Creativity Under Pressure: Sharpen Your Estimation Skills to Raise Your Value

first_imgAccurately estimate a project’s commitment to maximize your time & increase your profits.Time management and creativity don’t usually go hand-in-hand.Unfortunately though, creative work devoid of time constraints becomes a financial matter.  It simply isn’t profitable.  Making a living as a creative professional obviously has a lot to do with skill and talent – but to be most successful you must also be productive and work well under the rigors of financial pressures and time constraints.  In this post, we offer up a few tips to follow when budgeting your time for creative projects.Sharpen Your Estimation SkillsThe quickest way to degrade your value is poor project estimation from the get-go.  Not only does over-promising the speed of a job mean you won’t be properly compensated for your time, but it also sets unrealistic client expectations.  If you underestimate just to win work, you’re already taking a loss.Instead, attempt to get the most information possible about a project from the onset.  Whether you’re a video editor, photographer or designer, make sure your client provides great detail about their expectations and project timeline.  Insure that you’re on the same page about the revisions process – a client that expects an infinite number of revisions will be a huge drain on your time.Once you land a project create a thorough schedule, outlining the completion of each stage of the process.   Graphic designers and video editors will want to note when a first cut (or draft) should be completed, when a fine cut is due, allocate time for revisions and create a deadline for final client delivery (whew!).  Photographers can benefit from breaking down their editing process – when favorites should be pulled, when pictures need to be edited and the date they should be uploaded or delivered.Even if you’re working on a project basis (as opposed to hourly) you need to break your time down into set increments.  This way you have a roadmap, encouraging you to keep moving forward and not micro-focusing.  Each hour invested represents a dollar amount – whether you’re paid hourly or not.Simple Time Estimation TrickThe best way to create such a schedule is by basing your time estimates on past projects.  For every project you work on record how long it takes you to complete certain tasks.  Includes notes on the project – how much video was cut, how many shots were taken – and then notate what you did and how long it took to complete.  Even though every project is different, you can make a more informed estimate and can say, “I think this new project will take X amount of hours, because a similar one I did in the past took about that long.”Does this sound like overkill?  It might – but the minimal amount of time it takes to implement (throw it all in a spreadsheet) is well worth your ability to more accurately estimate jobs in the future.Don’t dilute your value by working more for less.  If you can estimate a project most accurately you’ll be better compensated for your time – and your clients will likely be more satisfied to boot.How do you keep your time in check?We want to hear your suggestions and tips in the comments!last_img read more

Rising Seas Will Overtake Land at Coastal Installations Study Concludes

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Military installations on the East and Gulf coasts are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with rising sea levels expected to threaten increasing amounts of coastal land over the coming decades, according to an analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists released Wednesday.Coastal installations will experience more extensive tidal flooding and when hurricanes strike, deeper and more extensive storm surge flooding, the study concluded.“We’re now at the front end of the changes that will occur, with some installations already dealing with flooding during extreme high tides,” said Erika Spanger-Siegfried, lead author of the report. “Depending on how fast sea level rises in the second half of this century, tidal flooding will become a daily occurrence in some areas; that is, those places become part of the tidal zone as opposed to useable land.”Sea level increases — already up 8 inches globally since 1880 — are the product of rising temperatures and ice melt primarily caused by global warming. The East and Gulf coasts experience some of the fastest rates of sea level rise, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.By 2050, half of the 18 installations the study evaluated would experience 270 or more flood events per year — up from just 10 events per year today — under an intermediate sea level-rise scenario. Under the highest scenario, those installations likely would experience daily floods.Four sites — Naval Air Station Key West, Fla.; Naval Station Mayport, Fla.; Fort Eustis at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; and Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. — stand to lose one-fifth or more of their land by 2050 due to daily high-tide flooding under the highest sea level-rise scenario.“In 2070, all but a few [of 18 installations studied] are projected to see flooding once or twice every day. Shockingly, these aren’t even the worst-case scenarios,” said co-author and lead analyst Kristy Dahl.DOD has been addressing the problem in recent years. At Langley AFB, Va., for example, the Air Force has constructed a shoreline seawall and door dams to protect some of its buildings, and it has installed a pump system to remove flood waters.“But there’s a big gap between what’s being done and what’s needed,” said Spanger-Siegfried.Installations should plan collaboratively with surrounding communities to counter the impact of rising seas on housing, transportation systems and critical infrastructure on and off installations, the report recommended.Individual installations also will need more detailed analyses of how rising seas will affect their infrastructure, as well as additional resources to adapt to the changing conditions, according to the study.last_img read more