Design Thinking for Life

I was feeling overwhelmed, more accurately so scatterbrained”, by the many areas of life that I want to work on. As a creative person, I get so excited and want to pursue all the things. Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to just focus.

Well, how do I know what to focus on?


With so much swirling in my head of what I should be doing. It was time to throw it all out there. I started out with yellow sticky notes and put everything that came to mind on my whiteboard.

Whiteboard with sticky notes on it and grouped by task.Whiteboard with sticky notes on it and grouped by task.


Once I put it all out there, I took a step back and let it sit. I started to notice patterns emerging. I grouped those original yellow sticky notes together based on the emerging patterns. Some sticky notes went to the trash as they were tasks that needed to be completed. I’m looking for broad categories here.

From those, I came up with a few categories:

  1. Day Job
  2. Create Art
  3. Freelance Work
  4. Home & Maintenance
  5. Inspiration & Growth
  6. Relationships

Categories and sub-categoriesCategories and sub-categories

Now that we have the framework defined, it’s time to plan out how we’ll implement it. For that, let’s create a schedule.

Creating a Schedule

Fantastical is one of my favorite calendar apps. You can get it for iPad, iPhone, and Mac. If you prefer other platforms, this technique will work on Google Calendar as well. I set up calendars for each of the above-mentioned categories, as shown below:

Fantastical screenshotFantastical screenshot

What makes Fantastical the perfect tool for this technique is that you can set up calendar sets. You then can browse per calendar grouping in the Desktop version of the app. Great way to keep focused and quickly ignore other subscribed calendars.

Fantastical screenshotFantastical screenshot


I’m still working on this. I hope you’ve been inspired to keep pushing forward and build momentum. As I’ve learned about and practiced building habits, I’ve been creating forward movement in other areas that I had not anticipated on improving in.

Every Sunday, I plan on reviewing the past week and planning for the upcoming week. Tasks shown in the above screenshot may evolve over time. Priorities will shift items around the calendar itself. However, this gives me the framework for consistently improving.

Consistency is key.

I’m already brimming with ideas to improve: what can I outsource, delegate, automate, or make more efficient. I’m excited and inspired to keep pushing forward. Let’s make some great Art!


March 19, 2018

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