Could I love these 5 life-hacks more?

Could I love these 5 life-hacks more?

It starts small. A tiny seed, fragile and unassuming.

Getting something off the ground is no small feat, though. It may end up taking over your days and nights.

Which makes you so lucky, you’ve got something you care about so much, you’re giving it all. You don’t see that when it happens. It’s all deadlines, email sequences and offerings.

And your confidence or lack thereof (because some days are just grey) will spill into everything you do. Or do not do, for that matter. Some days feel like doing not much at all, as my couch will testify.

On days like that I dig deep into my hero skills and cherrypick. You can go at it from all sides or you can deliver one masterful stroke. Let me round some suspects:

1. Declutter

Whatever’s been lying around, not getting much use, not bringing me much joy gets to walk the plank. A raid through the closet and kitchen cabinets will satisfy me some.

(I still can’t believe I parted with my favourite jeans. They were threadbare. Or the really fancy pair that looks good on bony models, but makes me feel like a flat bottomed middle-aged auntie.)

2. Do one thing, beginning to end

It can be quite small. Youtube chain watching does not qualify. Baking cookies does, for all those overachievers out there. Reading a 20 minute piece will work just fine.

I’ve been meaning to read that story in The New Yorker about family rentals in Japan. It echoes my high school idea for a business: rent-a-wife. No, it did not involve any funky business. Yes, it does sound charmingly stupid.

3. Make a list

Because list making is one of the biggest joys in life. I will put down my to dos and meal plan for the week, my must haves in skincare and my latest insights I want to hang on to for a bit. May I suggest a Stuff-that-makes-me-feel-good list?

4. Go to the masters

Whoever they are. Dip your toes into their wisdom. For me, that’s watching an episode of “Comedians in cars, getting coffee.” Yes, I am fascinated with Jerry Seinfeld. Or I’ll flip through some of my how-to-be-an-artist coffee table books. Like the one on Alexander McQueen’s larger than life Savage Beauty show. (Because the creative process makes me go gaga and I’ll rummage museum shops like nothing else.) Star Wars books and comics will also do, if they’re your thing, that is.

5. Shut down the system

Before you do, try life-hack #2 reinvented: live something. Anything! Get out and buy broccoli. Call somebody and chat about the life affirming meaning of boredom. Count hairs on the floor in cow pose for 5 minutes on each side (you put one leg on top of the other, that’s why you get two sides. The pose is great for clearing through emotional knots, by the way.)

Assuming all else fails, head to the holiest of the holies: unplug and go to bed, preferably with a kids mystery book. There’s always tomorrow. But put your legs up the bedhead for 15 minutes first. That alone has a list of benefits longer than my arm.

Your turn.

PS That’s me and my friend getting caught up in life-hack #3.

What the guy from Vogue taught me about politics

What the guy from Vogue taught me about politics

It’s why I decided to start something on my own, by the way. Politics. I binge on it on House of Cards, not on my agenda. But even for deaf ears like mine, this guy brought home some solid points.

The guy, by the way, is the tall, cryptic editor of British Vogue, Johan Svensson. It was, yes, the same brain spa with creative direction aromas at Frieze’s. Let’s plunge.

1. Don’t pitch when they’re miserable, sit on stuff until they’re ripe.

Assuming you have the time, of course. But would you go for it if you knew you’re headed for Noville, or would you rather wait until planets align?

Here’s what Johan was implying: you would read the signs like Sherlock.

You’d know when [replace fashion icon Carine Roitfeld, his boss at Vogue France, with your designated other] was happy and ready to say yes to you and when to shut that thing, smile and wait.

2. Always go over budget.

Because If you won’t, you’ll get squeezed.

I believe he later uttered something about making them think they’re getting what they want while you’re getting what you want.

By this point, I was beside myself. Not sure it was the mind blowing covers he was machine gunning at us or the commentary. J is a man of few words, but they sure as hell matter.

Johan, please post the waiting list link for your next negotiation seminar, would you?

3. Discovery can be tedious work. And worth every inch.

By far, my favourite. And not sure related to politics anyway.

It was about how finding reference pictures, the more precise, the better, can sometimes be tedious. In my world, that’s getting to the you-had-me-at-hello tag-lines or subject lines and about pages.

Here’s where I got the ball and ran with it in my mind. Reference work is hard. And if you work with a new idea, whether it’s words, metal, or code, you might not know where it’s going.

Beginnings are delicate and precious.

Making your idea fly is part alchemy, part structure and detective work, and a good splash of luck, where luck means places you’ve been, your tribe, how you jump on the waves of time etc.

If it gets discouraging at times, it’s because it’s not easy and not for everybody. You’re working on that thinking and conjuring muscle and that makes you one of a kind.

Some experiments will take you places and some will take you to the next that takes you places.

(I watched this TED talk today of a girl who does useless things and you-tubes about it to a chunky following. She sure looked happy.)

So stick to it. The six inches in front of your face. Once in a while, look up and feel good.

Because you’re in the good game.

“Your material is the vehicle for you to express your spirit, it’s why you’re on the planet.”

(I did not say that, nor did the Vogue guy. That’s Jerry Seinfeld all over. Or he quoted some other smart dude.)

Things are always clear in retrospect. If it’s hazy now it’s because you’re heading into unchartered territory.

Which makes you a pioneer.

And some survival skills would do you just fine.

Like these from the guy from Vogue who’s seriously into beauty, but would rather spell out haikus on politics. That’s his thing.