Speed the hell up!
Concept, Create, Repeat.
We commonly hear about the need to slow down and learn to take more value in items most important to you… Hogwash.
Let’s stop and look at this for just one second.
- The things I think about and spend time on … important.
- Those I don’t think about or spent time with … not important.
This is how you know what is important to you. Where do you choose to spend your personal equity? Quiet reflection is a whole waste of time. Turning your dial down is precisely that, you become less. Less productive, less creative, and less useful.
Have you ever been in a quiet brainstorming session? (If so, I am sorry it was stupid.) It’s a storm, not a brain-lazy river. Creativity grows with passion and work. Resting about or laying around waiting for lighting to strike will not produce the results you hoped. Get up, make your own or find someone who sells “Lightning in a Bottle” :)
Open the gates.
Under my first design principal, he insisted that you need to create no less that 100 concepts per logo. Daunting to a new designer. He was hard core about it too. Wouldn’t even look at what you had until you hit the mark.
It was exhausting, challenging, and infuriating. The value wasn’t in finding a better concept, the value was the mental push to expand your concepting abilities.
Years later and thousands of concepts in the books, finding countless ways a user can navigate a page are effortless.
While interviewing with a recent creative cohort (@gautch), we asked the candidate to use a whiteboard to illustrate a conceptual workflow. He plots and draws, inquires and speculates a decent example. He thought he nailed it. Next @gautch says:
Now erase it and do it again … but different.
Poor kid nearly had a heart attack. Though his first attempt was viable, we wanted to test his bandwidth. When faced with limitations how would you adapt. After a defeat, will you shirk it off and go again or hang your head in defeat. This kid rose to the challenge, killed it, and got the job.
Step like an adult.
As a creative, hell as a person, your time is your most valuable resource. Reviewing how you spend it will show you what kind of person you are, and how you will make an impact.
Don’t waste your time on baby steps. It’s too slow, too cautious, and too wasteful. Your increased bandwidth will layout a runway allowing you to see ahead. If you can see a concept won’t work down the road, change now. When you have spent your equity wisely you will be able increase your efficency with speed.
You won’t remember hanging out.
Remember that time you were quietly reflecting with your family and everyone had a brilliant time … no.
Hustle to build equity with your close ones. Ride a river, play some football, throw a frisbee, or go to a park. Your relationships and projects both will grow from what you put into them.
Balance your own books.
Be aware of where you are spending your time. If you are not accomplishing what you want, you need to make a change. Only you know where you assign value.
Don’t be Less. Be More.
More is always fuller.