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Published on September 28, 2017

Become a Professional Designer in a Few Minutes With Canva

Become a Professional Designer in a Few Minutes With Canva

No matter what jobs you do, a project will involve one or more of design-related tasks such as editing photos, creating special presentation slides, creating posters, wallpapers and unique imagery.

If you’re not a designer, you have a few basic options:

  1. Hire one. It can be expensive; the average freelance designer rate is about $75-$150/hour now.[1]
  2. Use tools like Photoshop or InDesign yourself. It’s often complicated and can take many steps to achieve something relatively basic.

In both situations, time, effort, money are expanded.

What if there was a simpler way?

There is, and it’s called Canva

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Canva has about 10 million active users. Their basic value proposition is that you can create professional and great designs from scratch in a few minutes. There are default templates to guide you, but customization is also available. It’s all relatively simple and very intuitive, which makes it highly valuable.

I’m going to highlight a few features that will be most useful for your everyday work.

Design Grids

Choose from a number of design grids to create creative layout. All you need to do is drag and drop the images to fill the boxes in the grids.

    Photo Editing

    From adjusting a photo’s size, to enhancing a photo, to add special effects to it, you can edit any photo easily with a few clicks. Read more about how to make use of all the photo editing features here.

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      Narrative for Any Photo

      Easily customize your message with different font, style and color and insert it in anywhere of a photo.

        Create Graphs

        Create stunning graphs to go with your reports, presentations and infographics. You can customize the colors and fonts of the graphs to make them engaging for your audience.

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          Design a Presentation

          With an access to hundreds of beautifully designed layouts, you can create presentations on any topic. All you need to do is choose the right images, fonts and colors to make your presentation inspiring.

            Create a Poster

            You can choose from 1 million+ stock images as baselines, add dozens of potential filters, and live-edit the text. The result is a professional outcome at a significantly-reduced cost.

              Create Your Professional Design in Minutes

              Design skills throughout history have been in the hands of the few, which makes them highly-coveted, well-compensated specialists. That’s still true, but if your organization can’t afford great design at present, or you’re in a start-up/scaling phase, Canva is a great resource to experiment with logos, branding, and design.

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              The Webby Awards actually called Canva

              “the easiest to use design program in the world.”

              What are you waiting for? Visit Canva and start to create your own professional design in minutes.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Brian Lee

              Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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              Published on July 17, 2018

              How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

              How Productive People Compartmentalize Time to Get the Most Done

              I’ve never believed people are born productive or organized. Being organized and productive is a choice.

              You choose to keep your stuff organized or you don’t. You choose to get on with your work and ignore distractions or you don’t.

              But one skill very productive people appear to have that is not a choice is the ability to compartmentalize. And that takes skill and practice.

              What is compartmentalization

              To compartmentalize means you have the ability to shut out all distractions and other work except for the work in front of you. Nothing gets past your barriers.

              In psychology, compartmentalization is a defence mechanism our brains use to shut out traumatic events. We close down all thoughts about the traumatic event. This can lead to serious mental-health problems such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) if not dealt with properly.

              However, compartmentalization can be used in positive ways to help us become more productive and allow us to focus on the things that are important to us.

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              Robin Sharma, the renowned leadership coach, calls it his Tight Bubble of Total Focus Strategy. This is where he shuts out all distractions, turns off his phone and goes to a quiet place where no one will disturb him and does the work he wants to focus on. He allows nothing to come between himself and the work he is working on and prides himself on being almost uncontactable.

              Others call it deep work. When I want to focus on a specific piece of work, I turn everything off, turn on my favourite music podcast The Anjunadeep Edition (soft, eclectic electronic music) and focus on the content I intend to work on. It works, and it allows me to get massive amounts of content produced every week.

              The main point about compartmentalization is that no matter what else is going on in your life — you could be going through a difficult time in your relationships, your business could be sinking into bankruptcy or you just had a fight with your colleague; you can shut those things out of your mind and focus totally on the work that needs doing.

              Your mind sees things as separate rooms with closable doors, so you can enter a mental room, close the door and have complete focus on whatever it is you want to focus on. Your mind does not wander.

              Being able to achieve this state can seriously boost your productivity. You get a lot more quality work done and you find you have a lot more time to do the things you want to do. It is a skill worth mastering for the benefits it will bring you.

              How to develop the skill of compartmentalization

              The simplest way to develop this skill is to use your calendar.

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              Your calendar is the most powerful tool you have in your productivity toolbox. It allows you to block time out, and it can focus you on the work that needs doing.

              My calendar allows me to block time out so I can remove everything else out of my mind to focus on one thing. When I have scheduled time for writing, I know what I want to write about and I sit down and my mind completely focuses on the writing.

              Nothing comes between me, my thoughts and the keyboard. I am in my writing compartment and that is where I want to be. Anything going on around me, such as a problem with a student, a difficulty with an area of my business or an argument with my wife is blocked out.

              Understand that sometimes there’s nothing you can do about an issue

              One of the ways to do this is to understand there are times when there is nothing you can do about an issue or an area of your life. For example, if I have a student with a problem, unless I am able to communicate with that student at that specific time, there is nothing I can do about it.

              If I can help the student, I would schedule a meeting with the student to help them. But between now and the scheduled meeting there is nothing I can do. So, I block it out.

              The meeting is scheduled on my calendar and I will be there. Until then, there is nothing I can do about it.

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              Ask yourself the question “Is there anything I can do about it right now?”

              This is a very powerful way to help you compartmentalize these issues.

              If there is, focus all your attention on it to the exclusion of everything else until you have a workable solution. If not, then block it out, schedule time when you can do something about it and move on to the next piece of work you need to work on.

              Being able to compartmentalize helps with productivity in another way. It reduces the amount of time you spend worrying.

              Worrying about something is a huge waste of energy that never solves anything. Being able to block out issues you cannot deal with stops you from worrying about things and allows you to focus on the things you can do something about.

              Reframe the problem as a question

              Reframing the problem as a question such as “what do I have to do to solve this problem?” takes your mind away from a worried state into a solution state, where you begin searching for solutions.

              One of the reasons David Allen’s Getting Things Done book has endured is because it focuses on contexts. This is a form of compartmentalization where you only do work you can work on.

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              For instance, if a piece of work needs a computer, you would only look at the work when you were in front of a computer. If you were driving, you cannot do that work, so you would not be looking at it.

              Choose one thing to focus on

              To get better at compartmentalizing, look around your environment and seek out places where you can do specific types of work.

              Taking your dog for a walk could be the time you focus solely on solving project problems, commuting to and from work could be the time you spend reading and developing your skills and the time between 10 am and 12 pm could be the time you spend on the phone sorting out client issues.

              Once you make the decision about when and where you will do the different types of work, make it stick. Schedule it. Once it becomes a habit, you are well on your way to using the power of compartmentalization to become more productive.

              Comparmentalization saves you stress

              Compartmentalization is a skill that gives you time to deal with issues and work to the exclusion of all other distractions.

              This means you get more work done in less time and this allows you to spend more time with the people you want to spend more time with, doing the things you want to spend more time doing.

              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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