Monday, July 4, 2011

The Tank

Designing is like life. No? You brainstorm, you plan then make things happen. Pretty much the same. But designing, like life, has its way of leaving you in a dike, bound with USB cables, gagged with JOs, your arse lit on fire and with deadlines circling overhead like crazy vultures.

Like other designers, I’ve had my fair share of ball-breaking situations, and it feels like your PC just gave you "the blue screen of death, dumping physical memory now... 10.. 9.. 8... 7..." Feels hopeless. But if you ever find yourself in this kind of situation, I discovered that the only way to get out of it is to become a tank. This applies to everything else in designing (and in life). So, here are 4 ways on how to become a tank:

1. Never surrender. Never give up! To some this is translated to: "so long as there is coffee, we can work!" If you’re alive and can still wield a mouse, all awesomeness is on your side. You’ll be able to pull through things, just breathe.

Becoming a tank 1

2. You have friends, co-workers and people around you that are willing to help. Never underestimate, or neglect people. Whenever you feel the urge of surrendering, ask for help to accomplish your task.

Becoming a tank 2

3. Keep in mind that even a damaged tank is still armored and fully loaded. Always, use your strengths to your advantage. It is easier to build on strengths than on weaknesses. Weak skills when worked on will just become, at its best, mediocre skills.* For things you can’t do refer to Item#2.

Becoming a tank 3

4. If really pushed to the limits and all system shuts down. The only choice is to retreat. Refuel, recharge and live to do it all over again tomorrow. Have a nice meal, get some sleep and you’ll find that tomorrow will be a better day.

Becoming a tank 4

So when you’re stuck, do these and you’ll find that there’s always some fight left in you! Otherwise get yourself a nice glass, remove the tank top, distill rain from Venus and quietly weep.

If you like these tips, please leave comment below.

*Timothy Ferris – The 4 Hour Work Week

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