Don’t sweat the technique

// 1.585 min read

They never grow old, techniques become antiques
Better then something brand new cause it’s real
And in a while the style’ll have much more value
Classical, too intelligent to be radical
Masterful, never irrelevant, mathematical (…)
It’s cool when you freak to the beat
But don’t sweat the technique

Eric B. & Rakim

Techniques work. That’s what they’re for. Their job is to have an intended and predictable effect when we put them into practice. Their job is to be reliable.

We learn techniques because we often face scenarios where it’s easy for things to go off track, and we need something to rely on when everything else turns to shit. When things are crumbling all around us, we need to be able to recall the technique we learned to deal with situations just like this and deploy it to have the intended effect.

Techniques often feel foreign to us, and this is one of the reasons they are often so necessary. After all, if our instinctual behaviour in a given situation is to do the thing that stands to most benefit us, no technique is necessary. So, part of a technique’s job is to help us reach an objective even if the steps required to do so feel completely counter-intuitive to what we might otherwise do.

There are techniques designed to combat everything from writer’s block to troubleshooting complex software, and there’s probably a whole slew for your field of focus too.

Your job then, is to learn the techniques you need to get your work done regardless of what’s going on around you. Then, rely on them. Tweak and improve and expand upon them, sure—but don’t pretend there isn’t a technique for the situation you’re facing.

P.S. If, after doing your research, it turns out there genuinely isn’t a technique that covers what you’re working through, why not be the first person to create one?

Coby Chapple (@cobyism)

@cobyism—a.k.a. Coby Chapple is an autodidact, systems thinker, product architect, pixel technician, full-stack algorithmagician, multi-media maker, cryptography geek, aspiring linguist, and generalist Designerd™ extraordinaire. Read more »