Self Discipline and My Productivity Variables

Working from home is difficult. Staying motivated and disciplined when you could easily just lay around and scroll memes can be quite the task. I’ve been exclusively self employed for almost a year now and Ive had to learn how to master this skill. I’ve noticed productivity is often about getting the specific variables right. Here’s a list of my variables and maybe you find some insights to your own struggles in those.

Natural light to keep me awake and focused

Chairs that promote good posture without being too uncomfortable

Filling breakfast to give me fuel for the day

Music, usually without lyrics to help zone into my work

Work in room other than my bedroom to keep myself from getting sleepy

Facing a window so I have something stimulating to look at

Sober unless doing casual work like art

Exercise in the morning to get blood flowing and keep myself awake

 

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How to Get Companies to Use Your Designs

 

Today I want to discuss how designers can get businesses to use their work. Though my experience is running a t-shirt company, I think what I’m about to say has wider application for designers in all fields. I’m going to dissect three messages I’ve received from artists with offers to use their work. None of these are perfect and the first one is absolutely terrible. 

Let’s start with the worst:

message1

So this fella sends me a message asking if I’m interested in his shirt design. The wording is pretty vague.I have no idea if he already has a design created or if he’s just throwing around an idea and wants to get feedback. There’s also nothing to give me any indication of his design quality. This message creates a lot of work for me. I have to ask further for further details that should have been given. 

Message2

This message is a little better. It’s a step up from the first one by offering some samples of his work  and shows that he’s already done designs in my field (cryptocurrencies like Ethereum) . This keeps me from having to ask too many questions as I can gauge his limitations and strengths by looking at the portfolio. He also offers a bit more of a specific offer. However I get a lot of message like this from designers. It’s important to look for opportunity but this message does little to help him stand out. Why should I choose him over any other free lancer I could find online? There is no attempt to build any sort of relationship or give me value. 

Message3

This message gets even closer to the ideal. The designer just straight up sends me some work I could use. I’m prompted to respond, especially given that these designs very usable. It’s completely eliminates any guess work on my end and even saves me the trouble of having to come up with a design idea to commission. This designer has my attention by offering me something with clear value. The context of this specific conversation made the lack of written out value proposition okay. The designer established a relationship with me by having a conversation on a different topic. If you don’t already have an in to a conversation with the business you may want to include a message along with the designs you send in.

If you want businesses to use your designs, do everything you can to minimize the work on their end. Some sort of combination of the second and thirds messages is going to be the way to go. Send them samples of your work, send them designs ideas, and even potentially go as far as sending a free design. Good luck!

Thoughts from a tolerance break

It’s been a little over a week since I last smoked pot. I’m on what you could call a tolerance break, letting my brain readjust to sobriety so that it’s easier to get high when I get back to it. A tolerance break is always a great time to reflect on my drug use so here’s some thoughts before I return to the Devil’s Lettuce.

It’s great that cannabis is so easy to quit

I smoked pretty much daily up until last week when I stopped. It really says great things about this drug that you be a frequent user like me and have little trouble cutting cold turkey. If I had been doing coke everyday for a few weeks I’d probably be finding some excuse to sell my PlayStation for another line at this point. That isn’t to say cannabis isn’t addictive in some sense. Anything fun is addictive. But it’s addictive to the same degree as a good TV show or a fun book, you wanna do it again not because you’re compelled but simply because it’s a habit and it’s super fun.

I’m not more or less productive without weed

There’s this unfortunate stigma around smoking pot, that it makes you brain dead and unproductive. Though it’s true sometimes while high I’d rather melt into the couch with a plate of tacos than get any work done it’s not really a universal smoking experience. When stoned I often find myself energized to do creative work. Some of my best art was a result of THC igniting the creative spark in my brain. My tolerance break hasn’t really affected my productivity overall. I read less and I’m doing less spray paint art but I’m still kicking ass the same way I was while smoking daily. It’s important to pay attention to how individual strains change my work habits (I’m not gonna go for a jog on a 90% indica) but for the most part, I believe weed has little noticeable effect on my ability to get shit done.

I do sleep better without it

Probably the only real noticeable side effect of not smoking is my sleeping patterns. When I smoked daily, especially when I had more indica than sativa, I’d pretty much always take a nap halfway through my day. This would totally mess up my sleeping schedule. Making me wake up at 6am some morning and 1pm others. An important thing to pay attention to and keeping this in mind maybe I’ll learn to only smoke at night or only buy sativa.

Nothing new

Overall, haven’t learned much that I didn’t already know. It’s nice to take a break and reflect, it reminds me that contrary to the propaganda smoking doesn’t make me a junkie. Sobriety is it’s own type of adventure and it’s just another possible perspective to see my day from. Looking forward to getting high at a lower cost now that my tolerance is back down.