How to be chaotic minimal

My life is based around keeping everything minimal.
less stuff, less choices, more freedom. In theory.

However I’m not a shiny airbrushed Instagram influencer, things creep up without noticing and that stellar Pinterest worthy morning routine can be broken by eating a cookie for breakfast, forgetting to put coffee grounds in your keep cup, sipping on hot water and wearing what you are 80% sure are yesterdays socks. 

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone in between, my morning.

Ladies, Gentlemen and everyone in between, my morning.

For example, I recently found myself in a place where I had a gap that I wanted to use to find new clients or take on a new project.

So I did a few things;

I reached out to some old clients via email
I reached out to some potential new clients via email
I started this blog (not too much work at all..)
I scoured Twitter, Instagram, even (shudder) LinkedIn for the inkling of a lead.
I asked friends
I did not ask family (never work for family. The golden rule of design)

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Then I wait.
I wait some more.
Before long I fully freak out and think I’ll never get work again.
So I start the whole routine over, again, and again.

Out of this bleak crisis cave of my own creation, to my utter surprise jobs start coming in
proposals! Small logo jobs! Websites! Can you make me a flyer for my friends party? (No mum, no I can't) Guest blog posts! 

Actually the last one is a lie, but you have to put out in the world what you want from it. The secret and all that.

 

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I think my point is this, 

I can hold it together up to a point and then I get too comfortable, take on more and more things until my beautiful minimal life is catapulted into the giant pile of things to do and little time to do them, like some sort of self sabotaging time hoarder.

Life has a way of working out, however giving life a bit of a nudge when it’s not can't hurt. 

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Of course with a little wiggle room and planning everything can get done, (google calendar is my best friend) I’m not here writing this to sugar coat that freelancing dream of getting home at 6 and playing video games in a pristine flat whilst eating a kale salad whilst you rake in your cushy day rate.

Every freelancer has done a late late shift or pulled an 18 hour day once in a while and finished it all off with a shame deliveroo, but keeping yourself accountable and giving yourself a tiny breather to plan can make all the difference.

Keep it simple, don’t freak out and put coffee grounds in before water, for the love of god.

Thank you for reading, 
Catch you next time.
H

This one weird trick will improve your life

If there is one truth about life it is this: If you tell someone they should listen to a podcast they absolutely won't do it. It's the same thing as explaining a dream to someone, you both know that its a waste of time.

I truly believe that podcasting is the next big advancement in entertainment, you can passively listen to improv whilst doing the ironing, to a murder mystery whilst commuting to work even a fall asleep to someone talking about Dr Who. In a world in which multi tasking is a daily practice using podcasts to get your message across is critical, be it starting your own or using podcasts with a similar audience to your brand to promote your product.

If targeted podcast advertising is anything to go by i'm a perfect candidate for a new mattress, subscription underwear and a new website. (Yes this is a Squarespace site and yes I did use the offer code 'weird' for a 10% discount.)

pretty fancy, right?

pretty fancy, right?

Personally, I love hearing people's lived experiences. It opens my eyes to other peoples lives in a way that, short of talking to them one on one, is incredibly valuable to me as a designer and human. (very separate things.)

My pet peeve in a brief is when complex, unique humans are grouped into mass swathes of the population. Millennials, Mums, everyone. How can you target a product to every single mum??

As designers everything we do is for people, we use what people say and work out what they mean then explore ways in which we can give them what they want in a way that makes them want it. So why not listen more?

Here are a few podcasts I love for you to not listen to:

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You Made it Weird with Pete Holmes
One of the first podcasts I listened to was you made it weird. It opened my eyes to the value of long form interviews (episodes can be as long as 3 hours) I love the conversational nature of the show and have heard pastors, comedians and musicians talk about what life is to them. The conversation usually revolves around three topics: comedy, religion & sexuality.
MUST LISTENS - TIM MINCHIN | JENNY SLATE | MELISSA VILLASEÑOR

Design Matters with Debbie Millman
The giant of design podcasts Debbie Millman has been talking to designers about design for over 13 years. One of the first, and greatest, design podcasts.
LISTEN HERE

Queery
Within a relatively short period of time Queery has become one of my favourite podcasts, Hosted by comedian Cameron Esposito, Queery is a 1 hour conversation with a person who identifies anywhere under the queer spectrum. 
MUST LISTENS - STEPHANIE BEATRIZ | JEN RICHARDS | VIVEK SHRAYA

Wonderful
Griffin & Rachel Mcelroy talk about things they think are great. A very sweet, wholesome and cheerful look at the value of appreciating the small things.
LISTEN HERE

The Creative Exchange
Filmmaker and youtuber Sara Dietschy talks to creative people about what makes them tick. Great in depth conversations with entrepreneurs & creative people. Available on youtube as a video as well as audio, a really interesting way to get coverage across different platforms. 
LISTEN HERE | WATCH HERE

A Piece of Work
Abbi Jacobson takes you on a journey into different styles of art in collaboration with the MOMA. Short episodes which show Jacobson in a different light to her improv background and a really accessible primer to ways of appreciating art.
LISTEN HERE

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If you see someone smiling a big cheesy grin to themselves on the tube, they are listening to a podcast. You also look like that too.

Thank you for reading, 
Catch you next time.
H