It may seem contradictory, spending time gathering information, sketching out ideas and creating mockups all while classmates busily start creating projects. I often feel way behind that I don’t have as much complete or an immediately   great of design. I’m always forced to remind myself that starting first doesn’t usually mean you’ll finish first. Careful planning early on often leads me to catching up mid-project and finishing ahead of many (or at least with less hours invested).

I was reminded of this several days ago as I started quickly duplicating buttons in a flash project, only to realize that I hadn’t formatted them correctly, and had to go back to and change each one. Had I designed and tested the first button further, I could have saved myself work in the end. Luckily, my error was caught quickly that time, but I have not always been so lucky. In the past, I’ve completed 90 percent of a project only to realize that poor planning was to blame for having to scrap everything and start fresh.

We’ve been told for years and years – work smarter, not harder, draw it out first, plan ahead – and yet in the race to accomplish the most, we often fall victim to the mindset of jumping the gun, when we should really be thinking it over. I’ve gotten better at this over the years but I’m sure I will always have to remind myself that planning must take precedence before production can begin to occur.