On Process

I’ve historically had problems with time management, so I started planning out my next work day at the end of the previous. I’ve also dealt with feeling overwhelmed with work, so I came up with a system to prioritize jobs on my To Do List so that I would work only on what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.

I was able to come up with these solutions because I was able to be honest with myself and accept that I needed help. I took ownership of the problem, didn’t buy into my self-criticism and didn’t shift blame to somebody else.

What makes a good creative great is that he or she not only sees problems but finds solutions. Research, create and amend as needed. This not only applies to your product, but your process as well.

Do yourself a favor and start to examine your own process. Ask yourself, “What needs to change?” Chances are it’s something you can own, something within your power to affect. Don’t just sit around and criticize, take control.

On Messing Up

Right now I’m building a form prototype for a client in Zurb Foundation, the first Foundation project I’ve ever built. I’ve taken an excellent Foundation course from Treehouse, as well as read over the well-written documentation time and time again. None of that compares, however, to actually building in Foundation.

Have I messed up the layout? Yes. Have I misused components? You bet. Has it taken forever? Of course, but I’m learning.

I hate messing up. It’s the worst feeling in the world, but it’s also necessary in order to achieve a higher level of understanding. Reading a book or watching a video tutorial is nothing compared to actual experience. You have to make mistakes and learn how to fix them. Only then can you truly say you’ve gained knowledge.

If you want to learn a new skill, build something that uses that skill. Get your hands dirty, and when (not if) you mess up, knuckle under and figure it out. Do what you can, when you can, and don’t worry about what other people think. You aren’t building your skillset for other people; you’re doing it for yourself.

“To really get it, you need to run into difficulty, make mistakes, then identify and correct them. So converting that knowledge from abstract to practical is important because it’s no longer something someone else has told you.” – Guil Hernandez, How to Remember the Code You’re Learning