Never Try to Get It Right the First Time

The need to get everything right the first time is understandable. After all, youre being paid to produce quality output (at least, I hope you are). And how dare someone imply that you make mistakes! But perfection can prove paralyzing, causing delays that will affect ability to produce on time.

Whatever you do, you should concentrate on letting your creativity flow; just type the words as they come, or let the elements find the right place on a design for example. Eventually youll hit upon something that just seems right, based on your knowledge and experience. And you can always go back and correct mistakes later. Youre not going to submit your first draft, right?

Of course, this is a lot easier with computers. Everything is reduced into units you can easily manipulate. But the produce first and perfect later rule also applied before everything was digital. Writers would cross out and add new words as needed. Layout artists moved actual objects. Ancient sculptors even enjoyed some room for error, since they didnt try to get the final shape on the first session. The point is, if these people were able to do that, with a much more limited tool set, why cant you?

This doesnt mean that you should suddenly start creating web applications if you have no experience doing so. Free flowing creativity only works when its based on sound fundamentals and a wellthought out plan. In other words, you need to know what youre doing and how to do it. You need a framework to direct your skills, so that no matter how messy things become, itll still be recoverable.

I guarantee that as long as you focus on doing, rather than being correct, youll have an easier time submitting projects on time and to spec.

10 Things to Do When You have Nothing to Do

Before I reach 30, I want to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of my youth. So I do as much as I can. But there will always be times when nothing’s on the agenda, when there’s nothing better to do than channel surf, follow links and take a nap.

If you’re sick of that, you can always try these out:

Clean your equipment. Now it’s time to give your equipment a much-deserved rest and clean it up. Make sure to read the cleaning instructions!

Clean your room and/or work area. Finally, you can get rid of that mountain of dirty laundry that’s been gathering in that damp, dark corner. Or those pile of “old papers” that put landfills to shame.

Re-organize your stuff. This is when I make sure everything in my Inventory 2.0 is in the right place. And that all my files are in the right folders.

Get some exercise. Even if you already exercise regularly, here’s your chance to burn more calories. Nowadays, only athletes can say they exercise too much.

Expand your skill set. You’re famous because of your Apple Web 2.0 inspired designs. Perhaps you should spend some time coming up with a new visual style. Who knows? It could be exactly what your next client’s looking for.

Do a mindless, repetitive task. Got a lot of business cards you want to encode for later use? You can watch your favorite TV show or movie while you’re at it.

Catch up with a friend. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve last talked to that old friend. Maybe it’s time to continue where you left off.

Spend time with the family. But make sure they get to do what they want. Sometimes, not making decisions is a great thing.

Talk to your contacts. Ask how they’re doing, chat them up, treat them out to lunch. Just remind them you exist!

Look for more work. You have nothing better to do right?

Yes, it’s unhealthy if you spend every second of your life doing something. But once you get bored of boredom, these ten tasks are worth considering.