Death of “CTRL + T” and typing “fa…. + Enter”

I am a Facebook addict! I spend almost 1-2 hours (or more) on social networks on a daily basis. *sigh*

I was reading this article over the weekend: “Can we be both makers and managers?” [Link to the article], which explains it’s important to manage your roles as a human being when it comes to creation and management. Reading while jumping hyperlinks I landed on this post by Paul Jarvis on Productivity where he says:

“I suck at multi-tasking. Not just doing more than one thing at a time, but being interrupted when doing one task by something else. This comes mostly in the form of notifications on your computer or phone. Someone liked your photo on Instagram? Someone @’ed you on Twitter? A file was uploaded to Dropbox? New email?!

I’ve managed to not miss anything or forget anything in the 2 years since I’ve killed all notifications. Instead, I use the program I’m using at any given time, and when I’m done, I move onto something else. So I only see Twitter when I log into Twitter. I only see my inbox when I open up my email program. Focus works.”

~[Link to the article]

After reading this, I logged out of my social accounts. It just felt the urgent need of doing that as I always end up going on facebook or other social channels every few minutes (say 30-40 mins) and end up seeing the same news feed I have seen earlier. It serves me no good and I waste my time in the process. Why I land up on my social accounts that often? Because:

  • I want to know what’s happening in or around the world (I have FOMO – Fear of missing out)
  • I want to share interesting some stuff – I realised I am not a social media manager nor my job description includes that. I do that on a personal level, and if I do it personally, I can do it any time of the day, week or month. I don’t need to be there all the time to share what I like. It should not come in between what’s important to me. Be it work, relationships, health or whatever.

Here’s my online surfing data recorded by RescueTime for November 2015:

RescueTime Data

Note: I forgot to start the OS app and only turned the Chrome extension on, so it couldn’t track my Photoshop or Sketch’s timings which could have been the productive time I have had while using my computer.

Nonetheless, I regret wasting my time surfing randomly on social networks. TIME TO MAKE SOME CHANGES NOW.

But, what I don’t want, is to lose my ability to share cool stuff I see or read online with my friends or/and to interested readers. I really like the newsletters I get every now and then from people or blog I have subscribed to. Two of which I enjoy reading are from Tim Ferriss (Author of The Four Hour Work Week) and Noah Kagan (CEO/Founder of AppSumo). They both have started sending newsletters with interesting stuff they see/read/do online and offline. I enjoy reading these newsletters for two reasons:

  • I get to read interesting curated stuff which I wouldn’t find or find after many hours of surfing online. Plus the content they share is aligned with the stuff I like to read or know about. So they do the hard work for me. I sit back, read, learn and enjoy.
  • Second, I get these newsletters directly in my inbox which is great, so that I don’t have to bookmark them or go back to some place to keep a tab on them. I read them at my own convenience and will.

So, about the changes I am going to make:

  • Log out of all the social accounts. Log in once a day for a start – My target is to reduce it to once in two days in the next 6 months.
  • Compile a note (on my Evernote or in a word doc) of interesting stuff I read online and share them via a blog post rather than going on Facebook or Twitter every single time I want to share them.

Let 2016 be distraction free! 🙂

5 design habits that can screw anyone

8_August_2013_5designhabits

I have been experimenting with design lately and have learned a lot. There are so many do’s and don’t’s for design that will break you or make you. As the famous quote from Steve Jobs goes “Deciding what not to do is more important than deciding what to do”. So, in this blog post I am pointing out 5 don’t’s for design:

  1. Do not copy design: Designers when designing, let that be website design, product design or any sort of design, tend to look for the best designs out there. Many designers or companies copy designs which tend to be the best in the market. But if you look at their stats after launching their product, most of them failed to achieve what they thought they will be. In short their whole great-copied design didn’t work for them. The reason being that designers or design companies do their research related to the product they are working on. They spend days, weeks, months or sometimes even years going back and forth on few design ideas. The research also includes their target users, demographic, and other parameters. Once they collect and analyze that data, they design accordingly.
    Take away: Great design is there to inspire, not to copy. Do some research on your product and on its other parameters and then design accordingly.
  2. Do not waste time searching for the right medium: I have come across many people who spend their valuable time searching for the best tool available in the market to help them design their product. This is not a bad thing, but it’s a myth that without the best, one can not design the best. Creative people don’t seek any medium to design, they just design in whatever medium they are comfortable with. For instance, designers use Adobe’s illustrator in industry to design logos, but I know many who do the same on Adobe’s Photoshop, and that even without compromising on quality. Here’s one great example of a cute grandpa who paints digitally on Microsoft’s MS Paint. YES! You heard me, MS PAINT. Read the whole story here.
    Take away: Learn a medium and stick to it until you are comfortable enough to make the jump. Don’t hunt for the best medium all the time.
  3. Do not bombard user with information: Ever visited Yahoo’s homepage? No doubt you must have deviated a day or two from your goal of visiting yahoo’s site. Users get lost as soon as they hit a data-traffic, i.e. where there are lots and lots of data. Data-traffics are same as any large toy or book fair. Even you know where you want to go, you will be lost because there are so many text, images or videos placed to catch your attention. Minimize the steps involved in any process, may that be buying a product from your website or extracting a information from your invitation card. Here’s a lovely website that can teach you to create your product’s visual design suck less and increase information extraction in simple steps. Learn from Visualmess.
    Take away: Design websites, visiting cards, products or anything so that it’s easy for the user to extract information without spending much of their time and energy.
  4. Do not design just for the sake of beauty: Designing means solving a problem. It must be design’s first priority. When Steve Jobs, endorsed the importance of design, the whole world thought that design is they key to success for any product. Hard truth? It’s not. Design is just one side of the cube. Don’t forget there are many others. A successful product is highly dependent on one criteria, i.e. its problem-solving approach. If your product is not based on problem-solving approach, no design can add value for the long run.
    Take away: Design to solve a problem. Not just to make it aesthetically cool.
  5. Do not design just to deliver: Are you running a design based service company? Guess what?! The market is full of opportunities and you know that. Every now and then your company or you get a call to design or re-design someone’s or some company’s product. You are being flooded with opportunities based on your design skills, that’s fine. But think before taking up any project. Look at it’s other aspects. Ask whether is there any new design challenge that I will be tackling or it’s just another fancy design project which requires only re-touching. Also taking up challenging design projects enhances your skills. So it’s better to reject some and accept one rather than taking a lot of projects and compromising on personal and professional growth.
    Take Away: Don’t take projects just to deliver. Design for impact. If it’s not a challenge, it’s not design.

These insignificantly small tips will have a great impact on your product or businesses if applied timely. Hope to see you out there producing great designs.

Stay fresh, stay creative!