Guard your time
Whether you’re an 'owl or fowl' (as my grandmother says), guard the block of time where feel you feel the best and most alert, and use that time to take on the work the requires the most brain space.
My best block of time is a four hour block, 9am to 1pm. During this time I don’t check emails or schedule meetings. I use this time for deep design work, where I get a decent block of uninterrupted time to explore ideas and make good progress on larger design projects.
What's your best block of time?
The power of belief
“We don’t get what we ask for. We get what we believe. What we believe about ourselves shows up in our energy. It’s how we walk into a room. It’s how we communicate. It’s whether we sit up straight, or hide out in the back of a meeting. At times my own energy has been saying - ‘I’m cool with the bare minimum don’t give me more’. Without knowing it I stunted my growth because I was scared to be magnificent and doubtful that I was.” – Alicia Keys
Our thinking has a big impact on how we grow as designers. Sometimes, we hold ourselves back out of fear or uncertainty. Alicia's quote is a good reminder to be confident in your abilities and aim to approach your work with the mindset that there are no limitations.
Finding confidence in design decisions
In their article about finding confidence in design decisions, Linda Eliasen talks about the 'The Confidence Conundrum'; a “how do I propose a solution with an ‘I got this!’ attitude while managing my internal feeling of ‘do I got this?’.”
Yes, we can control the narrative in our heads (like in the prompt above), but we can’t control every part of the design process.
Here's a couple of exercises from Linda for boosting your confidence and showing up with the 'I got this' attitude.
- Early Scary Things
Analysing early life events related to building confidence can help us reframe our narratives from a more generous perspective.
Exercise: Think of a time in your life when you were not yet confident in yourself in regards to a particular skill, activity, or discipline. What steps did you take to achieve confidence?
- Build Confidence with Data and Experience
Data. Fill your mind with any information you can think of that is linked to the situation. Experience. Repeat the scary thing until it’s not scary.
Exercise: Write about an area in your life where you would like to build more confidence today. This could be a hobby, a design project, or any area of your life where you wish you had more confidence. Then think, what do you think you could use more of in your current confidence conundrum? Data, or courage to step into the experience?
Maybe it’s a little of both :).
I’ve distilled the essence of Linda’s article above, but I recommend you read the full article.