Consider Every Tree

In an interview by Erica Ogg, Loren Brichter, designer and developer, talks about how he chooses which projects to focus on:

Everything needs to line up, he said. He uses the analogy of walking through a forest and you suddenly glimpse that view where all the trees happen to align perfectly and you can glimpse an unobstructed opening. That’s how he knows when to pursue a project.

“You have to consider every tree,” he said.

Just as much as creating can be a struggle, there will be times when things align perfectly and the investment in considering “every tree” results in a smooth ride. I don’t thing you can plan for this alignment but you can do things so you’re on a path that’s more likely to align.

Here are some trees to consider that might help things align and give you clear focus on what projects to work on:

  • How much of the stuff you do is because of others expectations?
  • Does this project have longer term impact beyond the initial time you’ll spend on it?
  • Does that long-term impact mean you’ll have more work in the future to support or sustain it too?
  • Can you, like Brichter testing new graphics frameworks, experiment with a few things you want to do but do it in focused, ongoing projects that you are already committed to doing?
  • What projects should you drop to make this new, more exciting one possible?

As things begin to align, jump on the opportunity and start.