Notes

My head is so full

| | permalink

This morning I was wondering how other people get their head clear and empty again to focus on a certain task? I often find myself sitting at my desk asking me something like What was it what I wanted to do again? or Wait, a second ago I wanted to do something and now I am on Facebook again… and I forgot what it was, I wanted to do a minute ago, because I did not do it directly.

For things, that I want to do and get out of my head, I started using Evernote a long time ago. I used to have a notebook, like a Moleskine, to write down notes and tasks and ideas, just to get rid of them and to empty my head again. But the downside of the notebooks was, that mostly those ideas and thoughts then where lost in the nowhere, as I would never ever be able to find a certain though again. Maybe I was just to unorganised, but for me it was great to get rid of a thought, but never really to get back to something to then work on it. With a digital notebook I benefit from tags and from the possibility to search in my notes. Apart from this, I do the same: I write down the idea or thought or somethings that I wanted to do as soon as I think of it. Sometimes, when I am not able to write – in a car for example – I even record a short voice message. After this I am able to focus again and I get back to this thought later.

This is only what I can do with those bigger distractions. What I mean in the first paragraph are more those smaller distractions that keep your head busy. And this general feeling of a full head. To sit there and stare at nothing. You are not able to really concentrate and get your work done. I mean, sometimes you can only accept this an call it a day, get out with your kids and play. But sometimes, you have to get some shit done. What is it what helps you best here? I mean, everybody is different and has different solutions for stuff like this. Here is what I mostly do and maybe that is something that works for you as well …

Get out

If it is a nice day to get out, then get out of your office/house. Take a walk. Try not to think of your work or project and focus on the things that surround you. In a forest, enjoy the nature, have a look around. In a city, look at other people maybe or shop windows. Just try not to think of the stuff you though about a minute ago, when you where in you working-environment. If possible, also turn of your phone or any of the notifications that otherwise might appear.

Have a coffee/tea/drink

I own a nice coffee machine. It used to be an Isomac Zaffiro, but lately I got an ECM Technika IV, but that only as a side note. When the weather does not allow me to get out, I get downstairs and make a nice coffee for myself. I take some time to get everything done, sit down and maybe read a little bit in the newspaper to focus on something else. The coffee is a good excuse to get out of my office and downstairs. Same, of course, works with tea or any other kind of drink. Just leave the place you work for this.

Have a nap

You might smile, but that works for some people as well. A really short nap of 15 to 30 minutes. In my case this is rare, as I usually sadly don’t find the time, but when I do and did, it always helped. A short nap, some ice cold water afterwards in my face and then … of course … a coffee ;)

Play

Just leave the work aside and play a bit. Maybe with your playstation, maybe with pencil and paper or, if you have kids, with your kids. Not much is better than a water fight in the garden, when I hear the kids playing outside. 3 against me. I can tell you, that empties your brain and you are ready and fresh afterwards.

Get distracted

You think that is strange? Think about it: is it YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or anything like this, where you sometimes find yourself between your work or when you where just about to get a certain task done? Then just give this distraction the full attention. Stop your work. Close email and anything that is work related and do whatever distracted you with full concentration. Take 15 minutes and watch YouTube videos. Jump from one suggestion to the next and let the flow of those suggestions lead you. Stay on Facebook, like and comment posts of your friends, but do this only. After you are done, close all those windows again and get back to work.

Sports

As an update to this post, because Frank mentioned it in a reply on Twitter, of course, sports! Sports is a great way to get a clear mind again as well. Whether it is a long run in the woods, a good session in the Gym, a fast and intense ride on your bike or any kind of team sport (where you have to find the team for on short notice) – sports is fantastic. Surely not everybody is a sports person. But then take a nap ;)

Music

Another update, just because Brad Frost liked my tweet which triggered another topic: Music. It does not matter, if you just shut your eyes and listen to music loudly over the speakers or on your headphones or if you actually make music yourself. Brad sometimes invites to his house to have a session. I myself have rehearsal with my band every Thursday evening, which always refreshes me and during that time I never think of anything else than being in this moment and making music with my mates. If you are playing an instrument and have the chance to make some music (I prefer loud, handmade music), then do it. Music is fantastic.

What else?

What are you doing to get your energy back? To be able to focus on your work again? If all this above in the end does not help you, maybe just don't work for this certain day, as I mentioned earlier already. There are days, where you should accept not being able to work. Of course that is easily said in my position and I know that there are a lot of people who can’t just tell their boss “Hey, you know, I am not feeling like I should work today … not coming” – I get it. But wouldn’t it be great to actually have a boss like this? A boss who understands the value of someone who really is charged and fully able to get things done?

This post is very subjective and based on my daily work. So forgive me, if some things sound a bit silly or you think “That is easy for him to say”. Surely that is the benefit next to other negative aspects, that I have with the way I am working. What I have written is only meant to give you some examples what you could do, if you are in a similar position. I am more than happy what you are doing, when you are in a position like this, where it seems impossible to focus. You can shoot me an email, find me on Twitter or – best – meet me at an event to chat about this over a drink.

⇾ TWUMBLE – Episode 9 with Joschi Kuphal

I took an unwanted pause after episode 8 of my little podcast called TWUMBLE. This was not planned and just happened as I had too much work with my last beyond tellerrand event and some family reasons needed attention. But now I am starting over again and am happy to finally managed to get Joschi Kuphal on the show, which we planned for quite a while.

Check episode number 9 of my German show called TWUMBLE.

Peter Kogler

| | permalink

Wow. Just recently stumbled over the work by Austrian Artist Peter Kogler. Since more than 30 years he is creating this kind of work. Fantastic.

Artwork by Peter Kogler in Instanbul
Artwork by Peter Kogler in Innsbruck
Artwork by Peter Kogler and Michel Würthle in Jennersdorf
Artwork by Peter Kogler in Brussels

⇾ Typora

| | permalink

I’m using iAWriter and love it, but this Typora editor looks nice. Having a look now.

Think

| | permalink

I don’t have a new year’s resolution, but a wish.

May wish actually is, that I want to see less negativity and more positivity out there.

I myself post less on Twitter, Facebook an Co. A reason is that I’m a bit annoyed by the general negativeness of posts and tone of voice. Another reason is, that I stop myself before hitting the “post” button, every time I write something and ask myself Do I really want to post this?. An often times I decide, it is not really something I need to post.

So my wish then also is, that you reflect and ask yourself, if you want to post the text or maybe even just have another, a second look on the text you are about to post. Maybe you decide, that you don’t post it. Maybe this helps, that less negative posts and emotions are spread.

Maybe.

⇾ LeanDUS on January 18th – “Barrierefreies Webdesign”

On January 18th, sipgate is running their 24th edition of the free LeanDUS meetup. This time with a German talk about accessibility with the title “Barrierefreies Webdesign – WCAG 2.0 erfolgreich umsetzen” by Jan Hellbusch.

Get your ticket and see you there.

⇾ Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes?

| | permalink

Has the Internet Killed Curly Quotes?

My photos from SmashingConf Barcelona 2016

Audience at SmashingConf in Barcelona

Smashing Conference in Barcelona already took place in October this year. I have been there and took photos, but a few things made it difficult for me to release them up to now. I was organising my beyond tellerrand event edition in Berlin, my wife ruptured her achilles tendon before this and I was complete exhausted after Berlin. Sorry for the long wait. Here are a few impressions from this year’s SmashingConf in Barcelona.

Resilient Web Design

Jeremy Keith has written a book again. It is called Resilient Web Design, similar to the talk Resilience, he gave earlier this year at beyond tellerrand. But instead of printing and selling it, he put it on the web. You ca read it right there. For free. What are you doing here still?

Go, read it …

About getting paid

| | permalink

I often have a smile on my face, if I read another of many Facebook posts by Yuko, where she rants about the emails she gets from people asking her to work for free. Or I love the part, where Mr. Bingo talks about the many tries, where people want to have him working for free for a certain project. Lately, at beyond tellerrand in Berlin, Jeff Greenspan gave a lovely and entertaining talk, in which he also speaks about pitches, where someone says how much reputation he can gain from working for this project in parts of it and I could go on listing friends and people, who continuously get asked to work for free. Which in the first place is noting bad at all, but the people/companies asking them are not those who can’t afford paying them in these cases. There are mostly well-known and big companies who earn so much, that they should be able to easily pay those artists for their work.

The reasons for writing this is, that Jessica Hische, who also often gets ask to work for no profit by and for-profit company, posted a great email reply on Twitter. What I like in her reply is, that she is neither going crazy, because she is super angry, getting asked the billionth time nor is she getting sarcastic. She has written a well understandable and calm reply. A good template for everybody who is in a similar position.