I am a classic over-thinker.
A perfectionist to the core, I analyze the details down to the smallest component imaginable.
I have known this fact for years, and it is one of my biggest flaws. Every day is a new battle with my obsession with details.
Now, I’m not saying being detail-oriented is a bad thing. What I am saying is that thinking too much can stop you from following your intuition, which is something heavily utilized in advertising.
Trust your gut.
You know that funny feeling in your stomach that tells you when something is right or wrong? Or when you “just know”?
That funny little feeling is going to be your best friend in the ad business.
Stop thinking. Start making.
We all have worries.
We worry about if something will get done on time, if the idea is good enough, or if we have the skills required for a project.
If we spend too much time thinking, then we have less time to deliver and will ultimately end up rushed. Thinking too much can also deprive you of what could be your best ideas.
Be mindful of potential roadblocks, but don’t set one up for yourself by over-thinking the issue.
It’s really not that complicated.
As an over-thinker I tend to complicate things by imagining every possible outcome/angle/etc. This isn’t always a bad thing in certain situations, but it can make simple projects seem much more difficult.
Make a mental checklist.
You know how to do your job, don’t doubt yourself.
In order to crack down on my over-thinking I constructed a mini mental checklist of things to keep in mind when I am working on projects.
Step one: read the instructions at least twice. This may sound silly but you would be surprised what you can miss.
Step two: consider the source. You know your coworkers, clients, etc. Think about what they could have meant and what exactly they are asking from you.
Step three: note deadlines. Deadlines are important in the ad industry. If you miss one you are going to hear about it. Dissatisfaction is unacceptable.
Step four: get going! You need to have something to deliver so keeping the prior in mind, get started!
Step five: check (and double check) your work! We all make mistakes, just make sure they don’t make their way into your final product.
These are just a few things that I like to keep in mind when I get a new project.
So with these things in mind, don’t let your thoughts inhibit your creativity.