I met some of my old work colleagues for a drink the other evening and it was lovely to catch up. They’re all super-focussed on their work and full of office gossip, some of which I can’t really follow because I don’t know who everyone is anymore. It still feels weird not being at work, even though it’s been more than a year since I left, but I’m mostly able to fill my days doing something useful, even if it’s just weeding the garden. I sometimes feel like I’m on holiday and one day I’ll wake up and find that I’ve been ordered to return to the office. That would be terrible!
Although I miss the sense of purpose that goes with having a job, I don’t actually miss the work (except for strategic planning meetings which I love). I think choosing your own projects is a lot more fun than having other people decide how you will spend your days, but I’m not very good with deadlines. When no-one is relying on you to finish a task, it’s very easy to put it off until another day. This is especially true when the task is something boring, but I also find it quite easy to procrastinate about doing things I enjoy, such as writing. It’s inexplicable really.
I’m assured by my work friends that they still mention me at the office (which was gratifying because no-one likes to be forgotten), but I was really interested to know what they remembered. They said it usually starts with, “as Marg would say…” and ends with one of the things I’ve been banging on about for years. It’s nice to think that someone was actually listening! It’s a bit like when your kids say something back to you that makes you realise that despite them pretending they were on another planet, or had cotton wool stuffed in their ears, they were taking it in all the time.
It just goes to prove that key messages do actually stick in people’s minds if you keep them short and repeat them often enough!
So here (in no particular order) are the sayings of Marg…
- White space is good Give your words room to breathe. White space makes complicated ideas more approachable and easier to comprehend.
- Slides are free, use as many as you like Don’t squash all your information on to one slide (see above).
- Simple is not the same as simplistic There’s a vast difference between making something clear and understandable and reducing a concept to a meaningless motherhood statement. The most beautifully designed products are incredibly complicated, but easy to use.
- What are you are trying to say? Once you know, you can write it down. Say it as simply as possible. Your readers will thank you.
There’s nothing really new of inspiring here, but I guess it could be worse. I reminded them of my favourite saying from the Best Marigold Hotel.
“Everything will be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not the end”.John Lennon
Do you have any favourite sayings that you’d like to be remembered for?