you need to keep abreast of the latest trends if you want to stay relevant.

To automate how you curate your content, you can use a free tool like TweetedTimes. It allows you to create a Newspaper — a page that shows articles related to the topic that you want to be curated.

With the help of content curation tools, you’ll have content relevant to graphic designing served to you, instead of you having to search for them. This makes it easier for you to read and learn about your industry, allowing you to become more productive as you apply new strategies and techniques.

Relocate

Instead of working from your room, you might want to dress up, go to a co-working space, and be surrounded by other driven freelancers who are eager to finish their projects.

When you are surrounded by energetic and passionate people, there’s a good chance you’ll feel driven, as well.

It all has to do with impartation.

Would you like to be in a place that’s conducive to sleeping and relaxing? Or would you like to be in a place that reeks with hard work, energy, and creativity?

When you have boatloads of design orders, you’d want the latter, wouldn’t you?

Remember that the change in atmosphere and ambiance can help you become more productive since it affects your mood or disposition towards the list of tasks that you have to power through.

What’s Next?

As a Fiverr seller that offers graphic designs, can you share some of your best practices to double your productivity?

While the SECAR method certainly has its glaring merits, there are, without a doubt, several other productivity hacks that graphic designers can use to skyrocket their output.

If you have some tricks up your sleeve that you’d like to share with our community of graphic designers here in Fiverr, feel free to add them in the comments section below. Cheers!

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