I think that just about every designer out there would agree that the biggest problem we run into without exception, is fighting with time. To really be able to create stylish modern designs, we have to be able to not only clear the deck of inturruptions and distractions, we also have to be actively seeking inspiration. This is also very hard to find time to devote to simply browsing the net for new ideas to pull into our own visual vocabulary.
Once properly inspired, most of us will likely lean towards creating something new – outside of our comfort zone, because this is what really makes design intrinsically rewarding. Although, going outside of ones’ comfort zone often leads to project time over-runs. Which of couse means more time in meetings about why this happens and more time that we are taking away from other creative endeavors.
Time is the enemy and a good designer is as much artist as juggler. Being able to keep all the elements of a design; marketing message, content collection/creation, inspiration, new approaches, customer contacts, etc., etc. in line with a project timeframe is a feat that should be commended in its’ own right. So I commend you sucessful designers/jugglers out there.
I will continue this particular train of thought to elaborate on methods I have found effective for design-time management. Stay Tuned!