Passion and Productivity

As a designer, one of my biggest challenges is seeing every project from a high level and a micro level at the same time.  I want to have as much business perspective as possible but I also want to be detail-oriented…. But not so focused on the details where I get stuck in the weeds.

It gets more complicated when I have 5 or 6 projects at once and new ones are thrown into the mix. How do I make sure to stay on track while assessing the importance of new projects? I need to do adequate research to determine where the new projects fall in my priority list. I also need to acknowledge those new projects because stakeholders need to be able to trust me with their initiatives. They want to see that issues are addressed and they want to see timelines.

Torn between staying on track and adopting new projects that may or may not be valuable, I asked UX yoda (otherwise known as Glen Lipka, VP of UX at Marketo) for advice.

Here’s what Glen showed me.


The bottom line: Keep a healthy balance by both working on what you’re excited about and working on what’s high priority for the company.

Reason: It’s optimal to work on high priority projects because those projects provide the most value to the company. Unfortunately, your enthusiasm for a project is not always in line with how it’s prioritized. You might be super jazzed about something low on the priority list.  Glen’s interesting point is that your enthusiasm drives productivity, and productivity is valuable to a company. So don’t ignore what you’re passionate about. Passion is a valuable asset too.