Recommended ReadsJune 12th, 2020

How do you know when something is ‘done’?

Jess Allison
Jess Allison, People and Operations Director

This article is framed around the creation of artwork, but I think it applies to all types of work. It’s easy to keep making changes that don’t add much value, as a way to put off the anxious moment of releasing your work into the world.

The artists in this piece share both emotional and practical tips for determining whether a piece of work’s purpose or intention has been met. Artist Nicholas Wilton “will sometimes snap a picture of a painting and save it on his computer to see what it looks like in thumbnail form. Doing this helps him get a bird’s-eye view of the piece”.

I like to take the ‘thinking hats’ approach: to step back from what I’m doing and assess it from different perspectives. If I’m writing a proposal for example, I might ask:

- Factual lens: What key pieces of information is the reader looking for? (e.g. approach, deliverables, cost, team, dates)
- Emotional lens: Have we presented ourselves with warmth and humanity?
- Critical lens: What concerns might come up, that we can proactively address?

Then: have I considered these things? Good… now stop!

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