You Need a Manifesto

Stanford’s Design Institute fits its reason for existing, its manifesto, on an ordinary napkin. Could you?

Think about your reason for existing.

To Design Your Manifesto On a Napkin:

  1. Grab a stack of napkins.
  2. Find a Sharpie Marker.
  3. Ask the following questions:

What keeps you awake at night and wakes you up in the morning?
What will you do to have no regrets on your deathbed?
What is your reason for taking up space on the Earth?

Then…

  1. Write.
  2. Trash the apathy.
  3. Write again.

    16 Project Lists Proved Too Much

    The view is clear from my dining room window.  I just removed the heavy-paper filtering the sunlight. I put up 16 pieces of card-stock a month ago when I decided to follow Scott Belsky‘s advice to treat every area of my life as a project. One card was titled Creating Brains with 10 steps to improve this blog.  Another card, Roxy’s Summer, with 13 steps. Other areas I converted into projects included,

    • HPSC 106: Fall Quarter:  for the History class I’ll be teaching.
    • Technology: to make the most of my new iPhone.
    • Family Routines: to make time for everything under the sun.

    Clear, spelled-out steps, were to improve my ability to get things done, specially after being interrupted by children.

    Highly Creative people fight entropy. So, I periodically seek ways to make creative work the path of least resistance. My card method certainly gave me insight into how much I’ve been trying to accomplished and helped me set aside concrete time for the most important projects. But after the first week, it lost its utility.  I rarely looked at the lists.

    Once you prioritize, then clear time,  lists are less useful.

    Planning for August

    This morning I’m working with three of my children, individually, to determine their schedule for the rest of the summer.  I will ask each the following three questions to start:

    • What would you like to learn to do?
    • What would you like to see? Or visit?
    • What do you want to get better at?

    The questions may be a little vague, but I’ll adjust and clarify them as needed.  Each conversation will be a two-way exchange.

    Then we’ll make a card for each project with detailed steps, similar to my cards,  for each of them to follow.  I’ll also add items, in step form, to my cards.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Read more about… Creativity by Projects.

    16 Summer Projects

    The morning is still new with humidity deep and mellow. My five children, ages 10 and under, are all busy nursing inner worlds. Each is playing alone.  Quiet. One paces slowly in the backyard. Another places just picked wildflowers in a glass-full of water.  The baby calm, but with hiccups, makes sense of the green world outside her window.  But, I’m not calm.  I’m calm enough to write and think a bit, but optimal experience eludes me because I know, this morning’s quiet is fleeting.  An interruption is about to intrude.  Any minute now.  Any second.  My subconscious is waiting for it.

    I’m stuck in “focus” boot camp.  I’ve a million opportunities today to achieve flow, in work, in writing and in hanging out with my children. The drill sergeant pushing me on in within me.  Architect John Summerson said,

    Architects should learn to study not merely minimum requirements, but maximum possibilities; to learn not only how to economize space but how to be extravagant with it; to learn not only to use space but play with space.

    I’m studying maximum possibilities, to design my life and the life of my children for Creativity. I seek extravagance with the time, space and resources I have here, in my world.

    For the rest of the summer, I’m following Scott Belsky‘s advice to treat every area of my life as a project and detail the steps needed to achieve a time-limited satisfaction for each.  This will reduce my latent stress of being interrupted. I’ve designed 16 cardstock project lists, one for each area I wish to attend to.  One is titled Creating Brains with 10 steps to improve this blog.  Another card is Roxy’s Summer with 13 steps, including,

    • Call Pete’s Music regarding when cello will be ready for pick-up.
    • Purchase Suzuki Celllo Book 1 CD.
    • E-mail Olga Redkina to schedule regular lessons.

    Other areas I have converted into projects include,

    • HPSC 106: Fall Quarter:  for the History class I’ll be teaching.
    • Technology: to make the most of my new iPhone.
    • Family Routines: to make time for everything under the sun.

    Clear, spelled-out steps will make it simple to return to a project after, say, I run to shut my 5 yr. old’s bathtub faucet right as the tub spills over.

    Highly Creative people fight entropy.  So will I.  My time to write is almost up.  I’m excited about my new project-based life.

    FYI: I achieved flow writing this post!  Great start.

    %d bloggers like this: