written by Allan on May 19, 2008
In any job, in any industry, you must constantly be getting "better" at what you do. The only way to improve is to evaluate yourself. I do this constantly, I look back at the work, the situations and the outcome. I ask myself questions like… What makes me good at what I do? What makes me different? In what facets of my skill set am I subpar? When and why am I unproductive? Be honest, its pointless without honestly. Criticize yourself, find the path to improvement.
I will evaluate myself now…
What makes me good at what I do? My business partner, Steve makes me better. He raises my work quality. He questions my decisions and pushes me past my initial solution. Research makes me better by knowing what others are doing, spending time signing up for other sites and evaluating them. Maybe we (Less Everything) need more QA help to question my UI choices more often?
What makes me different? The opinions I give, my thought process, the final product. Being honest with a client telling them my honest opinion. Another differentiator is bad jokes, clients and even our employees love them! :) They can't get enough of them! Well maybe not, but maybe I do handle a client differently than most. Can I improve my relationships with our co-workers and clients? Yes, I probably need to work on being more patient and in tune to their needs and feelings.
Am I growing/improving as a designer <insert skill set here>? Not as much as I should be. I have booked several conferences to attend this year. I am lacking in face to face interaction with others. I need to spend more time throwing ideas around with others. I need to spend some time learning haml. Working out, I need to keeping going to the gym, I really think it must pump oxygen to my brain it really helps my creativity.
Where am I unproductive? What slows me down during the day? My lack of rhtml knowledge. I need to add that to my need to work on list. I need to turn my phones off more and IM as well. I am interrupted too much. And I have got to stop watching my AAPL and GOOG stocks like a hawk.
If you work alone in a freelance or contract position, you will slip and slide down the slope of unproductivity and fall behind on your learning. If someone isn't watching over you pushing you, you will lose your edge. You must be that judge, be honest it will pay off.