Came across a piece over on Medium by Kevin Ashton which I thought made a pretty great point: Creatives know the power of no.
Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview, this letter, this trip to the movies, this dinner with friends, this party, this last day of summer. How much less will I create unless I say “no?” A sketch? A stanza? A paragraph? An experiment? Twenty lines of code? The answer is always the same: “yes” makes less. We do not have enough time as it is. There are groceries to buy, gas tanks to fill, families to love and day jobs to do.
Learning to say no to the right and wrong things takes time, as does learning the true value of your time, but once you do life gets remarkably better. Personally I’d add my favorite word to the bucket: Why? As a creative director I spend most of my day asking people pointed, specific questions. Why that color? Is that the best way to lay this out? What’s the value of doing something at all? Those two words combined have served me well, allowing my team to focus on better projects and make higher quality work. Hopefully it these words do the same for you.