March 14, 2018 - No Comments!

Book Review: Making Ideas Happen.

The book is organized broadly into three areas: Organization and Execution, Community, and Leadership Capability.

This is book is good for you if you you are:

1. Independent Creative Working for yourself (freelancer) or from home or on contractual basis.

2. Managing team of creatives working on one or a broad spectrum of different technologies/products/projects.

3. Finding it hard to say no when it matters the most. *This book is full of ideas and action steps for that.

4.  A creative that struggles with project management, timelines and tasks, this book outlines a very practical system for actually getting things done daily.

Kind of Summary about the book

I am a creative person and so with most of the creatives, one of my least favorite things is spending time on the details and not on the ideas. But, I know it is essential and necessary and I am actually pretty good with the details, however most of my productivity plans have failed in the past.

That is why when I read what this book was about I got excited. Instead of having plans, motivations etc it promises to have a system designed to capitalize on my strengths and rather than just remind me of my weaknesses it helps me to strengthen those areas. The plan is called ACTION METHOD.

So here are a couple things I really liked about “Making Ideas Happen”

1. Design matters when it comes to your to do list. He points out that we need to advertise to ourselves in order to keep our own attention.

2. Organize your to do list into projects in order to focus on items that lead to action and refrain from reactionary workflow (working from your email inbox in the morning instead of prioritizing and setting your own schedule.)

3. The real world parables and stories to illustrate the points were challenging and applicable.

I enjoyed the fresh point of view of Scott Belsky and his take on issues such as “best practices”, “reactionary workflow”, “leadership”, “working with a team”, and “utilizing the power of community”.

This book is worth the read.

If you do freelance work or are thinking about dropping the 9 to 5 and working for yourself, do yourself a favor…and buy the book, read it and the most important point is "Get Practical and Take Action".

January 7, 2018 - No Comments!

January 2018

Photo by: Andy Grizzell

January 2018

As the title suggests, I don't have any specific name for this post. Its a rant about how the last year flew by and how I will or might take things in the coming 12 months.

The past year i wasn't really able to spend much time with the bike, reason being my lower back issues, thankfully I am ok now but not 100% fit to resume high intensity rides again, will be hitting gym to strengthen those core muscles before i can ride up the hills again, I am all hopeful and positive about it, lets see what happens.

I decided to have a one word theme for this year ahead and its "SLOW". I want to take things slowly and gradually, and see what happens, for the past few years thanks to the rapid changes and fast paced technology everyone seem to be rushing and running. We are living in an age of massive distraction, no one seem to be fully focused or taking the time to understand the true nature of things. So i decided to stay calm, slow and peaceful.

Besides all this, here is a quote I am thinking about

"The worst thing in life that you can have is a job that you hate, that you have no energy in, that you're not creative with and you're not thinking of the future. To me, might as well be dead." — Robert Greene

until next time.

 

May 14, 2016 - No Comments!

The Curse of Facebook

facebook

The Curse of Facebook

During the year 2015, the only thing that I did with full dedication was cycling around Islamabad, its beautiful hills and the surroundings. Mostly solo and at times with groups. A part from that and after much thought and reflection, I have come to this conclusion that most of my time was sucked using Facebook. I Couldn't make anything out of using Facebook, it seem to me that this tools just waste your time. Yes I am being extremely blunt and may be negative about it. I do admit that many are making a living out of it and its a good tool of communication but comes with a huge price tag of ultimate time wastage.

My personal realization is that its not giving me anything good as of now. I was addicted to a virtual word. Something so unreal and fake. Being injected with shots of dopamine for every 5 seconds, leading most of us to another disease called narcissism. In November I publicly announced about quitting facebook.

fb_grab

I planned to stay way from Facebook forcefully for as long as one YEAR, the same goes with Instagram too. Later after few days I went a step ahead and deactivated my Facebook account. For how long? I have no idea, chances are might not come back even after a year, lets see what I am missing out.

After a month of not using both of these platforms, I felt a great change in my lifestyle, I am more focused, I waste less time online, actually I only use the computer when I need to get some important work done, since there is nothing to browse or scroll up and down to an over whelming amount of useless info daily and highlights of other people lives which has nothing of value to offer, my productivity has sky rocketed. I FELT ABSOLUTELY GREAT.

Back in 2013 Douglas Rushkoff wrote this article for CNN “Why I’m quitting Facebook” below is an excerpt from his article which I not only relate but endorse it and may be you would relate to it too.

Facebook does not exist to help us make friends, but to turn our network of connections, brand preferences and activities over time — our “social graphs” — into money for others.

We Facebook users have been building a treasure lode of big data that government and corporate researchers have been mining to predict and influence what we buy and for whom we vote. We have been handing over to them vast quantities of information about ourselves and our friends, loved ones and acquaintances. With this information, Facebook and the “big data” research firms purchasing their data predict still more things about us — from our future product purchases or sexual orientation to our likelihood for civil disobedience or even terrorism.

The true end users of Facebook are the marketers who want to reach and influence us. They are Facebook’s paying customers; we are the product. And we are its workers. The countless hours that we — and the young, particularly — spend on our profiles are the unpaid labor on which Facebook justifies its stock valuation.”

In the end I will like to conclude my battle against the "Curse of Facebook" in the very words of Douglas Rushkoff

“Maybe in doing (quitting facebook) so I’ll help people remember that Facebook is not the Internet. It’s just one website, and it comes with a price.”

Update 2018

I am till off of Facebook, I to be very honest I haven't missed much, in fact have regain my focus when it comes to projects that requires online access. Anyway I'm here to share this image which is 101% true.

May 7, 2016 - No Comments!

The Hardest Part

hard_part

The Hardest Part

It's easy to say that the hard part is standing up and starting, sure it is and often for most of us, but today I really want to say is that the hard part is the time it takes once we get moving.

Its showing up every single hour of the day, every single day of the week and month, its showing up in the middle. When no one is watching, listening, when the zeal of the start has worn off. When its actually about showing up and doing the work and getting things done.

Its about showing up when you earlier thought that this is it and later found out that no, its actually this, not that.

The hard part is that you keep going no matter what.

The hard part is to stay put when the outcome of hustle is very small and it doesn't really feel incremental at all. Its about knowing when to go full gas and when to stop, take a step back and relax, reflect, regain, focus and go on with it again.

And to know that its all about the process, the experiment, and that no one is going to teach you any better but this very journey that you have embarked yourself on, with all your honesty. The hard part is about knowing that no teacher, no e-book, tutorial will give you such real life insights but this sacred journey.

The hard part is to know that its never all shiny most of the days, its like pushing hard and hard even if you don't feel like. Because that's what separates the best from the rest.

 Its the realization that there is no escape from the boring, from the monotonous hours to put into the hard zone of work. Its about not being shying away from the tough.

The internet, the media makes it looks so easy peasy, because no one really talks about how they went through all these grinding moments while they reach at the end of the journey, and even if they talk about it, it looks like a piece of cake, a lovely adventure like a reality TV show.

Loving the hard part is going to make all the difference, loving the hard part is the actual road less traveled. If you want to make it you will be in for the hard in one way or the other, so love it, cherish it make the best of it and shine through like a star.

Fear, discomfort and uncertainty is all part of the package, they are till there even when things look fun and play. They are there like a gentle reminders and the hard part here is to stand firm take a deep breath and do it anyway.

April 30, 2016 - No Comments!

Welcome to my new website

forest

Welcome to my new Website

It was just at the 2nd year of my design school (2006) when I bought my first domain to create my online portfolio website. I took every possible project that came my way, (and mostly worked for free or less than anyone can imagine), in order to have some thing in my portfolio.

I read a lot over the internet about Graphic Design, but never get to learned about the real meat and aspect of design, I knew there were thousands of tutorials showing how to create awesome effects but they wasn't giving me any practical experience that i could use while designing and solving real life client problems.

I learned how to design by trial and error, experimenting on part time jobs that i had, sometimes with real life clients and discovering new techniques in practice. I had my "aha moments" during such projects, at those times i wasn't aware of what i was doing and or if its the right thing or in accordance with rules of design.

Later, I started learning about the art of design (still i am learning) and found out that most of the things that i discovered was covered by Conventional Design rules. I could be a much better designer if i learned about it at the start of my academic training era, however thanks to all those clients, jobs and real life situations i realized that not every design technique or idea can be useful or applied when we come up with solutions for our clients.

We need new rules and techniques that will help us to do the job in hand better, as the old saying goes, we need new solutions to new problems.

So, what is this blog about?

In this new blog, I want to write about anything that I have found to be useful in my work, creativity, design, photography and my other interests like cycling, running and exploring mountains. I’ll also share and show you my work process and how I design, photograph and create things

Summing up

I still learn new things every day, You or may not agree what all I say and believe, so lets discuss and find new common grounds in order to learn more from each other. I hope we can take this new journey together and learn from each other as much as we can.

Welcome to My New Website.