Our resident design-job guru is back, ready to answer your questions (remember, you can always tweet yours to @thegiantthinker).To celebrate we’ve got an exclusive creativeLIVE discount code of 25 percent off for Ram Castillo’s classes. Just enter the code Ram2015 (valid for Create a Knockout Design Portfolio and Get the Design Job You Want; expires April 30, 2015).
During my recent three-month speaking tour that spanned 22 U.S. cities, there was one question I was asked with surprising frequency: “As a designer, how did you write and publish your first book? And then how did you put together a speaking tour?”
The answer is actually very simple. I applied the same principles of design to all areas of my life, including my side projects—the main principle being daily practice.
We already know that establishing a daily design practice is the quickest way to master our tools, hone our skills, and generate ideas, but when it comes to following through, many people fall short. It’s the issue of frequency. Doing something daily can often be perceived as a huge commitment. That’s why I minimize to the extreme.
The number one way I’ve been able to progress at a rapid rate in all facets of design is to shrink my daily commitment for a set task to a time frame that’s ridiculously small. I’m talking 10 minutes a day. No matter how busy, tired, or stressed we may be, we've all got 10 minutes to spare. If you’re wondering how much impact 10 minutes can actually have, here are some of my personal experiments over the past few years (fair warning, this is a truly mixed bag):
1. I’ve always loved magic but never knew any tricks, so I decided to learn how to make a tuna tin disappear by practicing 10 minutes a day for three days. My (adult) audience was convinced.
2. I learned basic html by reading lines of code over my afternoon tea. Ten minutes a day was plenty (and as much as I could probably handle). After doing this daily without fail for a month, I was able to code most of the customization for my blog.
3. Prior to my recent tour, I had never done any professional public speaking. To prepare, I approached one stranger a day for two months and had a 5-10 minute conversation with them. It didn’t matter where I was or who it was with, whether I was in line for a coffee, waiting at a crosswalk, or on the train home from work.
My opener was simple: “Hi there, I'm on a mission to kick my fear of speaking to people to the curb by meeting one new person a day. Tell me something exciting.” Over the course of the two months I practiced my body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and eye contact. It worked, and I successfully engaged with over 10,000 people on tour without the nerves and without forgetting any key points.
4. As for my first book How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed, I committed to writing ten minutes a day, and nine months later my manuscript was ready. Some days I had barely anything to write and would only put down one sentence. Other days, my ten minutes would turn into two hours. However it pans out, you're still making progress. I used the same approach to organize my speaking tour. I dedicated just ten minutes of emailing and logistics each day for about three months. Slowly but surely, by the end, everything was set in stone and all I had to do was focus on preparing my content.
Often times, we dismiss the pursuit of learning something new or going deeper on a project because the gap of where you are now to where that goal is seems too far away. The key is to progress consistently in very small increments. If I can quote Will Smith here, “You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.’ You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.”
I’d love to hear about your success stories in implementing a short daily practice. Add a comment here or tweet me @thegiantthinker. You can also ask me any design job-related question on Twitter, and I’ll answer it in an upcoming post here on AIGA.org.
If you'd like to be a designer, read Ram's internationally industry acclaimed book here:
Ram is an award winning Design Director, Blogger, top ranking Podcaster, Speaker, CreativeLive.com Instructor and Author of the internationally acclaimed book 'How to get a job as a designer, guaranteed'.
He's based in Sydney, Australia and in 2012, started the blog
GiantThinkers.com which helps thousands of design students and graduates be employed. Ram has since been featured in Communication Arts, HOW magazine, Herman Miller, deFrost*, AIGA.org and Apple.
“Be good at what you do and be nice to people.” I know
you’re probably thinking that it’s a no-brainer, but for many of us (and I’m
definitely one of them), this is easier said than done.
Section: Inspiration -
job search, professional development, advice, Design Job Series
opened the forum for emerging designers to tweet their burning questions to Ram Castillo, career expert,
senior designer and author of How to Get a Job as a Designer, Guaranteed. Tweet your questions about scoring a great
design job @thegiantthinker
and check back here to read his insights.
Section: Inspiration -
advice, new business development, Design Job Series
Getting your first job in the industry is far more important than where it is. Having experience somewhere is better than having none at all. No
matter who the client (big or small), it's your chance to put your ideas and know-how into action.
Section: Inspiration -
job search, advice, Design Job Series
For 24 hours, ten designers from various communities and backgrounds brainstormed, strategized and designed approaches to the #Ferguson unrest, the recognizable racial divide in the St. Louis community and the nationwide issue of police brutality.
Section: Why Design
Peter Arkle News Issue Number 56
Video: AIGA Medalists Sean Adams and Noreen Morioka
When designers learn to weave, what do they learn about their discipline? In ?? on Design: https://t.co/3bUvyZcPD8 https://t.co/rda4U45dG3
29 minutes ago
RT @julieanixter: Literacy and Resonance: Humanity and Design - Print Magazine https://t.co/pzQ24gM5hg @thedailyheller @AIGAdesign @Designo…
35 minutes ago
@aisforavery @ldragoman We'll post video; we released the 1st piece yesterday, a poem by 17-yr-old Dominique Holder: https://t.co/rNnzIGKu2a
2 hours ago
BMORE Inspired at Station North Arts District
July 26, 2016
Two AIGA Innovate Awards Granted to AIGA Baltimore
July 22, 2016