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Having a game plan is great,
but in reality improvising is
the game plan.

The Planner

I’ve heard two sides of the coin, usually from very different demographics. One side saying you should always have a game plan and improvising is the worst thing you can do. Everything has to be planned, scheduled and set up in a list. Which if you’re interested, we have a post about a great task manager.

The Improviser

But then theirs the other side. Instead of making a plan, you just kind of go through it. No real list or order on how you accomplish that goal, but you just kind of start doing it and see where it goes. Usually you have a start and end point but no real structure in between the two. 

For me, it’s the middle ground. I start with a game plan, create the list, but use it more as a guide line. I try to do everything on the list but the problem is, if I was derailed I’d freak out and kind of freeze while trying to rework the plan. This didn’t work because I spent to much time planning and not enough time doing. You have to think outside the list, go beyond the task but keep that list as your path. How you walk that path is totally up to you. 

The key with improvising is to give and take. I do think you have to have a master plan, but don’t create bottle necks in the form of too many tasks, dates and goals to reach. Sometimes it’s just not possible in life to do everything. Why? Because life happens, you are not in control of your surroundings and something can and will always come up that will challenge or hinder your goals. 

When ever I speak with someone who swears by a list and everything has to be connected from point A to B, I know they haven’t dipped their toes into the world yet. It’s not their fault, as we’re kind of taught that way; the way to stay on task no matter what the cost and we’re never really taught on what to do when a wrench gets thrown in the gears. It’s something you have to experience, fail from, learn from and come out on top from. 

As a designer i’m constantly improvising. When someone wants a logo it’s never as simple as creating three designs, picking one and finalizing it. Sometimes you have to improvise with design, color, meaning, even the client. It’s not something you can teach, you have to experience it and i’m guessing that’s why it’s never really brought up when you’re in school or college as how do you explain that to someone that’s just entering the real world? 

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