What do you do when you’re not sure what to do? I was talking with a friend yesterday, and she said she makes lists. I was telling her how I make new things when I am not sure what to do, because that is what I do best these days, my safe haven activity.
A sick way to make a company work, then, is to put everyone in a space, create high levels of uncertainty over time, and watch what everyone does. Then get an organizational strategist or whatever to pick up the output of each person: lists, product, accounting, and whatever output-of-talent each employee has created in his/her uncertain-ness, and creatively compile them to move the company forward.
Is it true that we do our best work under stress? I don’t know. I do my best work when I am able to focus on the task at hand. I have found that ability to focus can be isolated from the levels of stress one is under, if this stress does not include physical pain. In high school, I would be the calm student waiting for the exam hall to open, while many of my classmates around me were cramming and reciting formulas. “Have you read everything?” they would ask. Most times, I would answer that it was impossible to read everything, and that I felt prepared enough for the exam.
Well, I think I surprised my friend because she was exclaiming that between this time and the last time we talked, I had introduced, launched as she put it, two or three new products, color variations and all. I wasn’t really launching, in my head, I was just producing, as artists are wont to do or whatever. I did read that people do more of what they like to do in times of unsureness, which is what happened with me. I am out of the uncertain bits now, I think.
Even when a situation seems high-octane, it is good to note the takeaways and advantages. For me, here are some:
- I made several site improvements that I had been putting off. These include changing the image on mouse over on the products page, and a generous sprinkling of <div>s and <tr>s to improve site usability.
- I learned how to use a different type of leather, and am adding items made with vegetable-tanned leathers to the collection
- I am learning about myself, and most importantly,
- I am learning how to ask for assistance when I’m stuck
- I started, literally, a microblog native to the site. I will still keep blogging here.
What do you do in situations of uncertainty? How do you react? How do you wish you did?