April 14

How do you know if your work is good or bad?

To some, it’s simply whether their manager or client liked the end product. For some people, it’s all about how they feel about the work. For others, it’s about the reaction of the end users or audience experiencing their work. But none of these ways are necessarily accurate gauges of what good work actually means.

I wish I could give you a definition of good work, but I can’t. That’s something you must decide for yourself. And it’s something that you should decide. If you lack a clear understanding in your own mind of what good vs. bad work is, you will be driven only by emotion and instinct, which can be misleading.

Is good work something you took a creative risk on, whether or not it succeeded?

Is it something that perfectly solves the problem it was intended to solve?

Is it something that was delivered on time and on budget?

Is it something that reflects your personal values in some way?

Is it something that you sacrificed a bit for?

I challenge you to spend some time today considering what good work means to you. Then you have a target to aim for when you go about your day.

To avoid dissonance, develop your own framework for how to decide good vs. bad work.

How do you know good work when you see it? What is the best work you’ve done recently, and why?

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