Helping growing creatives produce their best work through mindset, personal development and productivity tactics.

10 Qualities I’ve learned in 2017


This year I’ve seen huge growth in both my technical skills and personal development. 

Now I originally had this article saved to be posted as a end-of-year type of post, but since my birthday is coming up, today felt like a great time to share the qualities I’ve picked up which have become so ingrained in my daily life. 

So here’s 10 qualities, skills, traits, habits (whatever you want to call them) that I’ve learned. Let’s go! 

1. Taking Action

To get to this point, it has taken two years to really find out what I want to focus on. I enjoyed many areas of illustration and design so much my focus was scattered and eventually I’d stop and think, what should be my next thing? It would be days before I took any action and instead I’d drown in procrastination.

Execution is everything. 

Always ask yourself, what have I done today that's moved me forward towards your goals? Progress is better than no progress, right? 

2. Be Disciplined

Motivation is something people need in order to progress with the thing they’re working on. Really, motivation is not what you need—it’s discipline. As soon as you start sticking to a schedule, have a committed attitude and just make a start, then you will find the motivation. 

I gave myself no choice but to start working and chose to work on tasks that are important.

Without self-discipline you're waiting to do something when you feel like it.

With a small decision to just do, you can immediately work towards your goals.

3. Quantity Leads to Quality

You can’t create one piece and hope to win a shot at landing a new job or reaching social media fame. You have to create more stuff.

Through constant practice and not caring about being perfect is what this creative game is all about. 

The person worrying if their work is “Instagram-worthy” will never ship anything. But the person who’s consistently sharing and practicing, they’re the ones who will win. 

4. Schedule your daily tasks

Turning up to your desk and having to think about what you’re going to work on today isn’t the most productive start. That’s a lot brain energy wasted.

When you already know what to work on, you can dive straight in because the task has been set.

Now you’re going all in and not wasting time sorting out tasks hour by hour. 

Scheduling tasks have increased my daily productivity. If you want to make a start at being organised, use a planner, calendar app or even sticky notes to schedule your daily tasks.

5. Saying “No” 

This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned, but has freed up so much time do work on side projects, client work and in general activities I want to do.

Freedom comes from saying no.

It’s hard at first, but with time you will gain more control over your life to do things that really matter.

You have to be selfish at times to live the future you want. While you might offend others, or in my case feel crappy about rejecting someone, it will take practice getting used to.

6. Making time

This quality follows up on learning how to say no. We only have room for the things that are important to us.  

Being able to take ownership of how you spend your time can lead to you being more productive each day and ultimately bring you closer to your version of success. 

We can’t create more time in a day, we can only make time.

If what you need to do is important to you, you’ll make the time for it. 

7. Have Focus Time

Now that you made the time to create work, you need focus time. You need to know what you’re doing at any point of the day and ensure any distractions are eliminated. I sometimes do 25 or 90 minutes blocks of time to really hone in and complete the task I have set.

This “focus time” is for you and you only. Whatever you pick to do right now is you saying, this is important to me.

8. Rest

There’s a lot of qualities that I’ve learned which involve a lot of action, consistency and discipline. On the flip side, resting is equally important.

Why you should schedule rest? Because you can’t afford to be burned out. 

I wish we could continue to work non-stop because we would achieve a tonne. Taking a step back from your work and making time for relaxation will later give you the energy you need to continue working towards your goals.  

9. Compare Yourself To Yourself

Comparison is the thief of joy and Gary Vee goes onto say it’s seriously a poison. 

Thinking about how good someone else is doing, is time you could be spending on yourself.

The worst part, the person you’re comparing yourself to—doesn’t even care! 

See yourself as the one to beat and you’ll be far ahead in your journey.

10. Acknowledging Your Personality

Being aware, but also being okay with who I am was the game-changer for me. I don’t need to be the loudest in the room to be seen as intelligent, I don’t need to have a night out to “have fun” nor do I need to be seen as someone I am not.

I’ve learned I can be okay with being weird, quiet and awkward.

Saying this, there are areas I’m trying to improve because again, that’s just who I am—a ferocious learner and never settling for average.  

You’ll hear some entrepreneurs say to double down on your strengths or play to your strengths and definitely, I agree. 

You are unique. You’re the only one with your DNA out of a ga-bilion people. Don’t hide what makes you unique. We need more people to be different. Share what you’re passionate about, talk about the things you love and you’ll be remembered. 



And that’s it! There’s so much more to learn and I’ll always be picking up new skills which I can then transfer into material like this. 

I’d love to know what has been useful for you. Do so by tweeting me

Here’s to another year!