What if I all I want is a small, slow, simple life? What if I am most happy in the space of in between. Where calm lives. What if I am mediocre and choose to be at peace with that?
The world is such a noisy place. Loud, haranguing voices lecturing me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. For bigger and better. Sacrifice sleep for productivity. Strive for excellence. Go big or go home. Have a huge impact in the world. Make your life count.
My friend asked me yesterday for my “Beginning of the Day Workflow”. He was asking for my shortcut in the shortcut app (a technical way to automate a bunch of apps, which fires off and does a bunch of things at once), but I initially took his question as, “How do I start my morning, and what’s my creative process?” That’s how I’ll start today’s journal. Breaking that down.
On a perfect day, I’ll wake up early enough to get to the local cafe, for coffee and pancakes (my best days could be measured by coffee and pancakes. If you’re local, Downtown Jeaux now has an early bird special: get coffee and pancakes for five bucks). On most days, though, I wake up, get dressed, and get to the office to start my day. Either way, wherever I am, I sit down, put the iPad in front of me, and start in these four apps.
This is the first app I start in. Getting to zero. Favoriting whatever needs to be referred back to later that day. This is usually done as a warm-up, a causal browsing, so I don’t jump straight into actual work-mode just yet. This kickstarts my inspiration for the day.
This is my reminders app. I open this up to Today view, seeing what needs to be done that day. If it’s in “Today”, I reflect on what time I’ll be able to do it. I reflect on which ones are most important. I also look at certain ones and see if they’re really important enough for today, or if they could be moved to another day or remove the day entirely. I try to get this list down to just the essentials, freeing me up to focus on what’s truly important.
I start a Journal entry. Open a blank page, and then write the date: “# June 14, 2019”. From here, I write out whatever’s on my mind initially. I’ll clean it up later. But it starts with just brain-dumping. After I do that, I move to the Last Seven Days section of the app. This section shows me everything I’ve been building lately. I get a glimpse of what needs to be worked on, and what I’ve finished up. An aerial view of everything that needs my attention. I’ll use that journal entry as a scratchpad for the day, keeping thoughts out of my head and on this page. Some turn into their own blog posts, some. just live in the journal.
This is opened to my website, looking at the month’s archive, of the most recent blog posts I’ve created. It usually sets the tone for me and where I need to go that day. There’s a story that was told so far that month, which shows me what’s left to be told. A combination of this list, with my Ulysses “Last seven days” helps keep the writing flowing.
This month has been a lot of journaling. Nothing deep. But that was the plan for this month. To take a step back. Everything from the blog posts, to the photos, as you can see, not much is there. I needed a month like this. To take a step back and breathe.
There’s something to be said about cleaning house and freshening things up for the next season. I’m referring to the look of the site. All the same parts are there, they’re just cleaned up and arranged in new and cleaner ways. Let me explain.
What you’ll notice right away is that the Bike gif was moved up towards the top. I also added blue stitch to each side of the gif.
With the gif now being higher on the screen, you have three features constantly moving:
The first thing that I worked on today was switching how to see all of my most recent content. I went back to an outline. It’s how my mind works, and it has very simple look.
The only thing left from the old way that I showed featured content is the guest posts section. I removed all the other categories that were there (since they’re now in the above outline). I then made the guest post feature much bigger. Since it’s the only one shown, it gives it a better spotlight, as it alternates through all 20+ guest posts each time you visit the site.
You’ll notice that my daily thanks is removed from the footer now. If you go to nashp.com/thanks, it’s still there, and it’ll be updated for 10 more days. This decision was made as I prepare for the ending of this daily gratitude list. June 21st makes 100 days that I’ve done this. That’ll be the last day. I’ll then work on turning that into a book.
The hidden feature of my site received an update today as well. It’s the last thing I did before writing out this breakdown. If you press the little blue “create” word under my face, it gives you a drop down of each blog post I’ve created for the current month.
I updated this by removing the blue underlines under the links, and then I put a dark blue background behind it. This creates a different feel for this layer.
Well this turned into quite the article....— Shawn Blanc (@shawnblanc) June 6, 2019
iPadOS: My Initial Thoughts, Observations, and Ideas on the Future of Working on an iPad – The Sweet Setup https://t.co/dUR9TPftyK
Still one of my favorite ways to watch videos. I’d choose Watch Later over any other streaming service. I currently have over 2,000 videos in it, and it’s always where I go when I want to watch a curated video playlist. Similar to the way I use Twitter, I do the same with YouTube: constantly bookmarking videos in Watch Later. It’s the best way to refer back to something, and if you do it mindlessly like I do, you’ll always have a queue of great videos waiting for you.
I predict Paul gets moved. I’m thinking he’ll finally play with LeBron. This isn’t me being hopeful, because I’ve never been a LeBron fan (respect his game), and I’ve never liked the Lakers. Just seems like the stars have aligned for both players to need each other.
This guy is so inspiring. This song wants me to create a whole new album this weekend. (Or at least add a new song to my album, whichever happens.)
I’m always fascinated by these video essays on Frank Ocean.
I feel some kind of energy in my heart right now. It started last night, after waking up from a long nap. It’s what would happen if anxiety and excitement had a baby. Inspiration mixed with wonder. Not sure what this is, but I’m pressing in on it and seeing where it’ll take me.
One of my new favorite people to follow online is Liam Wong. He has a book about to come out, called TO:KY:OO. I stumbled on his work, and now I’m absolutely in love with it. Here’s some pictures from his most recent tweet.
As soon I write about Liam Wong, Kottke tweets about Jun Yamamoto, linking to his Instagram. Similar style. If you follow the things I’ve been liking on Instagram lately, it’s been photos of Japan. Cyberpunk style photography. I’ll keep searching for more like this, because it’s been so inspiring.
I made a new page on my site: nashp.com/twitter. This shows what I’ve bookmarked throughout the day. Tweetbot is is my control center. It’s where I scan the latest news and inspiration. I rapidly press up on keyboard, then press “F” (for Favorite/Like) if I want to refer back to it. Once I reach the top (zero new tweets remaining), I go back to bookmarks and start writing.
Not really, but in the background. Sums up how I watch movies lately. Never having my full attention. All forms of media is only passive to me nowadays. It’s only background noise as I create and work on projects. I enjoy this process.
Saturday was the first of the month: the day I decided to switch gears and revert back to my little hole and begin to think deeper about things. I figured it was time to close the chapter I was in, and I was ready to start a new one. Saturday, I spent the day building a site with my friend Kristen. Sunday I spent the day at church (writing and then attending 11:00 service.) After lunch at a Japanese restaurant, I spent the rest of the day in bed, watching Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and then reading a book until sleep. Yesterday was very similar: work, Apple event, then then sleep. Between the nap after work, and the sleep last night, I slept for over 10 hours yesterday. Most I’ve had in years. Today: work, coffee shop, and writing. I’m enjoy the lack of noise around me right now. My mind, heart, and locations I’m in are very subtle and giving me space to breathe and think. Very thankful for this.↩︎