As I’m trying to give more value to things I write, I got stuck when I stopped working and spent most of my time binge watching “Parks and Recreation” and reading “Predictably Irrational” by Dan Ariely, and not actively doing anything. I feel that I need to continue writing and stay in the loop of writing, so although they’re not all design related or professional in any way, I did had some interesting thoughts in this period of unemployment.
The currency of your time may change over time
As I mentioned, for the next month or so, I’m unemployed. This state left me with a lot more time and a lot less money to spend. A very specific example is transportation preference. As a working man I’d say “Every hour not spent on working is an hour I want to spend well”, or “My hourly rate is X, I rather spend a small price on fuel, rather than just walking or taking the bus”, but since I have a LOT of free time, I feel free taking my time and saving some money by choosing the cheaper transportation option. Plus, lately I’m preferring bus over car because I get some legitimate reading time (and Tel Aviv is not much generous with parking space anyway).
Also, as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation once said: “People who buy things are suckers”. For those who don’t know the character — Ron Swanson is an old fashioned libertarian man who mocks modern technology and fixes and builds everything himself. I’m not quite a handyman myself, and I know very little about building things (real things, not digital products), but this encouraged me to learn and try fixing and creating things myself, rather than buying them. When you have time, making things yourself is much more satisfying and much cheaper than buying.
What makes us make decisions
I learned a lot from “Predictably Irrational”. Generally speaking, this book explains why we make the decisions we’re making and really makes you a lot more skeptical about every single decision you make. An amazing example that blew my mind was about Starbucks. In the seventies, when it was just founded, people paid a very small price for a cup of coffee, and they knew a cup of coffee costs about a dollar (and were anchored on this price), so when Starbucks offered a 3–5$ cup of coffee, they had to come up with a really good justification for it. What they did was to rebrand the whole experience of drinking coffee. Starbucks’ coffee was branded as a premium coffee; The shop was filled with the scent of fresh coffee and the sound of the coffee machine, grinding the coffee beans. It was a whole new experience. This way, what you paid for was way more than just a cup of coffee to wake you up.
Being totally free is fun, but I found myself trying to get up and write something for two weeks with no clue what to write about and no motivation to do it. So, I decided (after I finished the whole 7 seasons of Parks and Recreation, of course), that in this period of my life, I should force myself to do and create stuff — so my brain and creativity won’t degenerate. Just like I workout couple of days in a week, I should train my creativity, and I’m sure the next week’s results will prove this theory.
I want to finish this with the Do Stuff moral. I love doing things worth telling about, and doing nothing kinda sucks. Do stuff worth telling about (and, of course, telling about it).