Your life is an information design project

One of my favorite bloggers, Lauren Bacon, just posted something really smart, you should go take a look. 

A trap that’s easy to fall into is the whole “I don’t have enough time to do X even though I know it’s good for me” thing.

Since we spend so much time being regulated (job, family, bills, etc…) it’s easy to feel like there’s no time to be creative.

That attitude overlooks one crucial truth: everything in your life is information design.

This is true whether you’re talking about doing laundry, renegotiating job role with your employer, or going for a job. You are subject to structures of information all the time. And, you can impose your own structure also.

Now, I’m just as guilty as anyone else. Right now I work massive hours, don’t exercise, and am not eating as well as I should. So this doesn’t come from a place of righteousness at all. But as my own toughest critic I know that most of the structure I am working within is flexible.

The problem isn’t the things in my life, it’s the way in which I arrange them.

As Lauren points out, we have a responsibility to be conscious about the project that is our life. Everything is important, both for what we include and what we don’t include….what we get done and what we don’t get done. Those are all part of the information design that structures our life, and tells us consciously and subconsciously what is important.

 

What does your life look like as an information design project?

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3 ideas you can steal from startups and use to hack your own life

The word “hack” has a lot of meanings.

If you’re accused of being one, it means you’re churning out poor quality content (either in a more professional environment, or just as a human being generally). The phrase was invented as a way to describe someone who’s working hard, but not adding value. A good sister/brother phrase would be “sucking at life.”

In the startup world it most often refers to anything designed for one purpose that you re-appropriate elsewhere. Think jailbreaking, which is when tech savvy users take a mobile device and make it do something that it wasn’t originally designed for. Another common variation is “growth hacking” which is about finding creative ways to add volume in production, sales, content, etc…

But you can also hack things to work in any part of your life.

Continue reading 3 ideas you can steal from startups and use to hack your own life

If your blog were a beer….which kind would it be?

This week I collaborated with a few friends to create this infographic: If Your Blog Were A Beer…

Beyond being a silly and fun to explore metaphor, it also made me think of my own blog and the blogs that I read regularly.

I’d like to think that I’m an IPA, but truthfully I’m probably more of a CoronaPA. At first I was a little bummed but I’m not really a heavy content creator so it’s probably a good thing.

Some great blogs popped into my head, like Renee Schulz-Jacobson, who writes candidly about hilarious things that happen in her life / gets other people to write about them too, and Jess Witkins who jams on culture and has some pretty thoughtful stuff. They’re both definitely IPAs, along with my friend Amie who is big on think-y thoughts and never shy to share an opinion and Rachel who blogs about how us millenials are misunderstood.

I’m also a bit of a data / politics / news junkie, so I read Alex Howard to hear what’s happening in DC. And he’s a data nerd like me, so when he posts something it sends me off on all the tangents I like. I think he’s probably in the Stout category, along with Jill & crew over at Feministe who are constantly making me rethink culture, gender and politics.

Then there’s the stuff that doesn’t really fit into any category, like Carl who creates comics that crack me up and Evie who writes beautiful poetry and prose.

Truth is, they’re all great and I like having a variety of input. There’s some line that goes here about a liberal arts education and being well rounded, which is something that really rings true to me.

What flavor is your blog?

That post where I say “things changing and this time I think I found the one [blog]”

I’ve always kept a divide between my career and personal life.

Partly this is for convenience, I like the privacy. It’s also about interacting with people who probably don’t care about the more professional side of me. Or vice versa.

It’s become a lot of work….luckily from a professional perspective I’m no longer in a corporate environment where I need to segment that stuff. And frankly, I wouldn’t want to do business with anyone who has some objection to the core stuff I believe in.

So, I’m folding my long standing and not very successful attempts to keep two separate blogs. If you dig the stuff about culture, gender, social structure, and the questions I like to ask, well there’ll be plenty more of that to come. There’ll also be a few observations from my professional life.

I hope you’ll stay on board and promise it won’t be too boring. I seem to have a pretty good knack for keeping that stuff to myself.