How to critique your own work

We are our own worst critics. And by that, I don’t just mean we’re overly harsh — I mean we suck at it.

You can’t pull yourself out of your own head. But I’ve discovered a process that has helped me critique my own work.

It’s simple:

  1. Go to a competing resource — something that is similar, if not the same, as the product/article/art piece/website/whatever you’re working on.
  2. Write down everything you hate about it. Dig in. Now note the good concepts. Distill them into generalized pros and cons. Make a list.
  3. Go back to your own work. Look at the list you’ve made. Are you committing any of these errors? Then fix them!

It’s a lot easier for us to see patterns than it is to generate unbiased subjective opinions about something. This simple method puts the accountability on your general capability with your craft — eliminating the incidental emotional investment that comes when it’s your own work.

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