New beginnings

I love New Year. It’s  a great time to reflect on what you’ve achieved during the year and think about what you’d like to do next.

When I look back at the post I wrote this time last year, I can see that I was pretty focussed on being more focussed. My aim for the year was to try to be a bit less distracted and try to concentrate on developing a skill-set that would be:

  • Useful in my work
  • Useful to the community
  • Intellectually stimulating (I’m easily bored)
  • Valuable (i.e. marketable)

I have to admit that it has taken me the whole year to think through exactly where I’m headed, but now that I’ve done that I feel really happy.

I realise that this sounds a little bit self-important, and that’s not my intention. What I am trying to say is that sometimes it just takes time for things to become clear and once they do, it all seems very obvious. You can spend a lot of time worrying about things that will actually just work themselves out, if you give them a bit of time and space.

This is not the same as sticking your head in the sand.

I don’t mean that you shouldn’t make plans for the future.

It is important that you have a good idea of what you want out of life and what skills you need to develop so that you can contribute something meaningful to the world. If you don’t have a clear idea of what you value and what you enjoy doing, you will be hard pressed to know what you should be doing with your life, but it’s equally important to understand that you can’t control everything.

You don’t need to be extraordinary

Lest you think I’m talking about something big and grand here, let me assure you that contributing something meaningful can be as simple as making yourself available for a friend in need. Listening is a valuable skill and much in demand.

So what are your plans for 2014?

I realise I haven’t actually said what I’ll be focussing my energies on this year, you’ll need to wait for the next post for more about that!

In the meantime, what do you have planned?

Big and bold? Small, but meaningful?

What does your new beginning look like?

What does your workspace say about you?

Continuing with my theme of organising things, I thought I’d share this post on beautiful workspaces from one of my favourite graphic design blogs called Onextrapixel. It features some of the workspaces of famous designers. For example, this is the desk of New York designer Joel Speasmaker.

Joel Speasmaker


Compare this with my workspace below. It may not be quite as beautiful as Joel’s desk, but it’s certainly functional. I think that if you spend most of the day sitting down at work, the last thing you need to do is come home and sit down some more, so I often write standing up. And when I get stuck for ideas, I just do a bit of ironing.

My workspace

An ironing board makes a great desk

Where do you do your best work? At home, at the park, in a cafe? Feel free to share.

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