Hi, I’m Brian Dys — a photographer from the inside looking out · a composer entangled in electronic music · a UX designer · a spouse, a parent, & everything in between.
Spent this Friday afternoon combing my work inbox — taking notes and flagging important emails that I will take on at the start of 2021. Most of my work that involves team management are already churned in Figma. In other words, I don’t worry about forgetting everything behind because I’ve already managed to extract the important elements.
This is the practice that I want to embed consistently in my life — extract and carry on. It’s like the following metaphors or mental models:
- Stepping stones – using what you’ve learned as a means to an end
- Building blocks – using what you’ve learned to make a whole
- Two birds in one stone – doing something efficiently
The lack of this practice would render, in my mind, a very messy backlog of things that, as time goes by, makes it even harder to make sense of because it became a giant tidal wave of mumbo jumbo — a real counterproductive practice. Forgetting them won’t simply do because experiences are a treasure trove of lessons. So the smart thing to do is to extract and carry on.
An important aspect of extract and carry on highly depends on the frequency of doing it. Imagine a correlation between time and memory relevance and reliability.
Our memories simply work that way — as time goes by, we tend to not remember things the same way. From a different perspective, we tend to forget. The saying, out of sight, out of mind captures its essence best.
As memories fade away, the way we retrieve or remember them, and the way we interpret them also change — even with the aid of digital documents. It might help you see and remember literal evidence of how many balloons were there in your fifth birthday but memories are different from ephemeral experience. That’s why if it’s not in the now, it’s not wholly what you experienced but a memory of your experience.
For how long until you will feel that your backlog is already a giant tidal wave? Don’t let it reach that point. If you could wrap up your life weekly or monthly, then that’s more manageable than wrapping it up once a year.
Looking back a year long when you’ve got a weekly or monthly chunk of the important stuff would be easier, and could actually be an enjoyable activity without the arduous stuff of remembering and extracting.
Pushing this idea to the extreme, I ask myself if I could save only thirty-six photos of a particular month, which could these photos be? It could mean forgetting about the rest of the photos that didn’t make the cut. That could also solve the problem of digital storage, but that’s a different story.
You get the idea — extract and carry on aims for a hangup-free and richer life.
- The difference between efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency
- Selective ignorance: cultivating intentional knowledge in a chaotic world
- The Pandemic Gives Us a Chance to Change How We Get Around
- Why Do Some People Succeed after Failing, While Others Continue to Flounder?
- How Companies Are Winning on Culture During COVID-19
- How Leaders Can Open Up to Their Teams Without Oversharing
- Design Must Mature in the Digital Age
- Break your bar chart habit
- Designed to Deceive: Do These People Look Real to You?
Is this humility or hubris? Do we place too little value in human intelligence — or do we overrate it, assuming we are so smart that we can create things smarter still?Kashmir Hill and Jeremy White
- The days are long but the decades are short
- The Quest to Be Good at Everything
If we define productive as a way of optimizing the outcome of you spending resources on something, then I think it’s more so the complete productivity obsession across the board of your life.Henrik Werdelin
- Debunking the Myth of the Fold
- Innovation in Orbit: Insights From NASA and SpaceX
- Don’t Blame Social Media. Blame Capitalism.
- Designing algorithm-friendly interfaces
- The Best Inventions of 2020
- User Control and Freedom (Usability Heuristic #3)
The last week of November was Jaycelle’s birthday week so we were focused on preparations and celebrations. I didn’t really get to read a lot of stuff this week (in fact, I only got one).
- To Create a Better Society
Yes, we need to go into communities. But we should be looking to find the creative people in those communities who are already addressing their problems. People who live in the community don’t need anthropologists and design researchers to figure out their needs. They know the problems and they often have creative ideas. Moreover, they present practical solutions because they understand the culture, the capabilities, and the resources of the community.Don Norman
Woke up early morn scampering to find all the knickknacks that once filled up my backpack. I emptied it since March early this year and retired it into a forgotten corner of the house. The quarantine’s end wasn’t in sight, after all. All the things that I think I might need when in the office were all lined up on my desk — they are the following:
- water tumbler
- coffee tumbler
- laptop computer
- notebook and pen
- battery pack
- digital pouch
- toiletry pouch
The bag? Yes, it’s nowhere to be found. I was about to check a mountain of luggage one by one and thankfully, Jaycelle was half-awake to tell me that it might be in a box full of bags. There it was, my old army green friend.