As a graphic designer who cares about customer service and sales (yes, I care about sales and appreciate the effort it takes) my feeling on tasks at hand has always been to “do it right now”. Regardless of what you may be working on at the time you should always be flexible to handle an emergency, or even a small request. The key is to have the talent to do this work quickly.
Over the years that I’ve worked in design I’ve seen many “estimates” and “quotes” from designers of all realms when I’ve asked people to quote on a service I wasn’t able to provide due to limitations of my workplace. In most cases those estimates were outlandish in time span and cost. But why? They would either say “it’s going to take this amount of time and I’ll get to it at this date”, or they say “if you want me to do this now, it will take this amount of time and delay other items”. Some tasks are simply simple.
I work fast. It’s always been my love to handle all digital graphic applications with speed and to know how everything works. And, I’ve always been one to insist on working with the fastest computers and processors available (which doesn’t hurt). But knowledge of the software and years of experience working with various design requirements is really where speed comes into play. I’ve been known to put together complex layouts that would take some designers 8 hours of hard thought in a matter of 45 minutes simply because I am comfortable with the setting and I communicate well with the client. Knowing the questions to ask while anticipating any issues beforehand is key to a successful and fast design. And, being honest and realistic with your estimates of time and effort is key. Creatives have always had the history of being long winded in the estimate realm. This shouldn’t be our new history. We are fast and efficient. Do the job now and get it done. But be realistic. Sure, some items are very complex. But small items can be done now to get out of your way so you can get back to your big job. And sometimes these small distractions are just what you need to gather your thoughts before going back to your main task.
If you are working with a designer that is taking too long, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, some tasks do take a very long time. But, when you have a very small change in mind and are told that will take a few hours, feel free to call BS. Talent and experience with real designers who are “people and service oriented” will never give you that take. Rather, you will get what you need in short amount of time because that is how our fast business pace today works. Take on the task, do it now, and then move on. If you can’t multitask constantly as a creative, you are not very creative in your thinking.