See what your contacts are up to on LinkedIn.
Go to twitter. Click on any interesting links and find something to tweet about.
Facebook – has your opponent made their move in ‘Words with Friends’ yet?
Look up how many views you’ve had on your website.
Google someone from that film you saw last night because you can’t quite remember what you’ve seen them in before.
Have any more emails come in while you’ve been doing all this?
Start again from the top.
That’s two hours gone. You can whittle away an entire day following this same loop – especially when you’re working in communications and have a legitimate reason for getting involved in social networking during business hours.
It’s very easy to get sidetracked like this but it’s nothing compared to working in Photoshop. It can do such wonderful things – make even the flimsiest concept appear bright and dazzling and intricate. You’ll open it up thinking: ‘I’ll just have a play around until I come up with something’ and before you know it, it’s 3am and you’ve spent 14 hours tinkering with a 20 pixel square that’s only visible when viewed at 1600% magnification.
We’ve all done it.
If you don’t want to fall into this trap, it’s vital that you have a clear idea about what you’re going to do before you start. The idea is the main thing – the software you use is just a tool, something to get the job done more effectively. Photoshop is the equivalent of a builder’s lump-hammer or a plumber’s wrench.
At the very start of a job, Sophie and I always sit down and work out exactly what it is we want to say. I sketch layouts on sheets of A4, Sophie has a snazzy little notebook. We both use pens.
Only when our papers are peppered with arrows and crossings-out do we go to our laptops. With the message worked out beforehand, Photoshop isn’t such a time vampire.
This gives us much more time to check our emails, connect on LinkedIn, tweet, use Facebook, look at our website views, write blogs…