At my job I handle a fairly high volume of work, much of it dealing with design templates that are modified to suit the client. This sort of work leads one to work quickly, first out of necessity, and then later out of choice. You get decisive with the design choices you are making and focus on the few small things that differentiate one job from the next, instead of over-deliberating big issues that don’t need to be re-thought out. I’m not re-inventing the wheel on each job, I’m just polishing a few of the spokes and making sure it runs smoothly.
The benefits of this approach are clear: the decisiveness I need to be able to do my job effectively has helped me to keep perspective on the importance of my decisions and give me confidence that the decisions I’m making are the right ones. I can’t afford to spend an afternoon choosing the right font for a job, so I must rely upon my design skills to chose the right one quickly and move on. The drawbacks are equally clear: when my design work is driven by efficiency, I’m precluding myself from taking the time to make more thoughtful decisions, and perhaps not allowing myself to create better designs.