A Daydream and a Nightmare — Depolarising your days

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

– Japanese Proverb

Although it may seem quite obvious, I find this proverb to be smart precisely because of its simplicity. For me, this describes most days of a designer. You go through days where you have a clear vision about this or that project or even about yourself and your career, so you dream a lot and, most likely, you do not much. And, there are these other days where you just craft stuff out of your stomach. No process. No background. Just doing things.

  1. Helps you to naturalise your nightmares — There is going to be tough days. There is going to be tough projects. And most important, I’m not going to be happy with everything I do.

Shape your vision

I want to craft things that helps people independently of whether it is going to be a successful start-up or a badass experience. This is how I vision myself as a designer. This is very broad but helps me to drive myself back to the roots at any time.

Moderate your “Multi-thinking”

I tend to have lots of ideas which turns into a high frustration cycle as none of them actually got shaped. Some of them were great though but simply I didn’t know how to make them happen. It turns into a lot of time spent drafting here and there but not having anything close to a presentable project. It drives me nowhere as at the end of the day I’m just doing stuff.

Stop “Over-thinking”

It happens to me and it is not necessarily bad: even before delivering a project, I’m already thinking about what I would change and what I would do differently if I would have another x months to work on it. It prevents me to focus on finishing and moving on. It keeps me in the loop of already sorted questions which is not ideal for a productive process. It’s ok, this is there and accepting it helped me to keep on rowing despite all these internal perfectionism-focused-dialogues.

Talk kindly to yourself

It’s a essential idea in NPL which makes sense if you think about it. Most of the times self-critique is tough, it is a heavy-weigh bag. It’s totally fine to have the will of crafting better stuff, actually is essential in my opinion in any creative job. But sometimes arguments goes way beyond rational. Ask yourself if you are treating yourself fairly when arguing against your last work. Is it real shit? Or is just that you are following the never-ending perfectionism path?

Don’t do what you don’t want to do

Be part of what you want to be part of. There are lots of opportunities out there in our field and there is no reason why you should keep on doing things you don’t want to do. Time is there so vision yourself and go for it. Stop accepting clients you don’t want to work with. Quit that job that have you stuck in such a comfort area. Challenge yourself, otherwise you’d only get more of those clients or another comfort-area-friendly job.

Take Action (for real)

Not every day is going to be a very productive day. With the foot on the ground, days are always unpredictable and this is the magic of life. I like that but I also like to be away of caos. Reality is that, most likely, you are not going to be enjoying each single task. There will be shit that needs to be done, for sure. So, the sooner you remove this boring stuff from your desktop, the sooner you’ll be ready for the funny part. I force myself to do so even though I wish I wouldn’t have had any boring bits on my day. I do it. I do it quick. I put myself into mechanical mode and I finish it. Then time to take action is there with no excuses. All for me. All for my daydream to be accomplish so tomorrow another daydream arises.

Digital Product Designer. Currently designing TV experiences @ Rakuten TV. More about me at https://pijoan.com