It's easy to let things get to you, especially if you're handling a number of projects or clients at once. Maybe a deliverable isn't ready at a level you're happy with, or you're short on inspiration, or you're having trouble connecting with a client. Whatever it is, it can start to pile up, and that starts to sap your ability to follow through with great design. Pro tip: the trick to alleviating that stress is to take a little more time to think through your problem and be prepared.
How to Be Prepared
Try this out next time you're sweating a design problem, business problem or just a people problem:
- Do your homework. Check out research or analytics to provide insights or justification you may not feel confident in. For example, maybe you need to better justify layout decisions, then read up on reading patterns from Jakob Nielsen.
- Memorize the problem. Check out, read over, or better analyze the crux of your stress until you know it inside and out. Familiarity with the subject, the details and broad strokes, will make you feel more comfortable. You might need to spend some serious time reading up on discovery materials, past user research or looking back through your own iteration to get a handle on this.
- Visualize and solve for the stress. Imagine what people will ask, or how they'll react, and anticipate not only that but your own reaction. When we're talking to clients, we like to have a good picture of what they'll ask and where they'll have concerns so we're ready to answer.
Being prepared for something that's stressing you will not only help you feel better, it'll help you solve the problem and turn it into an opportunity. You'll be more confident, your colleague or client will feel better, and you'll do better work. Simple, but true.
If you need to really dial down client stress, check out our post on getting sidetracked projects back on track.