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Daily Routine.

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Welcome back to our Design at Scale – Academy series, focusing on the design practice in a team of ten. After analysing your network and finding the opportunities in your existing team, you have decided to become a thought leader and support your team in the best way possible. Now it's about putting the things into practice and making sure that the teams understand why you are there and what benefit you provide

Routine

Routines are not any different. Every day, we follow certain routines, whether we are brushing our teeth, having a cup of coffee, going for a morning swim or a short bike ride across the town. These routines might differ even though they become quite systematic. This article aims to answer the routines that are specifically related to the Product Development Cycle. Routines that bring benefits to the designer or designer-led function in a day-to-date scenario increase the impact on the product or the service.

Feasibility

Let's be honest here; most of the time, we talk about the routines of a diet, running, going to the gym or doing something else. We often put these routines in a diary, and they never happen – we call it procrastination. In the work, it's not different. It has been reported that employees in businesses of over 1,000 spend two hours of their time on mobile phones, not working another hour on lunch and then the following two hours on communication channels like  Slack or Microsoft  Teams. That all together is five hours of wasted time, and basically nothing is delivered. No judgment here – I just want to be realistic. The objective here is to make your team more productive and focus on your career growth.
Whatever we introduce has to be so minimal with a maximal impact.

Daily habits 

Having a daily habit that includes cues – craving – response – rewards. James Clear summarised all the processes and the system in his book. Outside of his recommendations, we’ll move on to a productive routine. In order to accommodate all of your teammates, we recommend the following structure.
A morning Stand-up for 10-15 minutes max. Followed by the set of engagements that are vital for the agreements on work to be delivered.
Most of these engagement tales up a whole morning. Lunchtime with your colleagues or loved ones. Afternoons are designed for delivering the increment. 17:00 shart upload and share with colleagues is a must.

Daily Routines

Designers' routines are slightly more specific. This depends on whether you are playing a supportive function (fire-fighter) or a visionary function (architect); your day might look differently. After setup, align your vision with an engineer and the product owner. Then, spend 20 or so minutes sketching out what you are going to do to prevent further time wasted with your tool of preference. 

After all the agreements, you are ready to go. Your block is 5x50 – five times 50 minutes of an absolute focus with a defined problem to solve. I usually dedicate the last 50 minutes to documenting it and organise it in a way that can be presented so that whoever comes to the file or I share the link understands the story.

Routine one.

Write three points on the list of what needs to be delivered on that day. 

  • What I'm going to deliver today?
  • Who I'm going to help today?
  • Who am I going to teach something today?

At 7 o'clock routine too

Grab your coffee and a little notepad. Write three ideas on how to improve the business as a designer. Be more specific. Please do not write anything about the product or service that you are building at the moment. Wright about the ideas that actually improve the business. Mainly the operational things;

  • How do you make your work better?
  • How can you get better insights?
  • How best do you serve your colleagues? 
  • How can you become your own coach?

Routine number three

Do you like to eat out, or are you a sandwich person? Grab your colleague regardless and ask them about what the design can do better in this company. Your lunch is an opportunity to find out the ideas that you can expose through your design work. Many lunches I tested the ide ain form of prototype and get some invaluable feedback from my colleagues on how to and how not to think about the proposition. 

Routing number four

At three o'clock you might probably need a coffee. Grab one of the diaries we have mentioned in series one and reflect on what you have done so far and how you can make it better. Again, this time, you are improving yourself. Do not try to fix the problem on the existing proposition; look at how you can be better at solving it.

Routine number five.

Prepare the one thing that will help you to do a better job. It could be a Figma tile that represents the name, location, version, and code of those working on the same project. It could be an image that can be inserted in your Friday presentation, or it could be a meaning convention for your files. It could also be your weekly email to your colleague about what you have learned about the design from your direct competitor. 

Routine number six

Right, it's the end of the day. Between all these little routines, you have been thinking about things that make your work better while you are doing the work. Now is the time to present your work at the end of the day. I often found that this time of the day reflects the best of all the intentions designers put into their company. Preparing the email about the daily update leaves a sense of accomplishment. Whether it is a Salck note, email, or Jira ticket, you are sending the message that I have done something. 

Just a quick summary for today

My notes goe like this:

I havefinalisedd these screens and found two potential improvements. Please look at it in respect of a current sprint and let me know whether we can improve it.
I appreciate it might be too early, yet the inconsistency of these two interactions will cost us more going forward.
I’d appreciate if  you could find some time tomorrow to review it and discuss the impact in greater detail. 

Tomorrow, I'll be working on the following ticket number: ACT–123

Benefits

The routines above are not destructive. Neither all of them should be implemented at once. Try one and see what happens; try two and iterate. Whether your morning routine will be Monday, Wednesday, or Friday and your afternoon routine will be only Tuesdays and Thursdays, it's totally up to you.  Do whatever works for you. Once you embrace the system, you’ll eventually tailor it to your own needs, and that’s the whole purpose – to fit you. You will soon realise that a single five to ten minutes of focus significantly affects your design delivery. 
You will then find the time on how to learn more tricks in a Figma or how you can integrate the research into your Design Delivery. Or better, how you can better talk to the business about the ideas that you might have. Chances are that noninvasive routines make more time to do what we love and how our environment responds to it.

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