Mixed Signals: Cluttered countertops

No. 34 – 7th of May, 2023

It's so hard to cook in a cluttered kitchen.

Cookery books scattered everywhere, last night's dishes still to be sorted.

What most of us like is clean, clear countertops. Maybe a single recipe. And the ingredients we need laid out in front of us.

Digital work should be the same. How we can we think with the tabs, the notifications, the distractions, the infinite scroll? And for those working in the knowledge economy, it goes further. Much of our important work is thinking. Often when we're away from the screen.

How can we do that work if our life is a series of cluttered countertops?

Enjoy! ~ GKT

Making art inevitable

Last night I picked up Rick Rubin's The Creative Act: A Way of Being, after seeing Ian Sanders' repeated praise for it. The opening quote jumped off the page:

The object isn't to make art,
it's to be in that wonderful state
which makes art inevitable.
– Robert Henri

That wonderful state is beautifully addictive. I miss it when I don't get enough. It's why I send this newsletter. I have to be creating.

And in many ways, I think it's getting harder to find that place. We're busier than ever. More distracted than ever. There are more wonderful, incredible things for us to consume than at any other point in history.

+ The Creative Act: A Way of Being, by Rick Rubin

+ Ian Sanders: Ten lessons on the creative process from Rick Rubin

Make me feel important

One of the ways we achieve this state is... making time for thinking.

That's a definite theme that emerges from any conversation with Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger. I'm looking forward to reading this book, especially after listening to the Founders podcast that covers it in detail.

A particular highlight was this wonderful quote:

“Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important. ‘ Never forget this message when working with people.”
– Mary Kay Ash

And also, how Buffett explains he wants to work with people where they only need a one-page contract, not 20+ pages.

+ All I Want To Know Is Where I'm Going To Die So I'll Never Go There, by Peter Bevelin

+ Founders: #286 Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger speaking directly to you

Digital distillation

Last week I mentioned a great podcast with Derek Sivers. I'm still processing it. There's so much in there. Derek talks a lot about simplifying and reducing down, and I felt the urge to immediately take action.

I'm now using shorter domains, both for the business and for personal use (you may notice this email is sent from one of them 👀). I've also reduced down the company website to more of what matters. I think I can distill it a little further still.

+ clrfd.com + gkt.cymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

+ Has 21st century policy gone medieval? 👈 “Jobseekers, like teenagers, needed guidance, not sanctions.” 🤯

+ AI powered voice is becoming too realistic

+ You can always tell someone to go to hell tomorrow (more advice from Buffett)