Do what works best for you, not them
~ 06 January 2010 ~
Of the many things we do well as creative professionals, we often forget to think for ourselves, relying on thought leaders to determine what works for us and what doesn’t.
Paramount in this failure to think for one’s self is the fact that these thought leaders often struggle to encourage others to explore new thinking without belittling their methods—or worse, ostracizing them—in the process.
Whether or not the title of thought leader can be applied to myself, I’m just as guilty as anyone else. In “20 tips for better conference speaking”, I offer this short-sighted observation:
There is absolutely no reason in the world you should use anything other than Keynote. Period.
Admittedly, I still struggle to see why anyone would prefer to use something other than Keynote. But the phrasing of this observation with its absolute terms leaves little desire for anyone not already convinced about Keynote to explore my preferred method.
The simple fact is this: You, and only you, can determine what works best for you. Regardless of how biased or objectively the advice is phrased, you would be unwise to not consider alternate methods and ideas throughout your entire career. You would be even more unwise to be swayed by every new compelling or forceful argument that comes along merely because it was spoken by someone notable.
Mac vs. PC, Photoshop vs. Fireworks, print vs. web, GTD vs. to-dos on a sticky note, 4-hour workweeks vs. 40 hours, XHTML vs. HTML5… the list is endless.
Rest assured a “better” tool, a “better” process, a “better” way will always come along. However, what will remain unchanged is the need for you to know what works best for your personal, project, and client needs—and to adapt when it really is a better way.
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